Elon Musk Drove His Engineers Insane When He Demanded A Last-Minute Design Change To The Tesla Model S

Elon Musk is a design genius and a visionary — but that doesn’t mean his “relentless perfectionism” doesn’t get under his employees’ skin from time to time.

In one notable instance, Musk demanded his engineers make a major last-minute design change to the first Model S — just three weeks before the very first delivery, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Musk said he wanted the Model S to have bigger rear tires, simply because “they looked better,” according to current and former Tesla employees.

The Tesla engineers protested: They said the switch would have a major impact on the car’s anti-lock braking system and even its range. They warned Musk that Tesla might not be able to honour its liability warranty if they released the car with bigger tires.

None of this mattered to Musk. He wanted his bigger tires, and he got them. And according to one Tesla employee who was present during the initial decision, the design changes went through “without a hitch.” 

As is often the case at Tesla, it’s Musk’s way or the highway.

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