Tesla reportedly is temporarily suspending production of the Model 3 sedan for at least the second time in roughly two months, soon after founder and CEO Elon Musk admitted to mistakes that hindered his most important car.

The company informed employees that the pause will last four to five days, Buzzfeed reported, according to Bloomberg and other media outlets. A Tesla spokesman referred Bloomberg back to a statement provided last month, when it first reported Model 3 production was idled from 20-24 February. The carmaker said then that it planned periods of downtime at both its vehicle and battery factories to improve automation and address bottlenecks.

Musk recently acknowledged "excessive" automation at Tesla was a mistake.

"Traditional automakers adjust bottlenecks on the fly during a launch, AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan told Bloomberg. "This is totally out of the ordinary."

Employees are carrying the cost. According to Buzzfeed, Tesla employees are expected to use holidays or stay home without pay during the Model 3 downtime though a small number may be offered paid work elsewhere at the factory in Fremont, California.

Bloomberg noted the shutdown came a week after Musk gave CBS This Morning [investigating a recent crash for which Musk has blamed the driver for not using Autopilot correctly] a tour of the assembly plant and said the company should be able to sustain producing 2,000 Model 3 sedans a week. He said manufacturing issues that had been slowing output were being resolved and that Tesla probably would make three or four times as many of the cars in the second quarter.

Bloomberg said Tesla built 9,766 Model 3 sedans in the first quarter and said in a 3 April statement the process of boosting production and addressing bottlenecks during the first three months of the year included "several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment".

"Shutting down for days on end during ramp is far from normal," Kristin Dziczek, director of the industry, labour and economics group at the Center for Automotive Research, told Bloomberg.

"Time is money in automotive manufacturing and Tesla seems to think they have plenty of both," AutoPacific's Sullivan added.

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