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The electric-car maker made the request to fewer than 10 suppliers related to capital expenditures for long-term projects that started as far back as 2016 and aren't complete, a spokesman said in a statement. According to a leaked memo, the company is requesting money back from suppliers to help the auto company become profitable, as if this is the responsibility of the company's suppliers.

Chief executive Elon Musk has dismissed worries that the firm will run out of cash and needs to raise more money.

Tesla has said the company will be profitable in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

"It's troubling", David Whiston, an analyst with Morningstar in Chicago, said in an interview on Monday as Tesla's stock declined, closing off 3.3 percent. "It would not be correct to apply historical cost savings to current quarter", Musk tweeted.

This strategy is part of a plan announced a year ago where Tesla was able to negotiate longer payment terms to about 60 days for Model 3 parts, which would allow the auto maker to make the vehicle and get paid for it before the bill is due to suppliers.

Suppliers claim to have been sent letters asking them to repay substantial amounts.

The carmaker is facing growing investor pressure as it struggles to ramp up the production of what is to be its flagship model, the Model 3, and reverse a loss-making streak that has been with it since its inception. The remainder of supplier discussions focus on future parts price or other changes that will help lower costs, he said. Tesla's cash burn, which was reduced to $1.1 billion on its most recent earnings report in May, will be top of mind when the company reports second quarter earnings on August 1.

Initially, Tesla shares dropped by more than 5% on Monday morning as investors responded to the report, although they recovered some ground later.

According to the Journal, Tesla is facing payments on $230 million in debt in November if its stock price doesn't reach a conversion price of $560.6 per share. It has promised to produce 5,000 Model 3s in a single week, but has only met that goal last quarter after months of delays.