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Disposal: Tesla fined

Last updated on March 9, 2021

for problems with battery return

Tesla has to pay a fine of 12 million euros – because of inadequate battery take-back obligations. Tesla disagrees.

Burning Model S (Image: Youtube / Screenshot:

If the battery of an electric car is broken – for example due to an accident, then the same applies as with the smallest batteries in toys: the manufacturer must take it back. The German Battery Act of 2009 regulates more details. According to the Federal Environment Agency, Tesla has not communicated this sufficiently, as reported by the world on Sunday . The Federal Environment Agency has therefore imposed a fine of 12 million euros.

Tesla made a note of this in its report on the third quarter of 2020 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Tesla did not comply with laws on battery take-back obligations. However, these are not fundamental misconduct – Tesla takes batteries back – but rather administrative problems. Tesla has therefore also lodged an objection. In the Batteries Act , Section 5 (manufacturers' take-back obligations), Paragraph 1 regulates the basic procedure: "The manufacturers are obliged to dispose of the old batteries taken back by the distributors in accordance with Section 9 Paragraph 1 Clause 1 and the devices recorded by public waste disposal agencies in accordance with Section 13 Paragraph 1 To take back old batteries free of charge and to recycle them according to § 14. Non-recyclable old batteries are to be disposed of according to § 14. " One regulation in particular seems to have fallen out of time: Section 10 regulates that there is a compulsory deposit for vehicle batteries of 7.50 euros. This probably comes from the time when the 12-volt battery was the only energy storage device in a car.

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Tesla and the Federal Environment Agency generally do not comment on ongoing proceedings in detail, so that it is also not clear which regulations Tesla has violated. The note that the problem is administrative, however, indicates errors in form and documentation.

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