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Tesla is fighting a $14 million fine in Germany over its battery end-of-life policy

Tesla confirmed that it is fighting a $14 million fine from the German government over its battery end-of-life policy.

Over the years, Tesla hasn’t really received a warm welcome in Germany, which is really protective of its powerful automotive industry.

At times, it tried to keep Tesla out of its EV incentives, and it went after the automaker over its advertising of Autopilot and Full Self-Driving package.

We thought that things might have taken a turn for the best for Tesla in Germany after the automaker announced a massive investment in the country to build a factory near Berlin.

German officials even said that Tesla will receive full support from the German government as part of the project.

But Tesla now again finds itself fighting German officials — this time over how Tesla handles the end-of-life of its battery products.

The automaker disclosed in its latest 10Q fighting that it is currently fighting a 12 million euro (~$14 million USD) fine from the German Umweltbundesamt (“UBA”) over “take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products required”:

The German Umweltbundesamt (“UBA”) has issued our subsidiary in Germany a notice and fine in the amount of 12 million euro alleging its non-compliance under applicable laws relating to market participation notifications and take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products required thereunder. This is primarily relating to administrative requirements, but Tesla has continued to take back battery packs, and although we cannot predict the outcome of this matter, including the final amount of any penalties, we have filed our objection and it is not expected to have a material adverse impact on our business.

Tesla believes that the issue is only administrative, and it is fighting the fine.

The automaker doesn’t have many battery packs in the road that are not under warranty, and when it does replace a battery pack, it generally “remanufacture” them to use them in future replacements.

Some automakers decide to use older battery packs as second life battery stationary energy storage devices, but Tesla prefers to recycle the battery packs.

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