Tesla has been fined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for not following mandatory safety regulations regarding button batteries.
Tesla Motors Australia has received ten infringement notices from the ACCC, resulting in a fine of $155,460 AU ($97,841 US). The fines were imposed because Tesla failed to conduct necessary safety tests. In addition, Tesla didn’t provide required safety warnings for certain products powered by button batteries.
According to Drive Tesla Canada, the affected Tesla products include three models of key fobs and two illuminated door sill models. These items were sold between June 22, 2022, and May 30, 2023. A total of 952 units were distributed.
In response to the ACCC’s investigation, Tesla has removed these products from sale and begun conducting tests. While the Model 3/Model Y and Model X key fobs comply with safety standards, testing for the other products is still ongoing.
Sales will only restart once all remaining products meet the required standards.
According to ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe, key fobs are often within children’s reach and can be attractive to them. If the battery compartment is not secure and the batteries become accessible, they pose a significant danger to children.
Australia introduced its first mandatory product safety and information standards for button batteries in June 2022. The new rules were created due to accidents involving children.
Button batteries, when ingested or inserted, can cause extreme harm or even death. Regrettably, three children in Australia have lost their lives as a result of accidents involving button batteries.
The Australian officials fining Tesla stated that Tesla cooperated with the investigation. The officials also said that Tesla has committed to improving its compliance with mandatory button battery standards.
Tesla has promised to implement a complaint handling system, conduct recurring compliance training, and carry out an annual compliance review.
This is not the first time that Tesla has cut corners on safety. In 2018, Fortune reported that Tesla skipped brake tests to meet manufacturing targets for the Model 3.
Image Source: Ayden Miller, https://shorturl.at/bEV19