Tesla has been fined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for not adhering to mandatory safety standards concerning button batteries. The ACCC issued ten infringement notices to Tesla Motors Australia, amounting to a total fine of $155,460 (C$134,420). The fines were imposed due to Tesla’s failure to conduct required safety tests and provide mandatory safety warnings for specific products powered by button batteries.
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, with a total of 952 units being distributed. In response to the ACCC’s investigation, Tesla withdrew these products from sale and initiated testing procedures. While the Model 3/Model Y and Model X key fobs have been found to comply with the safety standards, testing of the other products is still in progress. Sales will resume only when the remaining products meet the mandatory standards.
“Key fobs are often in easy reach and can be attractive to children, so if the battery compartment is not secure and the batteries become accessible, they pose a very real danger to children,” said ACCC deputy chair, Catriona Lowe. (via CarExpert)
Australia introduced its first mandatory product safety and information standards for button batteries in June 2022, prompted by incidents of significant injuries and fatalities, particularly among children. Button batteries, when ingested or inserted, can cause severe harm, and in some cases, they can be fatal. In Australia, three children have tragically lost their lives due to button battery-related incidents.
“Tesla cooperated with the ACCC investigation and has committed to improve its compliance with the mandatory button battery standards, continue to implement and maintain a complaint handling system, conduct regular compliance training and implement an annual compliance review,” the ACCC said.