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Tesla Service Center
Adam CrowellFeb 6, 20241 min read

Tesla Settles Hazardous Waste Disposal Lawsuit for $1.5 Million

February 1, 2024.  Tesla settles environmental enforcement action over hazardous waste disposal for $1.5 million at vehicle service centers, energy centers, and a factory.

On February 1, 2024, Tesla settled a hazardous waste disposal lawsuit that was brought by 25 California District Attorneys for $1.5 million.  Tesla was alleged to have disposes of hazardous waste at its vehicle service centers, energy centers, and its factory in Fremont, California.

Alarmingly, this investigation was started in 2018 when investigators of the Environmental Division of the San Francisco District Attorney's Office covertly inspected trash containers at vehicle service centers and found that numerous used hazardous automotive components were being illegally disposed of in trash containers and illegally going to landfills.  The undercover investigators discovered the following used automotive components in the trash containers:

  • Oil
  • Brake cleaners
  • Lead acid and other batteries
  • Aerosols
  • Antifreeze
  • Waste solvents and other cleaners
  • Electronic waste
  • Waste paint
  • Debris contaminated with the above

These discoveries prompted additional investigations of the other Tesla facilities, which uncovered additional illegal disposal practices.

As part of the hazardous waste disposal settlement, Tesla is required to pay $1.3 million in penalties and up to $200,000 in environmental clean-up fees.  Tesla was also required to properly train employees and to hire third-parties to audit the facilities to ensure compliance.

"Automotive dealerships and service centers inherently collect hazardous waste," said Adam Crowell, Vice President of Legal and Corporate Development at KPA.  It is the facility's absolute regulatory responsibility to properly dispose of the hazardous waste at authorized recycling facilities and to track the process from cradle to grave," said Adam Crowell, Vice President of Legal and Corporate Development at KPA.  "This company learned the hard way that they should have already had a proactive environmental, health, and safety program to educate employees and to identify and resolves issues - now they're paying for an EHS program and paying $1.5 million," concluded Crowell.

KPA is the automotive industry leader in environmental health and safety (EHS) solutions; providing proactive solutions to nearly 15,000 automotive facilities in North America.  To learn more about KPA's EHS solutions, visit and schedule a meeting.


Adam Crowell

Adam is Vice President of Legal and Corporate Development at KPA and ComplyNet and is a licensed practicing attorney with over 21 years of experience primarily representing dealerships. Adam is a frequent speaker on the local, state, and national levels, including presentations to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the National Independent Auto Dealers Association (NIADA), and the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC).