Tesla Facing Massive Criminal Lawsuit

Tesla is being charged with “suspected water pollution and a possible environmental crime” at its factory in Berlin, Germany.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

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As if Elon Musk didn’t have enough on his plate with all his continuing Twitter drama, an environmentalist group has now filed criminal charges against Tesla due to alleged water contamination. According to The Byte, the company is being charged with “suspected water pollution and a possible environmental crime” at its factory in Berlin, Germany.

Tesla’s so-called “Gigafactory” has been in hot water for quite some time now, as it has been agitating environmentalists since its construction began. The enormous car factory has constantly been fighting against not just German environmentalists but also residents in the area where it was built. In 2020, the latter raised more than 400 objections to the factory’s construction.

They claimed it would cause “needless deforestation” and steal the water they relied on for their daily lives.

Fast-forwarding to the present, Tesla’s latest legal woes are in regard to three criminal complaints filed by Brandenburg’s Association for Nature and Landscape, one of which includes “illegal ramming” of a whopping 104 of the piles used to expand the company’s parking lot. They say this ramming makes the piles penetrate the water table and could contaminate the residents’ drinking water via the groundwater supply.

Another charge made against Tesla states that the self-driving car company started the building stage of a shuttle station before it actually had the construction permits to do so.

So, should Tesla be worried about this? Probably not. Tesla has strong ties to local politicians who, as we all know, run the world. So, it isn’t yet known if these charges will be dismissed or if they will actually be thoroughly investigated and result in some sort of punishment or fine for the carmaker.

Sascha Gehm, the region’s deputy district administrator, said that these claims are ridiculous and that Tesla is unequaled regarding regulations and doing things by the book. She maintains that there has “never been a threat to the groundwater in all this time.”


Whether they amount to anything or not, though, these claims are not helping Tesla’s already tarnished reputation. The plant in Berlin was already struggling to get its numbers up to speed in terms of production, for example. Last year, Futurism also reported that the plant was in “total chaos” because of an inability to fill the spots it was trying to fill when hiring employees. 

A Tesla employee reported in June that the factory was supposed to produce 500,000 Tesla cars in 2022, but they didn’t see how that was going to happen since some people had been on sick leave for more time than they had been on the clock working. According to that employee, those workers were taking off sick because they just didn’t have the motivation to come to work.

The reason for that lack of motivation could partially be traced to the fact that Tesla was paying its metal workers much less than other companies in its field – 20 percent less, to be exact. Tesla also has a reputation for busting unions, and Elon Musk himself has been known to threaten anyone who attempts to organize one. So, it doesn’t sound like the friendliest workplace for workers.

This issue with the contamination of the groundwater is just a small drop in the bucket of problems Tesla is facing, and it remains to be seen if or how it will affect the car company’s (and robot-making company’s) bottom line.