Tesla is Sued Over Emissions from California Plant

FILE - A Model X sports-utility vehicle sits outside a Tesla store in Littleton, Colo., on June 18, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
FILE - A Model X sports-utility vehicle sits outside a Tesla store in Littleton, Colo., on June 18, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
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Tesla is Sued Over Emissions from California Plant

FILE - A Model X sports-utility vehicle sits outside a Tesla store in Littleton, Colo., on June 18, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
FILE - A Model X sports-utility vehicle sits outside a Tesla store in Littleton, Colo., on June 18, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Tesla has been sued by an environmental nonprofit that accused Elon Musk's electric car company of violating the federal Clean Air Act hundreds of times by letting its Fremont, California, plant emit harmful pollutants.

In a complaint filed on Monday, the Environmental Democracy Project said Tesla has since January 2021 exposed nearby residents and workers to excessive nitrogen oxides, arsenic, cadmium and other harmful chemicals, mainly through its paint shop operations.

The nonprofit wants an injunction to halt excess pollution, plus civil fines of up to $121,275 per day per violation of the Clean Air Act.

Tesla did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit filed federal court in San Francisco adds to pressure on Tesla to improve air quality surrounding the Fremont plant, its main US factory.

On May 2, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said it wanted an independent hearing board to order Tesla to reduce harmful emissions from its paint shop operations.

It said that Tesla's emissions abatement system breaks down "repeatedly," and the automaker has since 2019 racked up 112 notices of violation, each accounting for as much as 750 pounds of illegal air pollution.

In February, Tesla agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit by 25 California counties that claimed it mishandled hazardous waste at locations across the state.

The Environmental Democracy Project said it has authority to file a "citizen" lawsuit under the Clean Air Act because Tesla "has violated or in violation of conditions imposed by an operating permit for major sources of pollution."

Lawyers for the nonprofit did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.

The case is Environmental Democracy Project v Tesla Inc et al, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 24-02888.



Apple Kills off Its Buy Now, Pay Later Service Barely a Year after Launch

An Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store on March 14, 2020, in New York. (AP)
An Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store on March 14, 2020, in New York. (AP)
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Apple Kills off Its Buy Now, Pay Later Service Barely a Year after Launch

An Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store on March 14, 2020, in New York. (AP)
An Apple logo adorns the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store on March 14, 2020, in New York. (AP)

Apple is discontinuing its buy now, pay later service known as Apple Pay Later barely a year after its initial launch in the US, and will rely on companies who already dominate the industry like Affirm and Klarna.

It's an acknowledgement from a company known for producing hit products that building a financial services business from scratch as Apple has been doing for several years is difficult and highly competitive.

Apple Pay Later launched with fanfare in March 2023 as a way for iPhone customers to split purchases of up to $1,000 into four equal payments with no fees or interest. The service was Apple's answer to the growing popularity of buy now, pay later services globally, and considered a sizeable threat to companies like Klarna, Affirm and others.

But Apple Pay Later was only available where Apple Pay was accepted whereas the other buy now, pay later companies had deeply integrated themselves into millions of merchant websites.

In an acknowledgement of how popular buy now, pay later services had become, Apple said at its developer's conference this month that it would start allowing banks to offer buy now, pay later plans to their customers through Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. Affirm would be integrated directly into Apple Wallet, and Apple customers would be able to open an Affirm account directly.

“With the introduction of this new global installment loan offering, we will no longer offer Apple Pay Later in the US,” Apple said late Monday. “Our focus continues to be on providing our users with access to easy, secure and private payment options with Apple Pay, and this solution will enable us to bring flexible payments to more users, in more places across the globe, in collaboration with Apple Pay enabled banks and lenders.”

Apple executives as recently as this month had indicated that the company still had plans for Apple Pay Later despite announcing plans to integrate Affirm directly into Apple Wallet.

Apple Pay Later was unique because Apple needed to create its own bank to offer the loans. The Apple Card is issued by Goldman Sachs, which means Goldman ultimately decides who gets approved and what spending limits are for each customer.

Apple has discontinued any new Apple Pay Later loans, but customers who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to manage them inside Apple Pay.