Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) has called on US electric car maker Tesla to be more transparent after Stern research into frequent work accidents and environmental accidents. “Tesla must clarify these allegations, completely. Tesla must create transparency,” he told the “Tagesspiegel”. “Communication needs to be better, transparency needs to be better.”

Stern research has documented numerous environmental and occupational safety violations at Tesla’s car factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg. A striking number of reportable work-related accidents occurred between June and November 2022. According to the State Environment Agency, there have also been 26 environmental accidents since it opened in March 2022. The company had rejected concerns. The Brandenburg Ministry of Social Affairs did not classify the numbers as unusual and referred to regular checks.

Woidke rejected the accusation of a lack of controls, but still sees potential for improvement. “We have a close-meshed control network. It is not as suggested that there are any special regulations, supposedly hardly any controls. The opposite is the case,” said the head of government. “A lot has happened in the last few weeks and months. It is obvious that more needs to be done.” According to the company’s latest information, Tesla currently has around 11,000 employees.

The call for an investigative committee of the Brandenburg state parliament currently has no prospect of success. Although the AfD and the Free Voters are fundamentally open to the proposal from left-wing faction leader Sebastian Walter, the other two opposition factions reject a committee before the 2024 state elections.