Walmart Sues Tesla Over Solar Panel Fires

24 Août, 2019, 12:41 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • An inspection team works on the roof of a Walmart store in Indio Calif. after a fire in 2018

Walmart had asked the court to order the removal of all Tesla solar panels from its stores, but now the companies say they're working toward a deal to keep the panels in place, fix them, and begin using them again.

In Walmart's complaint, it claims that Tesla didn't handle and maintain solar panels on many of Walmart roofs around the nation according to their agreement, which stipulated that Tesla still owned all the solar panels on Walmarts roofs.

The solar panel rental program is now available to rent in six states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. Walmart is suing for breach of contract and is alleging "gross negligence" on Tesla's part.

News of the Amazon fire comes just three days after Walmart dropped a bombshell lawsuit against Tesla, accusing it of shoddy panel installations that led to fires at more than a half-dozen stores. The Tesla spokesperson added that Tesla's software-monitoring applications found a "small number" of connectors experienced failures and disconnects higher than expected.

A portion of SolarCity that installed modules and optimizers from various manufacturers were made with H4 connectors from Amphenol, a component that was generally used throughout the industry at the time, a Tesla spokesperson informed.

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Also this week, Business Insider reported that Tesla launched an effort to replace a faulty part used in some of its solar panel systems a year ago. "This campaign to replace any faulty connectors at these sites is Tesla fulfilling that commitment". It was referred to as Project Titan.

One former Tesla worker told Business Insider that working at Tesla was chaotic, particularly so during Project Titan. Then in May 2018, two more stores had fires.

More widely known for its electric cars, Tesla bought panel installer SolarCity three years ago in a $2-billion deal that proved highly controversial. It adds that Tesla presented the panels a "safe, reliable" and an environmentally conscious way for Walmart to reduce energy costs. However, another fire still took place at a Walmart store in Yuba City, California.

Musk said consumers could cancel anytime, although according to the Tesla website, there was a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition.

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