Walmart sues Tesla for fire caused by solar panels

Walmart sues Tesla for fire caused by solar panels
The Siliconreview
22 August, 2019

Retail giant Walmart sued Tesla over malfunctioning of solar panels. According to the lawsuit Walmart cited that year of negligence and failing to maintain industry standards by Tesla was the primary reason for the fire.

Tesla has reportedly installed solar panels in 240 Walmart locations and the fire has occurred in more than 7 locations in between 2012-2018 resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Walmart alleges that the systems were not grounded properly and defective panels were installed at Walmart sites with no proper documentation.

According to the lawsuit filed, the problem initially begun with SolarCity which was later acquired by Tesla in 2016. The business model adopted by SolarCity was not well received because the solar panels were installed quickly and haphazardly as possible to make a quick profit.

The contractors and subcontractors who did the initial installation work were not properly hired, supervised, and trained. Walmart made a claim that Tesla has failed to give final root cause analysis that was required to identify the flaws in its system that triggered the fire.

The retail giant decided to disconnect all the panels after the fire that broke out in 2018 in California, Maryland, and Ohio. An unspecified amount of damages were claimed due to breach of contract in which Tesla had failed to meet the standard of care set in the governing contracts. Since the incident Tesla’s stock has dropped by over 1 percent.