Walmart Sues Tesla Over Solar Panel Fires


Walmart sues Tesla in a multi-million dollar lawsuit, alleging that the latter’s solar panels caused fires on as many as seven Walmart stores (via ArsTechnica).

Walmart Sues Tesla

Walmart hired Tesla-owned SolarCity to install and manage solar panels on 240 of its stores. The first fire started on March 2018 on the roof of a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. Then in May 2018, two more stores had fires.

Walmart had previously suffered fires at stores with SolarCity installations in 2012, 2016, and 2017, but the company had written these off as isolated accidents. But a string of three fires in as many months was hard to ignore. So Walmart asked Tesla to deactivate all of its Walmart solar panels pending an investigation. Even after this was done, Walmart suffered another fire at a store with Tesla solar panels—this one at a Yuba City, California store in November 2018.

The lawsuit says that Tesla had engaged in widespread, systemic negligence and had failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating, and maintaining its solar systems.”

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