Tesla Sued By Walmart Over Solar Panels That Allegedly Caused Fires

Walmart has alleged that solar panels supplied by the United States based electric carmaker Tesla were faulty and was cause for a number of fires at about seven stores of the company. Following this, Walmart has filed a case against the electric car maker.

In the lawsuit filed by it in a New York court, Walmart has alleged that significant amounts of store merchandise had been destroyed in the fires and the company had to expend significant amounts of money in subsequent repair work. According to the law suit, Walmart has claimed that the amount it had to spent in repair work and losses was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars which the company had to shell out because of the fires.

According to the lawsuit, fires because of the solar panels supplied by Tesla had occurred at no fewer than seven Walmart stores, including those in Denton, Maryland, and Beavercreek, Ohio, as of November 2018.

“This is a breach of contract action arising from years of gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards by Tesla with respect to solar panels that Tesla designed, installed and promised to operate and maintain safely on the roofs of hundreds of Walmart stores,” Walmart said in the court filing.

Solar panels made by SolarCity, owned by Tesla, were first used by the largest retailer of the world in 2010. The company had put up the solar panels made by Tesla on the roofs of about 240 of its stores in the US.

SolarCity is a sales and installation company for solar panels and was founded by two cousins of the Tesla CEO, Elon Musk which was purchased by Tesla in 2016 in a deal worth $2.6bn.

The US National Transportation Safety Board is also conducting a federal field investigation against Tesla following a number of complaints about it’s a number of its Model X and Model S cars catching fire. Such complaints, which had been made by a number of owners of the electric cars from all across the world, has proven to be a disruptor for the company because it is currently striving to turn in profits for the first time in its history by increasing delivery of its cars in the global markets.

The second quarter results, reported last month, of the company were not so encouraging as it had recorded loss of $408m even though the company had managed to touch record number of deliveries in its entire short history. Profitability has been very elusive for Tesla and the company has in recent times been rocked by the departure of a number of high profile executives including the exit of its chief technology officer.

There were no comments available from Tesla on the issue of the case by Walmart.

(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)

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