Walmart has claimed in a lawsuit that Tesla-supplied solar panels on the roofs at several of its stores caught fire because of the tech company’s “widespread, systemic negligence” and its “failure to live up to industry standards.”
The retail giant is suing Tesla for breach of contract after fires allegedly ignited on the roofs of at least seven Walmart stores which had solar panels installed by Tesla’s solar business. These fires, which occured at stores in several states from 2012 to 2018, cost Walmart hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, said the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in a New York court.
“To state the obvious, properly designed, installed, inspected, and maintained solar systems do not spontaneously combust, and the occurrence of multiple fires involving Tesla’s solar systems is but one unmistakable sign of negligence by Tesla,” the complaint said, according to CNN Business.
Walmart is seeking damages from Tesla and is demanding the company remove all of its solar panels from its stores. The retailer said that Tesla has installed panels on the roofs of more than 200 of its outlets.
Tesla has not responded to HuffPost’s after-hours request for comment.
The lawsuit comes just days after Tesla founder Elon Musk announced the relaunch of its solar rental business. The move, according to TechCrunch, appears to be an attempt by Tesla to revive the “flagging fortunes” of its renewable energy business, which has steadily been losing market share in recent years.
As Reuters noted, the Walmart lawsuit isn’t the only fire-related problem currently affecting Tesla.
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