On Tuesday, Walmart Inc took legal action against Tesla Inc after accusing it of “widespread negligence” that led to repeated fires of its solar systems. It asked a court to force Tesla to remove solar panels from more than 240 of its US stores.
Solar energy systems installed and maintained by the electric car maker were responsible for fires at seven locations and maintained by the electric car maker were responsible for fires at seven different places. Near about a dozen hazardous problems were reported such as losing wiring and “hotspots” on panels, claimed the filed court papers in New York Supreme Court.
However, Tesla did not make any comment regarding this. According to the court papers, the lawsuit accuses Telsa of appointing untrained workers and setting up installations and showing “utter incompetence or callousness, or both.”
Tesla has been already struggling with its solar business which it gained through its $ 2.6 billion purchase of SolarCity in 2016. Since the deal, more than 85 percent of quarterly installations have fallen down as Tesla has cut its solar panel sales force and ended a distribution deal with Home Depot Inc. The fires destroyed significant amounts of store merchandise and required substantial repairs, totaling millions of dollars in losses, Walmart said in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also claimed, inspections of the retailer’s other Tesla-owned solar installations “displayed troubling problems that were indicative of widespread negligence.”
Walmart, in July, gave 30 days time period to Telsa to provide analyses of the main cause of the fires but the lawsuit said Tesla “still had not taken any reasonable steps toward curing its breaches,” as of August 15.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk declared three days later on Aug 18, that the re-launch of the company’s solar business that allows customers to install solar panels without a long term contract. “It’s like having a money printer on your roof,” Musk wrote on Twitter.