EnergyWatch

Walmart sues Tesla for fire-prone solar panels

Solar panels from Tesla-owned Solar City allegedly caused fires in several Walmart stores, leading the retail giant to sue Tesla.

Photo: LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS / X90050

US-based retail chain Walmart is suing Tesla, claiming that solar panels from Tesla-owned Solar City were the cause of fires in seven of the former's stores, reports Financial Times.

Walmart has purchased Solar City's panels since 2010.

The retailer's lawsuit claims a breach of contract resulting from the supplier's "widespread, systemic negligence and [failing] to abide by prudent industry practices".

According to the lawsuit, Walmart hired its own consultants to accompany Tesla representatives for an inspection of the impacted stores. These inspections found that Tesla and Solar City "routinely deployed individuals to inspect the solar systems who lacked basic solar training and knowledge," the lawsuit alleges.

This case is only Tesla's latest legal headache to result from its acquisition of Solar City in 2016. The electric car maker is still facing charges claiming that Tesla failed to consider shareholder interests in its purchase of the solar power company. The litigation claims that this is tied to Elon Musk's position as Solar City chair at the time, while his cousin, Lyndon Rive, was chief executive.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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