Tesla solar panel fires prompt Walmart lawsuit

Tesla solar panel fires prompt Walmart lawsuit

The panels have allegedly caught fire at seven different stores.

Walmart has hit Tesla with a lawsuit after the automaker's solar panels allegedly caught fire.

The retailing giant has been expanding its solar installations for many years, partnering with SolarCity nearly a decade ago to install a new form of thin-film panels on top of stores.

SolarCity was founded by Elon Musk's cousins just four years prior to the Walmart collaboration. The company was acquired by Tesla in 2016 for $2.6 billion.

Walmart is now accusing Tesla of breach of contract, gross negligence and failing to adhere to industry standards, according to CNBC.

"As of November 2018, no fewer than seven Walmart stores had experienced fires due to Tesla's solar systems-including the four fires described above and three others that had occurred earlier," the lawsuit alleges.

The filing claims many of the panels were obviously defective and should have been repaired before installation. Tesla installers also allegedly failed to ground the systems properly, then deployed inspectors who "lacked basic solar training and knowledge."

The retailer wants Tesla to remove panels installed at hundreds of stores and pay damages related to the fires.