Walmart sues Tesla for the fires of its solar panels

A Walmart store in Richmond, California.

The chain of stores accuses the company of Elon Tusk of “gross negligence” and breach of contract.

Walmart, the largest retail distribution chain in the United States, has filed a lawsuit against Tesla Energy Operations, Tesla’s renewable energy division – formerly known as SolarCity – before the New York State Supreme Court – which it accuses of “negligence serious “and breach of contract, after the solar panels installed in seven of its stores caught fire.

“This is an action for breach of contract derived from years of serious negligence and lack of compliance with industry standards by Tesla with respect to the solar panels that Tesla designed, installed and committed to operate and maintain safely on the roofs of hundreds of Walmart stores, “picks up the demand document.

The retail distribution chain notes that “no less than seven Walmart stores” recorded fires due to the solar panel systems installed by Tesla between August 2012 and November 2018. Specifically, the reported fires were located in Walmart establishments in the towns of Beavercreek (Ohio), Denton (Maryland) and the Californian Indian, Yuba City, Milpitas, Lakeside and Long Beach, although the US chain assures that they are more than 240 stores which have photovoltaic systems installed, operated and maintained by Tesla.

“By May 2018, it was clear that Tesla had breached its contractual obligations,” says the US chain, noting that properly designed, installed, inspected and maintained solar systems “do not suffer spontaneous combustion, so the multiple fires involving Tesla solar systems is just an unequivocal sign of negligence on the part of it. ”

The electric car manufacturer acquired SolarCity in June 2016, in an operation valued at 2,600 million dollars (2,343 million euros at the current exchange rate).

SolarCity had been founded by Lyndon Reevee, cousin of Elon Musk, who was president and principal shareholder of what was then the largest solar panel installer in the US, as well as being founder and CEO of Tesla.

In this sense, the Walmart lawsuit states that “when Tesla bought SolarCity to rescue the company in crisis (whose executives included two of Musk’s cousins), Tesla did not correct the chaotic installation practices of the company or adopt protocols for proper maintenance. “

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