Walmart filed a lawsuit against Tesla’s energy division, alleging breach of contract after fires in several stores using the solar panels of the electric car manufacturer.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday at the New York State Supreme Court, Walmart says there were fires in “no less than seven” stores between 2012 and 2018 and caused damage to millions of dollars. A store in Ohio had to remain closed for eight days.
“This is a breach of contract action arising from years of gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards by Tesla with respect to solar panels that Tesla designed, installed, and promised to operate and maintain safely on the roofs of hundreds of Walmart stores,” Walmart’s lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, the fires originated in the solar panels of Tesla.
Walmart says it demanded on May 31, 2018 that Tesla disconnect or de-energize all solar panel systems. A fire occurred in Yuba City, California, after the solar panels had been de-energized, according to the lawsuit.
A Sam’s Club store owned by Walmart experienced a power outage in January 2017, forcing the store to close, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed two days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a series of tweets on Sunday that Tesla is trying to boost its solar panel business by allowing consumers to rent roof systems instead of buying them.
Tesla bought the SolarCity residential solar installer for $ 2.6 billion in 2016, but facilities have collapsed in recent quarters. Tesla stopped selling systems at Home Depot stores