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Walmart is suing Tesla after solar panels at seven stores allegedly caught fire, according to a court filing.
Walmart also claims Tesla “routinely deployed individuals to inspect the solar systems who lacked basic solar training and knowledge.”
“Tesla’s personnel did not know, for example, how to conduct inspections or how to use simple tools, such as temperature-measuring ‘guns’ used to detect hotspots, and a Tesla employee failed to identify multiple hotspots that Walmart’s consultants observed,” the suit said.
Walmart wants Tesla to remove solar panels at all 240 stores where they are installed and to pay damages caused by the fires. The suit alleges breach of contract, gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards.
“On information and belief, when Tesla purchased SolarCity to bail out the flailing company (whose executives included two of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s first cousins), Tesla failed to correct SolarCity’s chaotic installation practices or to adopt adequate maintenance protocols, which would have been particularly important in light of the improper installation practices,” the suit said.
The news comes shortly after Tesla announced an attempt to boost its solar energy business by offering solar rentals for residential customers for as little as $50 a month.
See the full filing here.