On-Site Power, Renewables, Solar

Walmart sues Tesla, alleging solar panels caused rootop fires

Walmart sued Tesla for alleged “gross negligence” this week, saying that the electric car company’s energy division installed solar panels that went up in flames on its store rooftops.

The retailer said fires broke out at seven store rooftops between 2012 and 2018, causing millions of dollars in damage. One location in Ohio had to be closed for eight days, Walmart said in the complaint.

Inspections found that several of Tesla’s solar panels were broken and that wires were hanging out, causing a fire hazard. In its lawsuit, Walmart said Tesla engaged in “widespread, systemic negligence” and “failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating, and maintaining its solar systems.”

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, Calif., did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.