Walmart sues Tesla, alleging “negligence” after solar panels went up in flames

Walmart sued Tesla for “gross negligence” on Tuesday, claiming that the electric car company’s energy division installed solar panels that went up in flames on its store rooftops. The fires caused millions of dollars in damage, the lawsuit alleges. 

The retailer said fires broke out at seven store rooftops between 2012 and 2018. One location in Ohio had to be closed for eight days, Walmart said in the complaint. The lawsuit claims Tesla never provided Walmart with an explanation for the “root cause” of the fires.  

“The number of defects, however, is overwhelming and plainly indicative of systemic, widespread failures by Tesla to meet the standard of care, as set forth in the governing contracts, as to the solar systems installed at Walmart’s stores,” the lawsuit claims.  

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The lawsuit includes photographs of Walmart stores’ damaged rooftops, as well as citations from local news coverage of the fires. Photos of a store in Indio, California, for instance, showed a charred roof, which the lawsuit claimed required more than $3 million in repairs and $6 million in damaged merchandise.