Walmart sues Tesla over fires at stores fitted with its solar panels

 Walmart sues Tesla over fires at stores fitted with its solar panels

(Reuters) - Walmart Inc sued Tesla Inc , saying solar panels supplied by the electric car maker were responsible for fires at about seven of its stores, according to a lawsuit filed in a New York court on Tuesday.

The fires destroyed significant amounts of store merchandise and required substantial repairs, totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket losses, Walmart said in the lawsuit.

As of November 2018, no fewer than seven Walmart stores, including those in Denton, Maryland and Beavercreek, Ohio, had experienced fires due to Tesla's solar systems, according to the lawsuit.

"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 said in the court filing.

Walmart started using solar panels made by SolarCity in 2010 and the roofs of around 240 of its stores were fitted with solar panels made by the company, later a unit of Tesla.

Tesla paid $2.6 billion in 2016 to buy SolarCity, a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Aug 21, 2019 03:05:43 IST