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Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires

In this image, Elon Musk looks down while standing in front of a microphone. He's wearing a suit with no tie.
Elon Musk on March 2, 2019. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Walmart filed a lawsuit against Tesla on Tuesday, alleging that "no fewer than seven Walmart stores" experienced fires due to Tesla's solar panel systems as of November 2018.

Catch up quick: More than 240 Walmart stores have leased or licensed roof space to Tesla for solar panels. The lawsuit says, "Many of the problems stemmed from a rushed, negligent approach" to installation by Tesla. It also accuses energy service company SolarCity, which Tesla acquired in 2016, of using "an ill-considered business model" that installed panels "haphazardly" to "turn a profit."

Where it stands: The lawsuit alleges that Tesla has not provided a "final root cause analysis" for 5 fires related to its solar panels. Related fires took place in the following locations, according to the lawsuit:

  • Long Beach, California, in 2012
  • Milpitas, California, in 2016
  • Lakeside, California, in 2017
  • Beavercreek, Ohio, in 2018
  • Denton, Maryland, in 2018
  • Indio, California, in 2018
  • Yuba City, California, in 2018

Go deeper: Tesla launches program for customers to rent solar panels