Walmart lawsuit photos reveal scorched roofs and massive damage as it claims Tesla solar panels caught fire at 7 stores

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK: COMMERCIAL DIVISIONPhotos in lawsuit in which Walmart alleges Tesla’s solar panels caused millions of dollars in damages appear to show scorched roofs and ruined solar panels.

Walmart claims Tesla’s solar panels caused millions of dollars in damages in a new lawsuit, providing photos that appear to show scorched roofs and ruined solar panels as evidence.

On Tuesday, Walmart filed a suit accusing Tesla’s solar-energy subsidiary, then called SolarCity, of gross negligence. According to Walmart, seven stores caught on fire due to “widespread negligence” of Tesla employees that resulted in solar panels catching on fire.

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Walmart slams Tesla with a lawsuit claiming its solar panels caught fire at 7 stores

The complaint includes images of scorched roofs and significant damage. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Scroll on to see Walmart’s evidence of Tesla’s alleged negligence.

A fire broke out on the roof of a Walmart store in Indio, California on May 29, 2018.


Walmart says that the fire resulted in $US8 million in damages.

Court filings

According to Walmart, more than $US6 million worth of merchandise was destroyed.

Court Filings

According to the complaint, an investigation into the fire revealed a number of maintenance and installation issues.

Court Filing

Another fire occurred later in 2018, on the roof of another Walmart store in Yuba City, California, according to the complaint.

Court Filing

The fire allegedly took place after Tesla de-energised the roof. According to the filing, wires on the rooftop were still sparking when Walmart discovered the fire.

Court Filing
“Equally troubling, after Tesla technicians visited the rooftop, one of the technicians failed to close the cover to a combiner box, exposing this important piece of equipment to the elements and thereby creating a firehazard. Still more troubling, Walmart subsequently learned (independent of Tesla) that a potentially dangerous ground fault alert had occurred at the Yuba City site during the summer of 2018. Tesla either ignored the alert or deliberately failed to disclose it to Walmart,” the complaint states.

“The issues that caused that ground fault alert likely caused or contributed to the subsequent fire in the fall of 2018, revealing Tesla’s utter incompetence or callousness, or both,” the complaint continues.

According to the complaint, Walmart’s review of sites where the fires took place revealed “a troubling pattern of deficiencies, negligence, and failure to satisfy Prudent Industry Practices.”

Court Filing

Walmart allegedly marked hotspots with tape, preventing sunlight from reaching the panel and exacerbating the problem.

Walmart claims that Tesla’s inspectors failed to identify dangerous hotspots

Court Filing

“The prevalence of hotspots on the Tesla systems reflected a long-term pattern of negligence that had gone ignored for years and had not been addressed by proper maintenance procedures,” the complaint states.

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