Walmart came out and swung earlier this week in a lawsuit accusing Tesla of breach of contract and gross negligence over problems with ceiling panel systems installed in store giant's stores.
Now, just days later, the lawsuit has been put on hold as the two companies try to reach an agreement to keep the solar plants in place and put them back into operation, according to a joint statement released late Thursday night.
“Walmart and Tesla look forward to addressing all issues and energy-intensive Tesla solar installations in Walmart stores, when all parties are confident that all concerns have been addressed, the statement states. “Together, we look forward to pursuing our common goal of a sustainable energy future. Above all else, both companies want every single system to work reliably, efficiently and safely. "
Walmart has not filed the lawsuit. The complaint is still on file with the State of New York. But the two parties should try to reach an agreement that would avoid a lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which is aimed at Tesla's energy unit formerly known as SolarCity, alleges that seven fires on Walmart rooftops were caused by solar panel systems. Walmart asked Tesla to remove the solar panel systems in all 244 stores where they are currently installed and to pay for damages related to fires that the retailer claims originated from the panels.
Now, a spokesperson for Walmart said it is "actively working toward a resolution" with Tesla.
Neither Tesla nor Walmart would explain the details of the negotiations.
The stakes are high for Tesla. Tesla CEO Elon Musk a new solar power lease offer in an attempt to restart the flagship renewable energy business.
Tesla's share of the solar market has declined since the merger with SolarCity in 2016. In the second quarter, Tesla distributed only 29 megawatts of new solar power plants, while the number one and two consumer solar suppliers, SunRun and Vivint Solar, installed 103 megawatts and 56 megawatts respectively.
Tesla's renewable energy business includes residential and commercial solar and energy storage products. Megapack While Tesla still produces solar panels for private use, much of the focus has been on developing the solar roof, which consists of tiles and it still runs a commercial business, aimed at municipalities, schools, affordable housing, businesses and agriculture and water districts as customers.
The company does not provide an overview of solar installations, making it difficult to determine whether the commercial business is flat, declining or on the rise. Language in its latest 10-Q suggests that Tesla is putting a renewed effort into its solar industry.
Tesla said it is working to improve the customer service experience for solar products, according to 10-Q. The company said that while solar system implementations have slowed down, they expect that they "will stabilize and grow during the second half."