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Walmart files lawsuit against Tesla over solar panel fire



Walmart has agreed to sue Tesla for rash of solar panels filed in August, according to a new filing with the New York Supreme Court. The store giant had claimed that "years of gross negligence" by Tesla – and its subsidiary's solar panel, SolarCity – caused a fire on the roof of at least seven of the stores and caused millions of dollars in damage, resulting in Walmart getting solar panels disabled.

"Walmart and Tesla are pleased to have resolved the issues raised by Walmart regarding the Tesla solar plants in Walmart stores," the companies said in a joint statement, without elaborating on the details of the agreement. "Safety is a top priority for every company, and with concerns raised, we are both looking forward to a secure re-energy of our sustainable energy systems."

Walmart's lawyers had accused SolarCity of adopting "a poorly regarded business model that required it to install solar panel systems in a random way and as quickly as possible to make a profit" in the explosive complaint. They claimed that SolarCity depended on contractors and subcontractors who "were not hired, trained and properly monitored."

The attorneys also claimed in the lawsuit that Tesla did not properly handle Walmart's complaints about the fires. Just days after the lawsuit was filed, Business Insider uncovered a secret program on Tesla called "Project Titan" that was spun up to fix the errors that led to a solar panel fire.

appears to have been in the works for a while. In August, Walmart spokeswoman Randy Hargrove told The Verge that the companies "worked against a resolution" before adding that "if you were to characterize it as a settlement, we would not dispute it." Tesla CEO Elon Musk also said in a recent court case that he spoke to Walmart's CEO shortly after the lawsuit, and the two "figured out a resolution."

"This lawsuit will be drawn," Sa Musk.

Update November 5, 11:57 PM ET: Added joint statement from Walmart and Tesla.


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