First Walmart and now, Amazon! The Story of Tesla Solar Panels Catching Fire
First, it was Walmart whose shops caught fire due to Tesla solar panels and that resulted in Walmart suing the electric car maker. Now, Amazon has also experienced a fire that stems from Tesla’s solar panels, as reported by CNBC.
Amazon also revealed that it has no further plans to install any more solar panel systems following the incident. However, Tesla claims that incident is isolated.
Somehow, Tesla’s claims of Amazon’s incident being isolated are dumbfounded. In the past week, Walmart has filed a lawsuit against Tesla. Walmart alleges that the fires at sever of its stores were due to the solar panel systems, and the company had Tesla install them on more than 200 of its stores across the states.
What Happened at Amazon’s Redland, California Warehouse?
Amazon discloses Tesla solar panels on the roof of one of its warehouses caused a fire last year. Such adds to the scrutiny of Tesla’s solar panel business following Walmart’s lawsuit filed against Tesla last week which has condemned the electric car giant’s solar business to the bottom of the barrel.
Amazon revealed to Bloomberg in an email on Friday that one of Tesla’s installed solar energy systems installed at its Redlands, California warehouse caught fire in June 2018. Representatives from the e-commerce giant declined to comment in public regarding the incident but have somehow confirmed that the company will no longer be working with Tesla anymore.
Following the news of Walmart suing Tesla, both companies released statements that they are in talks to resolve the issue. However, the issue has become serious since Walmart has suffered damages at 7 of its stores which also resulted in these stores getting closed temporarily.
The Amazon warehouse incident somehow looks to be a small-scale incident and the e-commerce behemoth revealed that it has a relatively smaller number of solar panel systems installed in comparison to Walmart.
Walmart installed Tesla’s solar panel systems from its subsidiary SolarCity some time ago and Tesla acquired the solar energy company in 2016, aiming to create a one-stop shop for everything solar.
However, things are not rosy for Tesla as its acquisition of SolarCity back then for USD$ 26 billion is marred by controversy that still goes on today. Elon Musk’s first cousins Peter Rive and Lyndon Rive were the brains behind SolarCity and Musk held 1/5th of the company’s shares valued around USD$ 575 million at the end of the year 2015.
Such does not spare either Tesla or its subsidiary SolarCity. The operations of SolarCity are not going well as its parent Tesla had hoped. It faced issues in production due to technical challenges a year ago. A recent report says that Tesla has been exporting most of the solar cells it has produced made at its Gigafactory in New York, instead of using them for Solar Roof installations.
A representative from Tesla communicates the following to Business Insider:
“All 11 Amazon sites with solar from Tesla are generating energy and are proactively monitored and maintained. Last year, there was an isolated event that occurred in an inverter at one of the Amazon sites. Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to root cause the event and remediate. We also performed inspections at other sites, which confirmed the integrity of the systems. As with all our commercial solar installations, we continue to proactively monitor the systems to ensure they operate safely and reliably.”
How Much Does Walmart’s Lawsuit Add to Tesla’s Woes?
Walmart filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming its solar panels were responsible for fires at seven of its stores. Such has forced the retail giant to take off solar panels from all of its 240 stores where they were installed by Tesla.
Walmart released the following statement in its complaint against Tesla:
“To this day, Tesla has not provided Walmart with the complete set of final ‘root cause’ analyses needed to identify the precise defects in its systems that caused all the fires. The number of defects, however, is overwhelming and plainly indicative of systemic, widespread failures by Tesla to meet the standard of care, as set forth in the governing contracts, as to the solar systems installed at Walmart’s stores.”
Tesla is yet to respond to Walmart’s complaint.
Will Tesla Survive the Onslaught Through Its Latest Tactics?
Last summer, Tesla started ‘Project Titan’ which is known be an attempt in quietly replacing defective solar-panel parts across the United States, as per documents seen by Business Insider.
However, Tesla’s solar business has been hit by a sharp drop in sales. CEO Elon Musk is yet to tweet about the complaints. Instead, he announced a refurbished pricing plan as a way to boost the slowdown in the solar business.
Somehow, no one seems to be convinced by Elon Musk’s statement.