Walmart Inc. is not the single corporation that has recognized its Tesla Inc. solar panels catch fire.
On Friday, Amazon.com Inc. stated a June 2018 fire on the roof of one among its warehouses in Redlands, California, involved a solar panel system that Tesla’s SolarCity division had installed. The Seattle-based retail giant mentioned by email that it has since taken steps to protect its facilities and has no plans to put in other Tesla systems.
Tesla also stated in a report it worked with Amazon following the “isolated event” last year that occurred in an inverter at one of the sites.
Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to cause the event and remediate, they mentioned. They also carried out inspections on the other sites, which verified the integrity of the systems, including that all 11 Amazon sites are producing energy and are observed and maintained.
News of the Amazon fire issues just three days after Walmart released a bombshell lawsuit against Tesla, accusing it of poor panel installations that led to fires at more than a half-dozen stores. The claims frighten to further consume Tesla’s solar business at a time when the corporate is struggling to earn back market share.
Walmart and Tesla issued a joint announcement late Thursday, saying they were in discussions to resolve their issues. Each company wants every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely, they stated. Tesla fell 0.8% in after-hours trading on Friday to $209.75.
In the complaint filed Tuesday, Walmart said it had leased or licensed roof space at more than 240 stores to Tesla’s energy unit. Two of the Walmart fires occurred in May 2018. Amazon stated it has a minimal number of solar systems installed by Tesla.
More broadly known for its electric cars, Tesla bought panel installer SolarCity three years ago in a $2 billion deal that proved highly controversial. SolarCity’s chief executive officer on time is the cousin of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Musk was the chairman of SolarCity’s board.
Also this week, Business Insider reported that Tesla launched an effort to replace a defective part used in some of its solar panel systems last year. It was unclear whether points with the component known as a “connector” affected Walmart or Amazon installations.
Tesla stated in response to the Business Insider story that some connectors manufactured by Amphenol Corp. Experienced failures and disconnections at a higher rate than their standards allow. Over the past year, the company stated, less than 1% of sites with these connectors exhibited abnormal behavior.