Walmart wasted no time balling its fists when it filed a recent lawsuit against Tesla, alleging gross negligence and breach of contract over the installation of solar panels on the roofs of 244 of the mega-retailer’s stores following a series of fires at 7 of their outlets.
The retailer accused Tesla of breach of contract and gross negligence, and claim that panels installed at the 7 stores “weren’t properly grounded”.
“In light of Tesla’s breaches of the contracts, Walmart now seeks a declaration that Tesla has breached its contractual obligations and recovery of the out-of-pocket costs and other contractual payments that Tesla has refused to pay, along with any other damages and relief that this Court deems just and proper.”
In the lawsuit, Walmart asked Tesla to remove the solar systems on all 244 stores, and compensate the retailer for damages to stores, and stock lost to the fires. The installation contract is part of Walmart's rollout of low-carbon electric vehicle charging points.
Now, less than a week later, both companies are singing a different tune.
Both companies have refused to disclose the value of the lawsuit and other details regarding the matter, but it seems temperatures, both in-store and at headquarters have cooled sufficiently for the lawsuit to be put on hold, and for the companies to reach an agreement that would keep the solar installations restored to service, according to a joint statement.
“Walmart and Tesla look forward to addressing all issues and re-energizing Tesla solar installations at Walmart stores, once all parties are certain that all concerns have been addressed,” the statement read. “Together, we look forward to pursuing our mutual goal of a sustainable energy future. Above all else, both companies want each and every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely.”
The lawsuit remains in effect, on file with the New York state court, with a Walmart spokesperson saying it is “actively working towards a resolution” with Tesla.
The about-turn in sentiments have softened would possibly have been a major blow to both revenue and reputation, after Tesla announced efforts to boost performance in the solar division, which battled during the first quarter of 2019. The company has just recently launched a rental option for solar panels, and a new, utility-targetted electricity storage solution called Megapack.