A photo depicting to damage incurred in the fires, part of Walmart's lawsuit

US retail mega-chain Walmart has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, with accusations of “gross negligence and failure,” alleging the solar giant’s panels, installed at almost 250 stores in the US, were responsible for fires at several of its branches.

The accusation made against Tesla alleges that the solar panels installed on the roofs of Walmart stores were faulty, and weren’t properly grounded, which resulted in fires at seven of its stores, including locations in the areas of Beavercreek, Denton and Indio.

Walmart claims the fires destroyed significant amounts of stock, and stores have required extensive repairs.

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The lawsuit alleges: “This is a breach of contract action arising from years of gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards by Tesla with respect to the solar panels that Tesla designed, installed and promised to operate and maintain safety on the roofs of hundreds of Walmart stores.

“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.”

The news comes just a few days after Tesla launched its solar rental option, and the recent announcement of a utility-scale storage option.

Walmart claims it gave Tesla a 30 day period to deliver analyses of the incidents including the cause of the fires, and make compensation for damages in July, but claim that as at 15 August, Tesla “had still not taken any reasonable steps towards curing its breaches”