Walmart is suing Tesla, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle and clean energy company, after its solar panels atop seven Walmart stores allegedly caught on fire, CNBC reported. The lawsuit, which details evacuations, damaged property and inventory, claims breach of contract, gross negligence and failure to live up to industry standards. Walmart is asking Tesla to remove its solar panels from more than 240 Walmart locations, and to pay for damages related to all the fires.
“Tesla routinely deployed individuals to inspect the solar systems who lacked basic solar training and knowledge,” CNBC reported Walmart alleged in the lawsuit. Walmart also claimed that the Tesla-installed solar panels contained a high number of defects that were visible to the naked eye.
Total Retail's Take: Walmart's lawsuit against Tesla comes at a time when more and more retailers are trying to be eco-friendly, whether that means LEED-certified stores, sustainable products, among other initiatives. For example, Macy's and J.C. Penney recently announced partnerships with thredUP, the online thrift store, to begin selling second-hand clothes in Macy's and J.C. Penney stores. Furthermore, many retailers provide an incentive for customers to shop with reusable bags to reduce waste. Consumers are increasingly looking to shop and spend their money with brands that share common values, including a commitment to environmental sustainability.