Earlier this week, we reported on a dispute between Tesla and Walmart over problems with a massive amount of solar power systems the former installed at the latter’s property.
It looks like both companies are now open to working together to solve this issue instead of going through the courts.
Several Tesla solar power systems installed at Walmart stores caught on fire over the last few years, and Walmart grew dissatisfied over how Tesla was addressing the issue.
They filed a lawsuit against Tesla earlier this year.
In its demand, Walmart wanted Tesla to pay back $8 million in cost that the retailer incurred due to the fires and other issues with the solar power system.
More significantly, the company also wanted Tesla to deinstall the over 240 solar power systems at its stores all over the US.
Days later, Tesla had yet to comment on the issue despite requests, but today, the two companies issued a joint statement confirming that they are working to address all the issues together and aim to re-energize the systems:
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.
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.
There’s no timeline on the resolution of these issues.
Business Insider also revealed that Tesla has been replacing faulty connectors and optimizers on many solar systems since last year.
That’s good news. I am glad to see that they are back to working together and hopefully, they are going to avoid legal proceedings.
A bunch of Tesla fans defended the company by saying that Tesla was the first to claim that Walmart breached the contract, but that was a weak argument.
Tesla claimed that Walmart’s demands were unreasonable by refusing to re-energize the systems and asking Tesla to deinstall them, leading to a breach of contract, but it doesn’t change the reason why Walmart wanted those things — namely, the several fires and failing service and maintenance.
There’s no doubt that Tesla didn’t handle the situation very well here, and yes, maybe Walmart’s request to keep all systems de-energized and even deinstall them was too extreme, but it doesn’t absolve Tesla.
Ultimately, I expect Tesla will agree to pay the cost that Walmart incurred due to the fires, and to update its inspection and maintenance processes. In return, Walmart will agree to re-energize the systems, and they will go back to benefiting from solar power.
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