Following reports of Tesla solar panels catching fire at Walmart and Amazon locations, residential owners are now claiming that Tesla solar panels on their homes are now causing fires.
The Los Angeles Times reports that following the news that Walmart was suing Tesla, claiming that solar panels installed by the firm caused fires at multiple Walmart locations, and Amazon has now claimed to face similar issues with Tesla solar panels, residential solar panel owners are also reporting fires and fire hazards.
Breitbart News recently reported that retail giant Walmart Inc. is suing Elon Musk’s company over a number of roof fires at multiple Walmart stores which the firm alleges were caused by Elon Musk’s solar panels. Walmart is suing for breach of contract and is alleging “gross negligence” on Tesla’s part. Walmart is alleging that fires on the rooftops of stores in California, Maryland, and Ohio were the result of Tesla solar panels. Amazon is claiming that in June 2018, one of the firms warehouses in Redland, California, was set ablaze following a malfunction by a solar panel system installed by Tesla’s SolarCity division.
Now, individuals that installed Tesla solar panels on their residential homes are claiming that they too are facing fire hazards. The LA Times claims that an individual named David Burek found melted connector wiring from the Tesla solar panels installed on the roof of his house in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and called firefighters who discovered that flames had burned through the shingles, roof, and a support beam.
Another man in Waldorf, Maryland, named Ken Tomasello claims a fire broke out at his home that caused a section of the ceiling to crash into the house; the house was so badly damaged that Tomasello and his wife were forced to live in a hotel for more than a year. Both homes had installed Tesla solar rooftop panels.
Tesla has reportedly reached out to homeowners across the U.S. informing them that their rooftop solar panels require preventative maintenance. Tesla claims that these maintenance operations are designed to ensure that the systems last for 10 to 20 years. Burek said he heard from Tesla in October 2018 five months after his solar panels had been removed. Burek stated: “When I called Tesla back, they said our system had been flagged for bad connectors. I told them there was no system to maintain because they’d already caused a fire on my roof.”
Tesla commented on this stating: “While we strive for zero risks across all of our products, this rate of risk presents less of a household danger than a home washer or dryer.” Joe Osha, an equity analyst at JMP Securities, commented on solar panels in general stating: “There’s a lot of emphasis by solar companies on getting that installation but insufficient emphasis on making sure that the system is rigorously operated and maintained. These are not install-and-forget assets.”
Tomasello commented on the Walmart lawsuit stating: “When I heard about the Walmart fires, I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m sure there are other homes that have had experiences similar to ours.” One year after the fire that broke out at his home, Burek posted photos to Facebook stating: “I caution you on using Tesla or any solar company for that matter as while it can certainly save you money it may potentially cost you much much more. To us our family is way more valuable than any amount of money we would ever save.”