Tesla Solar Fires and project "Titan"

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by David Green, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Interesting news coming to light with the recent lawsuit filed against Tesla by Walmart, looks like Tesla knew their solar systems had flaws which could lead to fires and were quietly trying to make repairs (Project Titan), do we have a product safety cover up here? Has there been fires leading to injuries or worse? Wow, Lawyers all over the country are salivating this AM...

    I read a quote by a former Tesla Employee saying there have been many fires, not just a Walmart.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  2. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Not surprised to hear about many fires. This dates back to when Solar City was running the business and I would suggest that Tesla should not be blamed. Clearly Solar City simply hired the cheapest contractors and did not properly vet them. From the description, these installers didn't even have an electrician's licence and possibly didn't require one. In the picture it shows panels installed with the angle facing different directions. Anybody who knows anything about solar installations knows the slope goes down toward the south. These installers were clueless.
     
  3. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    I am not sure that I agree with that. Elon and one more Tesla Director were on the Solar City Board and Elon's cousins (His cousins, Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive, were SolarCity’s CEO and chief technology officer, respectively) were running Solar City. He also was the principal shareholder (22%) in Solar City (https://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/17/solarcity-shareholders-vote-on-tesla-merger.html). When a company buys out another company, they are buying the liabilities also. That is why you perform due diligence, to ferret out potential risks. I may be wrong, but I am sure someone at the time of the merger had an inkling of the problems, though may be not of the magnitude. So the question becomes "how much and to what depth was the due dillegence done?". If they knew about it (or it was something that they could have reasonably found out), and did nothing, that Tesla cannot claim innocence.

    Also, I do not know how much of this problem was due to Elon's unwillingness to settle and be ready to negotiate. Tesla is known to be pretty quick to litigate and go to court. Walmart is known to be even more aggressive with the use of Lawyers and its unwillingness to compromise. This is why you need a seasoned executive managing operations, someone could have handled the situation before it became public.
     
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  4. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

  5. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

  6. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

  7. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I have been involved in a lawsuit with Wally due to non payment of a construction contract extras, their lawyers are good, but in our case Wally was wrong to try to hold our money on signed change orders, and lost in the end, although we received only a portion of our lawyer fees and no interest. They owed us about $80K it cost us about $10K to collect when it was all said and done, so the lawyers were the real winners. Lesson, do not do work for Wally, as they will attempt to scam you, other big companies like Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon in our area always pay their bills on time with no BS. Actually Tesla can be a slow payer on their tenant improvements, or so I hear from industry sources, we have not worked for them so no first hand experience.
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member

    As a retired network engineer for NASA contractors, I've seen some pretty dismal examples and some stellar wiring. The worst, someone left a soda can leaning against a 66 block:
    [​IMG]
    HVAC vibration led to intermittent network errors from the empty soda can leaning against the 66 block.

    My point is I've seen a lot of variability and in power circuits, they lead to fires:
    gNN-kx.mp4

    Bob Wilson
     
  9. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Bob, With Tesla we are talking about 7 Walmart stores with similar fire incidents, and now Amazon too... It looks to me like Tesla was blowing Walmart off until they sued, and got media attention, Now Tesla wants to fix it... Haha!
     
  10. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Having read Tesla's rebuttal, I now side completely with Tesla. They acknowledged the problem and have spent over $660k to rectify. Most of that money was for damages paid to Walmart. They identified short comings and have repaired, and inspected 30 out of the 248 stores, including all the ones that had fire, but Walmart is blocking them from doing the rest and at the same time demanding another $600k as punishment to Tesla for their inconvenience.
     
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  11. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Tesla is in deep Shoot, and it's not just Walmart, after news broke of Walmart suing Tesla there are many other fire cases that have come forward incl Amazon, and a couple of large insurance companies are investigating there claims files.

    As for Tesla's doing 660K worth of work to rectify the problem, If Walmart has lost faith in the contractor (in this case tesla) to make repairs it is typical to lock them out, and hire outsiders to continue the repairs (and, or sue). Tesla responsibility continues, and if they broke any laws / codes with their process they would be negligent, leading to punitive damages. Walmart is not stupid, and has a building full of lawyers, they usually just wear out their adversary legally, and settle, but in this case they have already cost Tesla investors several billion dollars in lost market cap with the bad publicity and I am sure cost quite a few future Tesla solar sales. as most people do not want their house to catch fire.

    I am sure Walmart is asking for more than 600K in punitive payment as that is pocket lint for a company like Walmart.
     
  12. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    More Solar fires, Bob, and more lawsuits...

    https://www.seattletimes.com/busine...source=twitter&utm_campaign=owned_buffer_tw_m
     
  13. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    This article states that there were 3 private home fires, and that Tesla has reached out to all their customers, including the ones that had the fires to effect the required repairs and replace the faulty component. Tesla has apparently been pro-active in addressing this problem and successfully fixed or is fixing most problems but was too late for these 3. And you are right Walmart is suing Tesla for an additional $2M, just because.
     
  14. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Maybe Tesla should spend more time in design and testing, so there are less issues when their products are deployed. It's like opening the Model X rear doors, or Model 3 trunk in the rain, oops... nobody thought of that water on the surface. Model X and 3 just get you and your stuff wet, but the solar could burn down your house.
     
  15. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Oh, I agree 100%. But in this case it was Solar City, and not really Tesla's fault. But in terms of Tesla cars, I sometimes get the impression of very immature designers gung-ho on new features without practical concern for functionality and safety. I have read about the Falcon Wing doors accidently opening as the driver exits his garage because the key fob in his pocket got bumped. The car doors should not be allowed to open if the car is moving. Pretty basic I think. If it is really necessary to move the car with the doors open, it should be a single use option buried in the menu options.
     
  16. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Solar City is Tesla, nearly identical management and board, and Elon wanted to risk Tesla to save Solar City from bankruptcy, and make sure his family and friends did not lose $$$. I guess Elon could be called loyal, except to the investors, when he faked them out with that solar roof demo, saying the roofs were rolling out the next Qtr... I guess he meant Qtr decade, as we are now almost 3 years later, and no volume solar roof product.
     
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member

    Apparently everyone is 'less unhappy':
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/05/w...h-tesla-over-solar-panel-fires-drops-lawsuit/

    Walmart has dropped a lawsuit that accused Tesla of breach of contract and gross negligence after rooftop solar panel systems on seven of the retailer’s stores allegedly caught fire.

    A settlement has been reached and stipulation of dismissal has been filed with the court, a Walmart spokesperson said in an email. It is unclear what the settlement entails. TechCrunch has requested more information and will update the article if new details emerge.

    The two companies issued a joint release Tuesday announcing that the issues raised by Walmart have been resolved.

    Bob Wilson
     
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Glad to see the Wal*Mart vs. Tesla suit has been settled.

    But let's not forget that this was, apparently, a systemic problem with older SolarCity solar power installations that predate Tesla taking over the company. Tesla inspecting and fixing the installations at some or all Wal*Mart stores doesn't mean the issue has been solved for other customers.

    I certainly don't agree with the bizarre Tesla-bashing assertions by "David Green" that Tesla somehow retroactively caused the bad installations which were done before Tesla bought out the company. :rolleyes: But going forward, Tesla is responsible for fixing problems in installed equipment that's still being used.

     
  19. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Tesla has stated that the fires were the result of one faulty connector that did not meet manufacturer's specifications and carry the current it was designed for without overheating. They say they have identified ALL installed systems that have used this connector and replaced all of them.
     
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