Walmart, Tesla pause in legal fight over fiery solar panels

Fire damage on the roof of a Walmart store in Indio California

Fire damage on the roof of a Walmart store in Indio California

Walmart sued Tesla for "gross negligence" Tuesday, saying that the electric vehicle company's energy division installed solar panels that went up in flames on its store rooftops.

Tesla declined to comment on Einhorn's tweet, pointing instead to the joint statement that it put out with Walmart on Thursday.

Walmart had asked the court to order the removal of all Tesla solar panels from its stores, but now the companies say they're working toward a deal to keep the panels in place, fix them, and begin using them again.

"The lawsuit says that Tesla had engaged in widespread, systemic negligence and had failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating, and maintaining its solar systems". The Tesla spokesperson added that Tesla's software-monitoring applications found a "small number" of connectors experienced failures and disconnects higher than expected. However, Walmart claims SolarCity's business model, "required it to install solar panel systems haphazardly and as quickly as possible in order to turn a profit, and the contractors and subcontractors who performed the original installation work had not been properly hired, trained, and supervised". "This campaign to replace any faulty connectors at these sites is Tesla fulfilling that commitment". According to documents seen by Business Insider, as many as 120,000 components were quarantined and were stored in warehouses and distribution centers. It was referred to as Project Titan.

Walmart filed its Tuesday lawsuit after suffering a series of seven fires since 2012 on stores with solar panels on them. The repairs have apparently cost Walmart millions of dollars. However, it was "clear that Tesla had breached its contractual obligations", and the firm was asked to disconnect the systems, which Tesla did.

A prominent hedge fund manager is calling on Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk to resign following reports that the electric automaker's solar panels have been catching fire. Tesla shares dropped by 1.1 percent following the news, with the stock dropping by a total of 32 percent this year alone.