SolarCity Panels Spontaneously Ignite On Colorado Residential Rooftop

Update (1305ET): As @PlainSite reports, the unsealed version of the Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment has been posted in the SolarCity case in Delaware. Ernst & Young determined "THE COMPANY COULD NOT OPERATE AS A GOING CONCERN." See Document 306 (may be renumbered later).

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We've already documented how Walmart is suing Tesla for solar panels that allegedly caught fire on the roofs of not one, not two - but seven different Walmart stores. We also documented how Amazon followed suit with complaints about its solar panels spontaneously igniting. In early September, we posted a podcast with a solar panel expert who explained exactly how SolarCity's panels work and what he believes is making them defective. 

And last month we noted several homeowners who reported horror stories about their residential solar panels catching fire.

Now, it looks as though another example of a residential solar panel horror story has surfaced. A woman in Louisville, Colorado is warning people about Solar City panels after hers caught fire on her roof while she wasn't home, according to Fox 31 Denver.

The homeowner, Briana Greer, was out of town in August when the fire started on her rooftop solar panels. Neighbors had to help put the fire out, but not before it damaged three solar panels and her roof, pictured above. She had been leasing the panels from SolarCity for about two years. 

Tesla told Fox 31 Denver that its "solar panels are safe" and that they "very rarely catch fire". Then, as it does with Autopilot accidents, Tesla shrugged off the incident - and the customer. 

"Tesla said fires are much more likely to be caused by home lighting and appliances, rather than its solar panels," the report reads. 

Briana is now trying to get out of her contract with Tesla, which lasts another 18 years. 

Last month we documented similar residential fires caused by solar panels, like David Burek's, who noticed "charred wood and a burning smell in his attic, near his young sons' bedroom" last year. After he went up on his roof, he noticed a "melted connector wire" from the solar panels installed on his house. Firefighters would later tell him that flames had burned through his shingles, the roof and a support beam. Burek got lucky when rain put the fire out for him.

 

We noted in August that in addition to Tesla's internal solar panel cover up ("Project Titan") that we reported on here, Tesla was also reaching out to its customers and telling them that they now need to perform preventative maintenance on their solar panels. 

Burek, for instance, said he heard from Tesla in October 2018, five months after his panels had been removed. 

Burek said:

 “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.”

You can watch the full Fox 31 Denver report on Briana Greer's story here: