Tesla is now under the watchful eye of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), based on a complaint raised against the company's solar panels.
The BBC reports that this complaint came from a so-called whistleblower, who claims that the popular EV manufacturer "failed to notify" the public and its shareholders about fire hazards involving their solar power systems.
The alleged whistleblower, Steven Henkes, used to be a field quality manager for Tesla.
However, this investigation comes over a year after Henke's original complaint. Back then, he alleged that the company didn't properly inform the public about defects concerning the electrical connectors of their solar panels.
These connectors, according to Henkes, are sub-par enough to cause a house fire potentially. But then, Tesla reportedly downplayed the incident instead of telling customers to perform maintenance in light of the apparent fire hazard.
As of this writing, though the US-SEC made it clear that while they're investigating Henkes' complaint, it is not a clear indication that Tesla had committed any violations.
Furthermore, the US-SEC is not the only governing authority actively looking into this case. Back in March, the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that they're considering Henkes' testimony as evidence in a case, reports CNBC.
Henkes maintains that the fire risks remain a real threat to Tesla's customers who are using the company's solar panels-especially daily.
The EV company founded by multi-billionaire Elon Musk first entered the solar power business back in 2016. It began with the company's $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity, after over 85 percent of company shareholders approved the deal, reports The Verge.
Tesla Solar Panels Catching Fire
There actually has been a very public incident involving the EV manufacturer's solar panels, and it got the company tangled with another big name.
Around two years ago, Walmart sued Tesla for a breach of contract after panels atop seven of the retail giant's stores caught fire. But according to CNBC, breach of contract was only one of the cases: the other two included failure to live up to industry standards and gross negligence.
As a result, the retail chain asked the EV maker to take down their solar panels from 240 Walmart stores where they're installed and pay damages. Eventually, the two camps reached an agreement, and both agreed to drop the case.
No Stemming Tesla's March To Solar Dominance
Despite having these legal problems in tow, Tesla remains steadfast in its desire to make solar energy even more mainstream.
As of October, the company revealed its plans to speed up and increase solar roof installations all over the United States. They are encouraging even more people to sign up for the opportunity to have solar roof tiles installed, but not until after they've gone through a thorough review process.
This is a developing story.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce