A proposed $67 million settlement has been reached between BP LLC and a consumer class of solar panel owners who claim the oil company sold defective solar panels to California residents. The claimed flaw was in the junction box component of the products, which caused the solar panels to fail, resulting in loss of electric current and risk of fire. These solar panels cannot be repaired and therefore must be removed and replaced.
Consumers complained that the solar panels were marketed by third-party retailers, including Home Depot, and advertised as safe, reliable and warrantied to produce adequate amounts of electricity for 25 years. BP was allegedly aware of the defect as early as 2003, but continued to manufacture and sell the panels despite the reported flaw in the junction box.
Law360 (subscription) reports that the settlement includes a full replacement of solar panels for the consumer class with models that have higher failure rates, as well as replacement of individual failed panels in lesser affected systems. Owners whose system failure rates exceed 20 percent will be eligible for full product replacement. In addition, BP solar panel owners will receive an installation of a free new inverter with advanced safety technology.
As noted in the settlement motion, “Crucially, the settlement is designed to eliminate all safety risk to all S-type panel owners because those who are not entitled to full replacement will be made far safer through inspection and installation of an inverter.”
BP Solar Panel Defective Product Attorneys
Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel represent California consumers in the class action lawsuit against BP Solar International and Home Depot U.S.A. charging that the companies sold defective solar panels.
The complaint alleged violations of California consumer protection and unfair business practice laws as well as breaches of express and implied warranties by BP and Home Depot. The lawsuit claims the defect in the solar panels makes them substantially certain to fail well before the end of their useful life, rendering them unfit for the purpose for which they were sold.
Learn more about the BP Solar Panel defects lawsuit.