MDL Sought for Generac Solar Power System Lawsuits

MDL Sought for Generac Solar Power System Lawsuits

Many have switched to solar panels since they are cost-effective and an environmentally friendly renewable energy source. However, people are filing lawsuits alleging that defective Generac home solar power systems have caused residential fires, power loss, and electrocutions. Plaintiffs have requested the creation of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for these solar panel lawsuits against Generac. 

What Products Are Involved in the Lawsuits?

Generac Holdings Inc. is an American manufacturer of energy technology. The company creates generators and clean energy products like battery storage systems for homeowners and businesses. 

Generac manufactures a line of residential energy systems called the PWRcell Solar. The PWRcell is a battery storage system that can store solar energy to power homes and provide backup power during a utility power outage. Homeowners install this battery alongside solar panels, so the home receives energy, and the battery stores excess energy for future use. 

PWRcell systems use specialized switches to allow for a rapid shutdown. The SnapRS 801 switches are installed between each solar panel to de-energize the solar panels. These power switches protect people, like first responders, from live electricity in emergencies. 

Are Generac Solar Power Systems Dangerous?

Individuals claim the SnapRS switches are prone to shut off, catch fire, melt, and cause other malfunctions. Lawsuits allege Generac knew about the problems with these switches as early as 2021. Solar contractors informed the company that they found melted and charred switches and that these components failed too often. In August 2021, Generac received two reports of fires caused by the faulty switches. 

By June 2022, Generac had failed to provide any solution despite a near 50% failure rate associated with the hazardous switches. 

Plaintiffs Request MDL for Generac Solar Power System Failures

Generac is already facing a class action lawsuit filed by those affected by the Generac solar switches. The class action seeks compensation for property damage and lost energy production. 

On March 3, 2023, plaintiff, Dustin Moon, asked for the formation of an MDL for Generac solar power failure cases. A multidistrict litigation consolidates similar lawsuits under one judge to efficiently address claims and conserve resources. Moon states that an MDL is appropriate for Generac home solar power system lawsuits because they share similar questions of fact. According to Moon, all cases allege SnapRS switches become overactive and repeatedly turn on and off, causing them to overheat, melt, and catch fire.