Customers Claim Generac PWRcell Is Defective in Milberg Lawsuit
by Brian Eckert
Generac’s PWRcell system has a defective component that causes it to malfunction, alleges a class action lawsuit filed by Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman (“Milberg”).
If you purchased a PWRcell system, you may be eligible to join this lawsuit and receive financial compensation from Generac. You do not have to hire a lawyer. Milberg is representing all class members on a contingency-fee basis.
The Generac PWRcell System
Generac makes the PWRcell clean home energy system. The system stores energy from solar panels in lithium-ion batteries. It consists of a battery storage cabinet with three to six battery modules and an inverter. Solar panels are sold separately.
Electricity produced by the system can be used as primary or backup power for a home. Generac calls the PWRcell “the most flexible and scalable home energy system on the market.”
The PWRcell Brochure indicates that the starting price of the system, including solar panels and installation, is approximately $47,000. Generac advertises in the brochure that over 25 years, PWRcell customers can expect to save more than $68,000.
The SnapRS Defect
Each PWRcell system contains SnapRS connector components. A SnapRS connector is designed to be installed between each solar panel. The device meets U.S. National Electric Code rapid shutdown requirements for solar PV systems.
These requirements are meant to protect firefighters and solar workers from electrical hazards. Generac states that SnapRS can reduce solar system output to 75V in under 10 seconds.
As a result of the Defect, the Systems pose an unreasonable risk of harm to consumers and their property and are subject to premature failure. The Snaps overheat, melt, explode, and otherwise malfunction, which can cause fire damage to consumers’ homes as well as power surges, loss of electricity, and loss of monetary savings consumers expected when purchasing the Systems.
A Snap is installed between each solar panel module so that the module can be isolated. Connected modules form a singular solar panel array in which electricity flows through the Snaps, into a PV Link solar optimizer, and then to the PWRcell inverter for home use. However, if an individual Snap does not function properly, the entire electrical circuit is disrupted. When this happens, the system can be rendered useless.
According to Milberg’s lawsuit, the Snaps—which should remain in the “on” or “off” position—have a defect that makes them turn on and off repeatedly. This overactivity can cause the Snaps to overheat, deform, bulge, and separate. Overheating can additionally cause a system shutdown that requires a service technician to replace the defective Snaps. The lawsuit claims that Generac has acknowledged a failure rate of nearly 50% in its Snaps.
Generac has issued firmware updates and updated models of the Snaps, but the alleged defect continues to manifest, the lawsuit states, rendering the system unfit for its intended purpose.
Generac PWRcell Lawsuit Lead Plaintiffs and Class
The lead plaintiffs in the case claim that Generac knew—or should have known—about the PWRcell Snaps defect. In failing to disclose the defect to customers, remedy it, or recall the system, plaintiffs say they did not receive the benefits of what they paid for. They further assert that they would not have purchased the system, or paid less than what they did, had they known about the defect.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the plaintiffs look to establish a nationwide consumer class and subclasses for consumers from the states of Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The lawsuit cites breach of warranty, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and unjust enrichment claims, as well as violations of state consumer protection laws, and seeks damages that include:
- The difference in value of the systems as purchased and the systems as received
- Loss of use of the systems
- Repair and replacement costs, including labor and parts
- Breach of contract damages
- Damage to consumers’ homes
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Milberg pioneered federal class action litigation more than 50 years ago. We have a proud history of representing people in class action lawsuits that hold corporations accountable and provide real benefits to consumers, homeowners, professionals, investors, and businesses.