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Xantrex Inverter Recall Update - Is SolarCity Complying?

05/13/11

  06:52:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 328 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power

Xantrex Inverter Recall Update

We have written at some length about the Xantrex inverter recall in the past and now Xantrex has sent out what it is terming a “Reminder/Second Notice” about the need to comply with the terms of the recall.  The new Notice, dated April 21, 2011, does not reveal anything about the problem that had not been reported previously; specifically, that a faulty component could degrade, causing out gassing within the inverter wiring compartment.  In the presence of an arc, the lid of the inverter could be blown off, possibly injuring anyone unfortunate enough to be standing in front of the inverter at that time.  The repair appears to be simple enough and Xantrex is compensating installers for performing the repairs.

So far so good.

But the April 21 Notice also contains this “recommended action":

Dealers/Installers: Please prominently display a copy of this Notice and Poster in your walk up counter area, website, or other area with customer visibility. (Emphasis added.)

As we reported before, SolarCity appears to be one of, if not the, largest installers of Xantrex inverters in California.  Yet here we are, three months into this recall and, despite an explicit admonishment from the manufacturer to display a copy of the recall Notice on installers’ websites, a search today of the SolarCity website comes up empty.

The community of solar installers has an absolute obligation to our clients - and our potential clients - to be absolutely candid about issues that arise within this industry.  Providing appropriate information about a major inverter recall - both directly to affected customers and indirectly to the larger public via your website - is the least we should be doing to address this issue.

We want the public to have confidence in the equipment and services that we provide and such confidence is vital to the growth our our industry.  Complying with the explicit terms of a manufacturer’s recall Notice should be a no brainer.  Sadly, some companies - including industry giant SolarCity - are still fumbling the ball.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
In addition, Run on Sun offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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