US firm 1 SolTech Inc has been ordered to pay USD 5.8 million (EUR 5.45m) in civil penalties and attorney’s fees and over USD 2.7 million in restitution to affected consumers for falsely claiming its solar panels were US-made.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office on Monday filed an agreed final judgment and permanent injunction in Travis County District court, resolving the state’s legal action against the photovoltaics (PV) maker and its principals -- Sandy Fardi, Hossein “Zak” Fardi and Ali Enrique Razavi. Apart from the restitution and civil penalties, the defendants are also ordered to cease making misrepresentations on the geographical origin and certifications of their solar panels.
The state of Texas filed a petition against 1 SolTech and the other three defendants in September 2013 for labelling solar panels produced in China as “Made in the USA”. The US Government was among the company’s customers. It installed such panels on military bases and airports, for which taxpayer-funded projects there is a legal requirement to use American-made materials.
In addition, the state has determined that the PV panels sold by 1 SolTech were not certified to conform to the required safety and performance standard for such products in the US, UL 1703. The company has to inform notify customers about this risk.
After filing bankruptcy in October 2014, 1 SolTech sought to enjoin the state’s lawsuit.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.940)
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