LEHI — Vivint Solar announced Thursday it has filed a counter suit in a civil case brought by the New Mexico Attorney General's office in March, in which the company was accused of unfair business practices, fraud and racketeering.
Vivint Solar alleges the New Mexico Attorney General's office violated a New Mexico records statute when it failed to respond in a timely manner to a records request in the case. Vivint also indicated it was seeking disqualification of the law firm representing New Mexico in the case based on claims the firm had made campaign contributions to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas in 2016. Vivint is also seeking dismissal of some claims made by Balderas' office in the case.
In a statement, a Vivint Solar spokeswoman said the company took action "after negotiations about resolving the litigation broke down" and that New Mexico's case "makes unfair accusations and misleading claims" and the company looks forward to defending the case in court.
"These actions further underscore the company's belief that the attorney general's lawsuit is baseless, creates confusion about the solar industry, and doesn't serve New Mexicans, who deserve better," the spokeswoman said.2 comments on this story
In a March release, Balderas said an investigation conducted by his office uncovered evidence that Vivint's actions in New Mexico have led to "hundreds of clouded titles" to residents' homes, that the company employs "high-pressure sales techniques and procedures designed to mislead consumers," and binds customers into 20-year contracts under which rates increase "by over 72 percent" over the life of the agreement.
"I will fight to protect the rights of all New Mexico consumers and hold giant, out-of-state corporations accountable who abuse, mislead and employ dishonest practices to defraud our hardworking families," Balderas said at the time. "Every New Mexican deserves access to clean, affordable energy, and the development and expansion of rooftop solar should be encouraged by businesses that use the industry's best practices to help consumers become more energy independent."