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This power failure occurred after you had the battery changed at Wal-Mart, correct?

It is possible that the wrong model battery was installed. With that said, a 12vdc battery with a higher amperage rating ("too big") will not cause a power surge nor any form of malfunction like you have described.

If the installation was not done properly (a cable not sufficiently tightened, say), then you could get a lot of weird effects, but killing the battery is not likely.

What I have seen, though, is a battery of the wrong shape (too tall) that shorted out through the hood of the vehicle. A good indicator of this would be corrosion along the inside of said hood right over where the battery sits.
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