advertisement
advertisement

Tesla Recalls 29,000 Model S Chargers Over Fire Concerns

The NEMA 14-50 adapters could overheat while charging, potentially leading to the melting of the adapter, cord, and socket–or “in a worst-case scenario, fire.”

Tesla Recalls 29,000 Model S Chargers Over Fire Concerns
[Image: Flickr user jecoopr]

Tesla is recalling 29,000 Model S charging adapters over concerns about potential fire hazards. In a letter sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company noted its NEMA 14-50 adapters could overheat while charging, potentially leading to the melting of the adapter, cord, and socket–or “in a worst-case scenario, fire.”

advertisement

Tesla’s solution to the voluntary recall is an over-the-air software update that will reduce heat generated in high-resistance connections. The company says the issue affects less than 3% of its chargers. With the update, the onboard charging system will be able to detect unexpected fluctuations in input power and respond by reducing the charging current by 25%. Though Tesla says the update will fully address the issue, it is also engineering a new adapter plug with a thermal fuse to improve reliability. The chargers will be mailed to customers for free when they become available.

Jerome Guillen, Tesla sales vice president, said 99% of Model S adapters already received the software update, which was released last month. “This is one of the safest, if not the safest, cars on the road,” he said, noting Model S cars have been driven 168 million miles.

Three high-profile fires involving the Model S occurred in the fall, but CEO Elon Musk asserts that the risk of fire in a gas-powered car is five times greater than with Tesla’s electric cars.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

More

Video