Tesla is recalling car chargers that could overheat and, in some cases, cause a fire. The California-based automaker will provide owners of its cars with new charger adapters.
In a letter sent Sunday to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Tesla noted a small number of fires related to this issue. One fire that started in a garage in Irvine, California, in November was attributed to an overheating Tesla charger, according to reports. The NHTSA posted a notice Monday stating that 29,222 chargers were affected by this problem. However, Tesla has denied that the charger itself was the cause of the fire.
“While the number of incidents remains small, and Tesla’s review to date points to the building receptacle or wiring as the primary cause of failed NEMA 14-50 adapters,” Tesla said in the letter, “the Company has determined that a voluntary recall is appropriate as a precautionary measure.”
The carmaker has already provided a software update in December to address the issue.
While the company believes the over-the-air software update will fully address the problem, Tesla said in a statement Friday, “However, to provide additional protection for Model S customers, we have designed a new wall adapter with a thermal fuse.” Tesla also said Friday that the upgraded adapter would be provided to all existing and new Tesla owners “starting in a few weeks.”
“These are very rare events, but occasionally the wiring isn’t done right,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, according to Bloomberg. “We want people to have absolute comfort, so we’re going to be providing them with an upgraded adapter.”
Tesla has been in the safety spotlight recently following a small number of fires that occurred in cars after crashes, including two in which cars ran over metal objects. This fix is unrelated to those issues.
Aside from these issues, the Tesla Model S has earned top grades in government crash tests. Tesla says its car has earned the highest crash test scores of any car ever tested.
Touting the company’s over-the-air software upgrade capability, Musk tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “No Tesla vehicles are being physically recalled by Tesla.” Later he added in his tweet, “The word ‘recall’ needs to be recalled.”
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