Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) is upgrading home chargers due to heat issues

Posted Jan 10, 2014

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced today that they are going to provide Model S owners with updated home charger wall adapters with thermal fuses. This news follows reports that some wall sockets had melted or there was smoke that appeared when the vehicle was charging.

Although Tesla Motors vehicles have been proven to be the safest cars in the market, there has been three vehicles that have caught on fire and was put in the spotlight. Two of the vehicles caught on fire after the battery was punctured and one of those vehicles got into a car crash from driving recklessly. None of these incidents have result in an injury. The probes taking place for these accidents are separate from the home charger issues.

“In December 2013, Tesla released an over-the-air software update to address this issue, enabling the Model S onboard charging system to automatically reduce the charging current by 25 percent if it detects unexpected fluctuations in the input power to the vehicle. This fully addresses the issue by substantially reducing the heat generated in any high resistance connections outside the vehicle. This update increases robustness and safety considerably in the unlikely event that a home wiring system, receptacle, adapter or cord is unable to meet its rated current capacity,” wrote Tesla Motors in a statement.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said that the wiring issues are rare events and occasionally the wiring is not done right. ?We want people to have absolute comfort, so we?re going to be providing them with an upgraded adapter,? said Musk in an interview with Bloomberg. The new chargers will cost a few million dollars and will not have a material impact on the earnings. On the Tesla Motors Club forum, around six overheating incidents were reported between March and December of 2013. Tesla Motors informed the NHTSA about the overheating incidents, the software update, and the new charger adapters.