Tesla Distributes New Charging Adapters And Struggles With “Recall” Label
January 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Tesla Motors Inc. is issuing a recall involving 29,000 charging adapters for its 2013 Model S electric cars. Tesla informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a letter that the charging adapters might be a potential fire hazard.
In the letter, Tesla says that the NEMA 14-50 adapters used for 240-volt recharging of the Model S electric car can overheat, leading to melted adapters or start a fire. The adapter connects the car’s charging plug to the household receptacle.
Since 2012, about 2.7 percent of the adapters were returned because they ceased charging. In late 2013, Tesla learned of several cases in which there was damage outside the adapter itself, including a fire in a garage in Irvine, Calif.
The fire controversy started to heat up when three Tesla Model S’s caught on fire within 6 weeks. However, 1 was due to a horrendous high-speed collision
The electric car company has described the recall as voluntary. Once a manufacturer is aware of a safety problem, they must inform the safety agency within five days if a recall is called.
Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla Motors Inc., has found problems with this system, unhappy with the charger problem being labeled a recall. “Because Tesla gets so much attention, NHTSA rides us pretty hard. People are going to think our car has a greater propensity for fire than a gasoline car, which is simply untrue,” said Musk in an interview with Bloomberg. No cars have been recalled; however identifying a safety issue and issuing a component to fix it warrants the recall attention
Tesla has since engineered a new adapter for owners that include an internal thermal fuse. Although the safety controversy, there is no danger to profits for the electric car manufacturer. Tesla sold 18,000 brand new cars last year; the bestselling full-size luxury sedan nationwide was the Mercedes S-Class, selling sold 12,000.