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Tesla Offers Upgraded Chargers on Report of Smoke, Overheating

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/12/2014 Edward A. Sanchez

Being on the leading edge of a technology has its advantages, notably earning a reputation of being an innovator, and having that elusive "cool factor." But having new, unproven or proprietary technologies also opens you up to potential problems, as Tesla has learned with its electric cars, proprietary battery and charging technologies. In response to owner complaints about overheating while charging, Tesla is sending new charger connectors to owners.

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The replacements are being handled as a recall, although owners do not have to visit a service center to receive the new connectors. The new adapters include a thermal fuse designed to stop charging if it detects overheating. The new connectors are a follow-up to a software update sent out in December, which will cut charge current by as much as 25 percent if it detects conditions that can lead to overheating. Tesla has asserted that it believes most of the overheating incidents reported are attributable to incorrectly installed or inadequate electrical equipment and wiring in some of the owners' homes.

Tesla has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the issue, and the agency is tracking developments surrounding the recall. The charge overheating issue comes on the heels of several highly-publicized battery fires caused by road debris puncturing the battery pack.

Source: Bloomberg, Tesla


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