Tesla Motors is about to mail off a lot of packages. The California-based electric vehicle manufacturer is going to send out replacement, upgraded wall charger adapters to customers with official Tesla charging units. The reason is a recent garage fire that involved a Tesla Model S and a company wall charger, even though fire investigators said that the car was not responsible and Tesla said the wall unit did not play a role in the blaze.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an interview with Bloomberg today that replacement adapters will be mailed out in the next two weeks. Musk said fires and overheating adapters are “very rare events, but occasionally the wiring isn’t done right. We want people to have absolute comfort, so we’re going to be providing them with an upgraded adapter.” The new adapter has a thermal fuse that will shut off if it gets too hot. Musk did not say why the original wall charger adapter apparently did not have a thermal fuse in the design. AutoblogGreen has asked Tesla how many adapters will be sent out and if this is a global or US-only replacement program, but as of press time, we have not received a response. We’re also not sure if this will trigger a recall – the adapter is not, technically, part of the car – and hope Tesla can clarify this point soon.
Tesla’s first reaction to that garage fire in November was to update its charger software to automatically reduce the charge current under certain circumstances. To date, that incident in Irvine, CA is the only garage fire involving a Tesla wall charger that has been made public, but there are multiple reports of Tesla wall chargers heating up and melting, (see here, here or here), so it appears Tesla is trying to be safe rather than sorry.