Tesla Upgrades Charger Adapters, But Home Wiring Still A Concern

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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has gotten a lot of flak for the few Model S fires late last year. The November garage fire was of particular interest, especially because of the photos of melted Tesla charging cables which several drivers have posted on the Tesla Motors Club forum.


Tesla continues proactive stance

As it turns out, Bloomberg reports today that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is sending out upgraded chargers for its Model S sedans. This comes in the wake of a software update the automaker sent out previously, which is designed to reduce the risk of fire from faulty home wiring. Clearly, Tesla continues to be proactive with these problems, providing solutions when there is any question whatsoever about whether its cars or equipment is causing problems.

Faulty wiring could still cause problems for Tesla cars

But will the new charging connecters eliminate the fire risk completely? The short answer is, the number of variables involved in any fire or melted cable situation is immense. In other words, owners of Tesla’s cars or any other electric vehicles would do well to make sure the wiring in their home or garage is in good shape.

An automotive technician with expertise in green cars believes that the majority of issues which could cause a fire or melted cables told ValueWalk that faulty home or garage wiring is most often the problem.

What could go wrong when charging a Tesla

Jordan Perch of DMV.com assessed the photos from the forum and provided us with a list of all the things which could go wrong that don’t have anything to do with Tesla’s charging adapters.

“One of the potential issues that could cause the NEMA 14-50 adapter to catch fire and melt is failing to lock the adapter into the universal mobile connector, since leaving even a small gap there could heat up the adapter, and eventually melt it. Another possible reason is having too many amps going through. It this occurs, the circuit breaker should trip, meaning that the power is turned off, so that the circuit doesn’t overheat. A circuit breaker trip can occur as a result of an overloaded circuit, a ground fault, or a short circuit. This means that the adapter could have melted because of faulty circuit breaker, that didn’t trip when too much electricity started running through the same circuit.”

“There could have been a wire somewhere in the wall socket touching a metal screw or some other metal part, a situation which is highly likely to cause a fire. Also, an overloaded circuit can be the reason, as well. If your home has old wiring that is in bad shape, or it doesn’t has the capacity to withstand the electrical loads from multiple appliances being plugged in at the same time, chances are that a fire can
occur at some point, especially if you install an additional outlet and use it to charge your electric car. In addition, short circuits, caused by poorly insulated wires can cause fires, too.”

We have reached out to Tesla for a statement on this story and will provide one when a response is provided.

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