Although the number of incidents pale in comparison to the 194,000 highway vehicle fires per year in the United States, EV fires are not taken lightly by Tesla. In the wake of a garage fire in Irvine, CA, the EV carmaker is taken preventative measures to make certain their customers are safe by sending out upgraded wall charger adapters in replacement of their old ones.
Fire investigators concluded that neither the car or the charger were responsible for the blaze, and instead pointed to the wall unit as the main culprit. Even so, Elon Musk did acknowledge that situations where adapters overheat do occur, albeit rarely, giving his company enough of an incentive to switch out the potentially damaging technology with an updated version.
The big change with these new chargers is the addition of a thermal fuse in their design. When it becomes too hot for the charger to operate safely, it will automatically shut off. This goes along with the recent update to its charger software in November, which allows for an automated reduction in the charge current when placed under certain circumstances.
Tesla was mum on the extent of the possible wiring issues with last-gen chargers, but as long as the risk is low, incidents are not kept from the public, and they are willing to make concessions to keep their drivers out of harms way, this seems to be a prudent move by the EV maker.
A great deal of attention is being paid to the EV industry, especially when something bad happens. It is in Tesla’s best interest to stay ahead of the problems that may arise. Musk and company are playing the long game, taking extra time and effort to position themselves for success by removing any potential barriers.