If you type in the keywords “Tesla” and “Fire,” you’ll come up with lots of pictures and stories covering the dangers of lithium-ion batteries and plenty of pictures of burned out Tesla Model S.
Actually, there’s only three Tesla Model S that have caught fire, all three of which were involved in impact accidents of one type or another. Some have inferred that the lithium-ion battery pack on the Tesla Model S isn’t sufficiently protected, even with firewalled modules, ¼” armor plating, and a recent change in ride height. On the other hand, statistics are showing that the Tesla Model S fully deserves its NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Five-Star Safety Rating. Still, the NHTSA is investigating the three fires, but Tesla Motors believes it won’t have to make any recalls. Germany, on the other hand, says it doesn’t see any reason for concern.
A fourth fire, in Irvine, California, also involved a Tesla Model S, but not in the way that some might assume. Yes, the Tesla Model S was parked in the owner’s garage and charging, but the fire did not originate in the vehicle or the battery. According to the Orange Country Fire Authority, as relayed by Tesla Motors, “The cable was fine on the vehicle side; the damage was on the wall side. Our inspection of the car and the battery made clear that neither were the source of the fire.”
The fire appears to have started with the wall socket, perhaps faulty wiring, and investigation is ongoing. Of course, lapse in judgment or faulty equipment aside, this garage fire highlights the need for professional installation of an electric vehicle charger. If considering an LII Electric Vehicle Charger in the garage, be prepared to pay a professional electrician, who knows the building codes in your area, as well as the proper wiring needed to support your high-amperage device. In fact, new housing in some areas may already come fully equipped to accept an LII charger, an essential item for a Tesla Model S, or any other electric vehicle, owner.
Image © Tesla Motors Club