Tesla has announced a voluntary recall affecting more than 29,000 of its home charging adapters over potential fire concerns. The NEMA 14-50 adapter is an optional home installation that allows for 240-volt recharging of the company's Model S. "Electrical resistance heating in the adapter or at the interface to the wall socket may lead to melting of the adapter, cord or wall receptacle, and possible electrical arcing that could lead to fire," reads Tesla's January 12th letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But this isn't a recall in the traditional sense; Tesla owners don't need to take their cars or adapters in for service.
(1/2) The term "recall" is outdated. No vehicles are being physically recalled by Tesla.— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) January 14, 2014
The automaker says the problem has been completely remedied with an over-the-air software update. That update has already made its way to over 99 percent of cars, according to Tesla's Jerome Guillen. If your Model S happens to be out of network range, the company will install the software at any of its service locations.
There was an over-the-air software update (done last month) and an upgraded US 14-50 adapter will be mailed to customers.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 14, 2014
Prior to the update, Tesla says that approximately 2.7 percent of returned adapters showed signs of internal damage. But a more thorough analysis found that "defective or improperly installed wall receptacles" could result in melted adapters and even fire "in the worst case scenario." In addition to the software update, Tesla has engineered a revised adapter plug that includes an internal thermal fuse. "The improved design and addition of the fuse will act to provide a higher level of reliability thereby demonstrating Tesla's commitment to full customer satisfaction." Tesla says it will begin delivering the updated adapter to customers as stock becomes available. "It is a very safe car," said Guillen. "To date, there has been no serious injury in the Model S, ever."