California fire might be due to overheated charging system in Tesla Model S

Article by Anita Panait, on December 20, 2013

A November 15, 2013, garage fire in South California may have been due to an overheated charging system in a Tesla Model S, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The Orange County fire department said the Tesla-supplied charging system or the connection at the electricity panel on the wall on the garage may have caused the fire.

"The fire occurred as a result of an electrical failure in the charging system for an electric vehicle," said a report by the fire authority, a copy of which Reuters managed to obtain.

While the report emphasized that the cause of the fire is unclear, it said that the most probable cause is a high resistance connection at the wall socket or the Universal Mobile Connector from the Tesla charging system" plugged into a 240-volt wall socket.

Tesla Motors Inc. still contends that the fire was not related to the Tesla S or its charging system. The garage fire is not related to three road fires in Model S sedans in October and November in Washington state, Tennessee and Mexico.

In the US incidents, Model S sedans caught fire after running over road debris. In Mexico, the car caught fire after hitting a concrete wall. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is probing the cause of the road fires, which caused Tesla’s shares to drop from a high of $194.50 in late September to under $120 in late November.

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