Tesla announces recall of 439 Roadsters due to fire risk

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 4, 2010

Over 400 units of Tesla Motors’ battery-powered Roadsters are being recalled due to risks of the vehicle’s power cable shorting and catching fire. Priced at $109,000, the Roadster is a car on a Lotus platform that is powered by a battery pack composed of more than 6,800 laptop batteries.

Tesla admits that it has received a report of a case where a short was caused when a 12-volt cable in the vehicle chafed against a panel. Tesla said that smoke started to come out of this cable and that a fire may have started in an area behind the front headlamp.

Tesla said that the 12-volt cable cited in the recall supplies power to several auxiliary systems, including lights, turn signals and airbags.

Tesla has started notifying Roadster owners of the defect. Tesla intends to send out its service teams to the homes or offices of owners to make the repair, which will involve looking at the placement of the cable and then placing a protective sleeve over it to keep it from shorting.

Tesla clarified that this latest recall involves 439 Roadsters (specifically the 2.0 and 2.5 models) and that the main battery pack and the power system on the Roadster are not affected.

Tesla also said that it has notified the US safety regulators about the recall. This is actually the second recall for the Roadster. In 2009, Tesla issued a recall for 345 Roadsters because of a manufacturing problem at Lotus that may affect the car’s handling. [via autonews - sub. required]

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