NHTSA opens preliminary probe onto Bosch EV chargers

Article by Christian A., on April 23, 2014

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into the likelihood that around 50 EV chargers made by Robert Bosch LLC may overheat and result in a fire. The investigation came after a driver of a 2013 Nissan Leaf reported smoke emissions while the vehicle was charging.

Bosch spokeswoman Cheryl Kilborn stated that the German supplier was reviewing the filing and would cooperate with the investigation as it tries to determine the cause of the matter. On the other hand, Nissan spokesman Brian Brockman told Reuters in an e-mail that the Japanese carmaker was aware of the investigation and would assist in it as needed.

According to NHTSA and the consumer complaint filed in August 2013, the charger in issue -- a Bosch Power Xpress 240V -- had been charging for over an hour at 30 amps at a private home when indications of overheating, including a "strong burning smell," were noticed.

NHTSA noted in documents posted on its Web site that charging vehicles are typically left unattended, adding that there is a risk of fire that could “affect the vehicle and its surrounding environment."

According to the complaint, Nissan had already determined that Nissan Leaf was not to blame for the incident. NHTSA disclosed that the Bosch Power Xpress 240V mainly sold to residential customers and is used to charge a wide variety of EVs.

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Topics: nhtsa, bosch



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