Tesla releases new charging software in response to latest fire

tesla charging station
The most recent Model S fire occurred while the car was charging.

If there is only one thing that we can glean from the series of highly publicized fires that have plagued the Tesla Model S this fall, it’s that Tesla is quick to respond.

Following the most recent fire that involved a Tesla charging in its owner’s garage, Tesla has released a software update that is supposed to help cope with bad home wiring.

The cause of the garage fire in Irving California remains disputed. Reuters reports that the local fire department believes that fire originated in the Tesla’s charging infrastructure, while Tesla contends that the cause was the house’s wiring. A representative from Tesla said that “A review of the car’s logs showed that the battery had been charging normally, and there were no fluctuations in temperature or malfunctions within the battery or the charge electronics.”

Regardless of the actual cause, Tesla quickly released new charging software which, according to Apple employee and Tesla owner @ddenboer, is supposed to help cope with uneven power flow from the home’s wiring.

What’s more; the software can cut off charging if it detects any serious problems, which represents a major increase in safety. 

Teslas charge off of a 240-volt appliance-style outlet, which certainly has the potential to cause a fire if not properly wired. However, without knowing more, it’s impossible to say whether or not this is a significant problem.

One thing that we can say is that Tesla has demonstrated a heightened awareness of just how important it is to respond to unfavorable events quickly. Following each incidence of a fire, Tesla has responded quickly to reach out to the owner and to the public to explain matters.

For a company that is still working to build its brand, not to mention turn its first profit, public perception is crucial to success.

As more information about this and other fires becomes available, for instance from the NHTSA probe, it will be interesting to see how Tesla responds and whether these truly are simple bad luck.

For the sake of Tesla, and its devoted owners, let’s hope they are.  

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