Tesla Motors has issued a recall for the all-electric 2013 Model S sedan. That's the bad news.
The good news is that owners won't have to take their cars to mechanics for repairs. Welcome to the 21st century.
According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Tesla recall affects 29,222 Model S sedans "equipped for, and delivered with, certain NEMA 14-50 (240 volt) Universal Mobile Connector (UMC) adapters". An investigation proved that in certain circumstances, that adapter, the charging cable connected to it, or the nearby electrical outlet can overheat while the Model S is charging. And that, in turn, increases the risk of burn injuries to owners, or even a fire.
Tesla has crafted a two-step fix for the problem. The first has already begun to roll out -- and some Model S owners may not even know they've received it. It involves an over-the-air update to the car's software. The tweak will allow the Model S to monitor the charging process more closely and cut current by 25 percent if it detects any unusual spikes. To determine whether they've gotten the update, Tesla asks owners to check the vehicle's center info screen. If the car is using software version 5.8.4 or later, it's been updated.
For the second step in the process, Tesla says that it will mail Model S owners a new NEMA 14-50 adapter, which should resolve the problem completely. Tesla hasn't indicated precisely when it will begin shipping these devices, but according to a report published last Friday, they're expected to hit the mail within two weeks.
If you own one of the affected vehicles and have additional questions, you're encouraged to contact Tesla directly at 877-798-3752, or call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #14V006000.
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