Fire Dept. Says Tesla Charger May Have Caused Fire, Tesla Says Nope

A Southern California fire department says that a Tesla Model S charging system may have been a possible cause of a Nov. 15 fire at a garage, but Tesla officials this evening denied that the car or its charger had anything to do with the blaze.

Reuters released an exclusive report on a fire last month in the garage of a single-family home in Irvine. While the Orange County Fire Authority "emphasizes that the cause of the fire is unclear," they said a Tesla 240-volt charging system may have been to blame. From the story:

"The most probable cause of this fire is a high resistance connection at the wall socket or the Universal Mobile Connector from the Tesla charging system" which was plugged into a 240-volt wall socket, the report said.


No injuries occurred as a result of the fire. The story says the spread of the flames was aided by cardboard boxes stacked near the car and the charger.

The Reuters story says the fire was not related in any way to previous fires involving a Model S, which happened in Seattle, Mexico and Tennessee.

But officials from Tesla say they have conducted their own investigation, the results of which they say shows the fire was not in any way related to the car, its battery or the charge electronics.

There was a fire at the wall socket where the Model S was plugged in, but the car itself was not part of the fire. The cable was fine on the vehicle side; the damage was on the wall side. Our inspection of the car and the battery made clear that neither were the source and were in fact functioning normally after the incident. In addition, 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.


Tesla also took a shot at Reuters, calling their story misleading and again stressing that electrons are less flammable than gasoline:

All of the above information was provided to the journalists and editors at Reuters responsible for the article. It is therefore disappointing that they would choose to publish as "news" a misleading article about an event that occurred more than a month ago that was not caused by the car and that was already covered by the Orange County Register. It appears that their objective was simply to find some way to put the words "fire" and "Tesla" in the same headline. The journalists and editors who created the story have patently ignored hundreds of deaths and thousands of serious injuries unequivocally caused by gasoline car fires, instead choosing to write about a garage fire where there were no injuries and the cause was clearly not the car.


More details on this as we get it.

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