Tesla hands out new chargers in response to overheating

The electric car maker says it fixed an issue that reportedly caused wall chargers to smoke and burn with a software upgrade, but just as a precaution, it's also sending out updated chargers.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
Tesla Model S

Tesla announced Friday that it's sending Model S owners upgraded wall chargers for their cars, after several drivers reported accounts of overheating.

A statement from the Palo Alto, Calif., company said a variety of factors could cause chargers to overheat, including "higher than normal electrical resistance." Tesla said it's fixed this issue with an over-the-air update rolled out last month. The update lets the car keep the charging current at a level that won't overheat the adapter.

"This update increases robustness and safety considerably in the unlikely event that a home wiring system, receptacle, adapter or cord is unable to meet its rated current capacity," according to the statement. But, just in case, the company is also sending out an "improved adapter with a thermal fuse," in a few weeks.

To see if you received the software update, tap on the touchscreen to make sure the car is running version 5.8.4 or later. If not, head to a Tesla service center.

Bloomberg reported Friday that the accounts of overheating include adapters smoking, burning drivers, and potentially starting a small fire. US regulators are investigating the reports.

The overheating adapters are just one dark spot on Tesla's image in recent times. The company has also had to deal with accounts of its cars catching fire late last year.