The words “Tesla” (NASDAQ:TSLA) and “fire” strike fear into the hearts of investors whenever mentioned in the same sentence, as in the recent past, the electric vehicle manufacturer has been dealing with a few isolated incidents of its vehicles catching on fire after hitting debris in the middle of the road. With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involved, the outcome of its investigation could make or break Tesla’s current stock valuation.
On Thursday, reports of another fire involving a Tesla surfaced, but under slightly different circumstances. In fact, in the latest report, the car itself was fine, save for some light smoke damage. The alleged culprit was the Tesla’s wall-mounted charging unit, located inside a garage in California; at least, according to the local fire department.
“While there was a fire at the wall socket where the vehicle was plugged in, the car itself wasn’t part of the fire,” Bloomberg quotes Tesla as saying. The news service reports that investigators can’t reach a conclusion as to whether the fire started in the wall socket or was caused by the charger, finding it had nothing to do with the battery, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Steve Concialdi.
Tesla maintains that the fire was the fault of the construction of the wall socket and outlet. “The cable was fine on the vehicle side; the damage was on the wall side,” Tesla said said in emailed statements to Bloomberg. “Our inspection of the car and the battery made clear that neither were the source” of the fire, the company added.
Further, Tesla’s data indicate that the car was charging as usual and that there were no red flags about the car’s status or power draw. “The battery had been charging normally, and there were no fluctuations in temperature or malfunctions within the battery or the charge electronics,” Tesla said, per Bloomberg.
Concialdi noted to the news service that generally, fire damage to the wall socket makes it difficult to determine whether the problem was caused by faulty wiring. The Orange County Fire Authority has finished its investigation, allowing Tesla and the insurance companies to initiate one of their own.
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