Tesla Recalling Charger Adapters For Overheating and Melting Plastic

Tesla Motors launched a voluntary recall of about 7,000 charger adapters after customers reported overheating and melted plastic on the plugs.

Two customers reported the adapter being overheated in November, according to an email Tesla sent to customers Tuesday. They were minor incidents with no further damage being reported beyond the melted plastic. Automotive News reported that the “rarely used item is no longer sold through the company’s online store.”

Tesla notified U.S. regulators about the voluntary recall.

The electric carmaker said that the accessories were manufactured by an outside supplier. Tesla also said it pulled the adapters from the market about six months ago.

The two reported cases of overheating involved NEMA 14-30 adapters. These are used in limited applications such as charging Tesla vehicles via clothes-dryer appliance outlets in U.S. homes. International customers aren’t affected by the recall.

Tesla will also be replacing the NEMA 10-30 and 6-50 adapters, which have a similar design.

Tesla’s support website also reports that other adapters used to charge Tesla vehicles are not affected by the recall. These include the Tesla Wall Connector, Universal Mobile Connector, NEMA 14-50 adapter, or NEMA 5-15 adapter that came standard with Tesla vehicles and that the company said are used by most of its customers for charging. A graphic used in the blog post also includes the NEMA 6-15 and NEMA 5-20 adapters as being excluded from the recall.

The automaker also said that the latest version of the NEMA 14-30 adapter does not need to be replaced. They have a gray plastic cap, rather than a black plastic cap.

Replacements of the NEMA 14-30 adapter will be shipped beginning in the next few weeks, and Tesla recommends that customers should avoid using them in the meantime. The NEMA 10-30 and 6-50 adapters will take about three months to deliver; but since they haven’t been reported as overheating, customers who rely on them may continue using them for now, the company said.

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This is the fifth recall that Tesla has issued since launching the Model S in June 2012, but it’s the first time an accessory product has been the focus of the recall. It’s largest recall took place in about a year ago, with the carmaker recalling all 90,000 Model S cars that had been sold. That recall started with the single report of a front seatbelt not being properly connected.

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