Tesla Motors, Inc.
) may be facing a safety investigation for its Model S fires, but
the company remains focused on efforts to increase the safety of
its cars. The latest safety feature added by the automaker is a
software update that automatically reduces voltage while charging
a Model S, in case the input power witnesses fluctuations.
The software update is apparently in response to the recent
garage fire in Irvine, Calif., which took place when a Model S
was being charged on a wall socket. While Tesla declared that
over-heating of the Model S charging system was not responsible
for the fire, it released the new software update, which will
automatically reduce charging current by 25% in case of
unexpected fluctuations in power while charging.
The move will prevent the battery from catching fire even when
there is a problem in the wiring system outside the car. This
will make it safe to charge the car in unfamiliar places.
This is not the first time that Tesla is releasing a software
update to improve safety of its cars. Last month, the company
offered a wireless update to the air suspension to increase the
ground clearance of Model S during high speed travel. This is
expected to reduce the probability of damage to the car from any
This update was in response to two Model S fires caused due to
debris crashing into the underbody of the cars during high speed
highway travel. The fires resulted in extensive negative media
coverage for Tesla and a significant drop in the share price.
Moreover, Tesla is currently under investigation by the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the
fire incidents. However, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, expects the
Model S to be cleared by the NHTSA. He believes that the car is
safe and hence, does not expect the investigation to lead to a
Nevertheless, in Jan 2014, Tesla plans another software update
that will enable the driver to control the air suspension ride
height transitions. These software updates are simple, effective
and cost-efficient methods for increasing the safety of the car,
without any recalls or hassle for the owners.
Tesla currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other prominent
companies in automobile market include
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Tata Motors Limited
Ford Motor Co.
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