Tesla Completes Norway Fire Incident Analysis, Blames an In-Car Short-Circuit

If an Italian supercar were involved in the Norway fire incident instead of a Tesla Model S, the whole thing would have probably gone by unnoticed. When was the last time a burning Lamborghini made the news?
Tesla Model S burning in Norway 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
And it's not like having these very expensive and exclusivist exotics burn to the ground did anything to hurt sales either. However, when one of its electric sedans burst into flames earlier this year in Norway, Tesla launched an investigation of its own, parallel to the one carried out by the Norwegian authorities.

Initially, Tesla had to admit it pretty much had no clue about what had caused the fire. That was mostly due to the state the Model S was in after the flames died out, since the firemen chose not to intervene fearing complications caused by the hi-voltage Li-ion battery. That meant that the investigators had to work with little more than a pile of ash.

Yesterday, though, Tesla announced that its investigation confirmed the initial hypothesis issued by the Accident Investigation Board of Norway, which claimed the fire most likely originated from inside the car. More to the point, the official explanation says that a short-circuit in the car's distribution box was to blame. Here is the whole text, released by the company's communication manager in Norway (and translated into English):

In January, it was an isolated incident where a Model S caught fire while using a Supercharger. The cause was a short-circuit in the distribution box in the car. Superchargers were turned off immediately when the short-circuit was discovered. No one was injured in the fire. Our investigation confirmed that this was an isolated incident, but due to the damage to the car, we could not definitely identify the exact cause of the short-circuit.

Tesla insists that using the chargers - home or remote - is completely safe. According to Teslarati, the company quotes over 2.5 million successful Supercharger operations, so even mathematically speaking there's a very slim chance of something like this ever happening again. Not being the type to take chances, though, Tesla will update the software package of the Model S to increase security while charging. This will include a diagnostic protocol that will inhibit the charging process if it detects a potential short-circuit. The new software will be automatically installed with the next update.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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