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Tesla recalls charging adapters after overheating

A Tesla electric car at a charging station.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images
A Tesla electric car at a charging station.

Tesla is voluntarily recalling a few thousand units of various aftermarket charging connectors, after two customers reported devices overheating.

The recalled connectors are not one of the three standard mobile charging adapters that ship with cars. Instead, Tesla sells the NEMA 14-30, 10-30, and 6-50 connectors as aftermarket accessories. The NEMA 14-30 adapters are the only ones that overheated, but the company is recalling the 10-30 and the 6-50 because those two share similar designs. All three types can be used to charge a car in unconventional outlets, such as a washer or dryer outlet.

The company said in an email, posted in full below, that the connectors are used by a small number of Tesla owners. Tesla said neither case of overheating resulted in injury or property damage.

Auto manufacturers issue recalls all the time — a record 51 million cars were recalled for one reason or another in 2015, according to NHTSA.

Tesla itself has had to issue a few recalls over the last several years. Earlier this year, the company voluntarily recalled 2,700 Model X SUVs earlier this year, due to concerns over the safety of the car's third row seats.

Here is the email:

Update: Your Tesla Mobile Connector Adapter

Because safety is our top priority at Tesla, we want to inform you of an action we're voluntarily taking to recall a small number of charging adapters.

This recall does not involve the Tesla Wall Connector, Universal Mobile Connector, or the NEMA 14-50 or 5-15 adapters that came standard with your Tesla and that most of our customers use for charging. It only involves NEMA 14-30, 10-30, and 6-50 adapters, which are sold separately as accessories and which are used by relatively few of our customers.

In November 2016, we learned about two customers whose NEMA 14-30 charging adapters overheated. These are the only two such incidents that we know of anywhere in the world and neither resulted in any injuries or property damage. However, out of an abundance of caution, we're replacing NEMA 14-30, 10-30 and 6-50 adapters that were made years ago by our original supplier.

If you have one of these NEMA 14-30 adapters and regularly use it, you will receive a replacement from us within the next couple of weeks. Until then, we ask that you stop using your current adapter, and that you instead charge your car in a different way, such as with a Tesla Wall Connector or NEMA 14-50 adapter (if you have one), or by Supercharging.

Although there have been no incidents with NEMA 10-30 or 6-50 adapters, they have some common elements with the NEMA 14-30, so we will be replacing those as well. These replacements will take about three months to develop and manufacture. In the meantime, since none of these adapters has ever overheated, you can continue to use them if you do not have another way to charge your car.

For more information, including pictures of the relevant adapters, FAQs, and other details related to this recall, please visit the Recall Information page. If you need additional assistance, you can also contact us by phone at 877-798-3752 or by email at ServiceHelpNA@teslamotors.com.

Thank you for being a Tesla owner. We apologize for this inconvenience.