The fire, which didn't injure anyone (the sight of a flaming Model S in a snow-covered lot must have been pretty stunning, though), was actually caused by a short circuit in the car's electrical distribution box, according to Roland. He said Tesla will update software for extra security features that will stop charging if a possible short circuit is detected. The electric-vehicle maker has already taken pains to point out that Tesla owners have engaged in 35 million charging sessions, about 2.5 million of which were conducted via Superchargers, so, again, the company says Supercharging is safe.
Tesla on Friday confirmed in an e-mail to Autoblog that "there was an isolated incident where a Model S caught fire due to a short circuit in an electrical distribution box in the vehicle while Supercharging. The Supercharger turned off once it detected the short circuit. No one was injured in the fire."
It took a while for local officials to figure out what caused the fire because the 2014 model-year sedan was pretty torched, but it was determined fairly quickly that the Supercharger didn't cause the blaze. The local fire officials had to put out the blaze with foam instead of water.
Tesla in 2013 ran into some fire-related issues after a couple of them flamed up when a the cars' battery packs were gouged underneath by road debris, but things seemed to have - uh - cooled down since then. Tesla noted at the time that "thousands" of conventional vehicles catch fire this year, but the Tesla blazes seem to attract a little more attention because of the relative novelty of the luxury electric sedans.