Tesla updates battery software following Hong Kong, Shanghai blazes

A Tesla Model S that apparently spontaneously caught fire in a Hong Kong parking lot in mid May. Screengrab via Apple Daily video.
A Tesla Model S that apparently spontaneously caught fire in a Hong Kong parking lot in mid May. Screengrab via Apple Daily video.

Following an apparent spontaneous combustion in a Hong Kong parking lot last Tuesday, and a similar conflagration in Shanghai last month, Tesla says it has updated its battery software in an effort to prevent further fires, the company said in a statement.

Though the company said it was still investigating what caused the spectacular blazes (in which, luckily, no one was injured), it noted that it was issuing the updates “out of an abundance of caution,” the Silicon Valley publication TechCrunch reported late last week.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority, and if we do identify an issue, we will do whatever is necessary to address it,” Tesla’s statement reads, before reiterating that such incidents are “extremely rare.”

“As we continue our investigation of the root cause, out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles via an over-the-air software update that will begin rolling out today, to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity.”

The Hong Kong fire reportedly involved a 2016 Tesla Model S that had been parked for about 30 minutes before bursting into flames.

The previous fire in Shanghai, which also reportedly involved a Model S, was caught on CCTV.

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