Tesla issues battery software update after Hong Kong vehicle fire – TechCrunch

What happened: American electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla is issuing an over-the-air software update to change the battery charge settings in its Model S and Model X vehicles after one of its cars caught fire while parked in Hong Kong. Tesla said the update is being done out of “an abundance of caution,” though it will not be applied to the Model 3. 

Why it’s important: Tesla has yet to identify the cause of the Model S fire in Hong Kong, which occurred just weeks after one of the company’s vehicles self-ignited while parked in a Shanghai parking garage. The incidents come as Tesla attempts to deal with flagging sales and challengers in the Chinese market. Chinese EV maker Nio reported a similar incident in which one of its SUVs caught fire while being repaired in central China. Nio said the fire was caused by a battery short circuit as a result of a chassis impact. The incidents have prompted concerns over the safety of EVs, which Tesla said is not an issue as its vehicles are far less likely to catch fire than their gas-driven counterparts.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.