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Tesla's wireless fix bypasses old school recalls

Posting in Technology

Tesla Motors is recalling 29,222 Model S vehicles from 2013 over concerns that during charging, the adapter, cord or wall outlet could overheat. But unlike other official voluntary recalls, Tesla owners don't have to bring their cars to a dealership for a fix. 

Instead, the automaker will provide an "over-the-air" software update, which will enable the car's on-board charging system to detect any unexpected fluctuations in the input power or higher resistance connections to the vehicle. If detected, the onboard charging system will automatically reduce the charging current by 25 percent.

This next-gen fix is done wirelessly and it's technology that Tesla Motors has used before to provide performance upgrades to the car. As the era of the connected car unfolds expect more automakers to follow Tesla's lead.

Meanwhile, GM also issued a voluntary recall this week over fire concerns with its 2014 model year Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras equipped with 4.3L or 5.3L engines. When the vehicle is idling in cold temperatures, the exhaust components can overheat. The fix also involves tweaking the software. But owners have to bring their vehicles into a dealership to have the engine control module reprogrammed. 

In other Tesla news: Execs on Tuesday said the company had delivered 6,900 Model S cars to customers in the fourth quarter, nearly 1,000 more than its guidance.  

— By on January 15, 2014, 10:43 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure