Green

Tesla recalls 439 Roadsters

Tesla is recalling 439 Roadsters after a single incident in which a low-voltage auxiliary wire rubbed up against a carbon fiber panel in the car causing a short, smoke and “possible fire” behind the right front headlamp, the company reports.

The issue at hand affects models 2.0 and 2.5 (pictured), and involves the 12-volt cable from a backup system that powers the car’s head, tail, turn and hazard lights, as well as the airbags if the primary power system fails.

“This issue is limited to the 12V low voltage auxiliary cable and does not involve the main battery pack or main power system,” a company statement said.

Tesla’s stock is trading today in the $20 range, down from about $22 last Thursday. The company announced the recall Friday at 6 p.m.

This is Tesla’s second recall. The company recalled 345 Roadsters in May 2009 when it discovered some bolts were not properly tightened on the car’s inner hub — a problem that originated at the Lotus factory, which produced the chassis. The issue could have caused vehicles to crash, so Tesla went out on a series of house calls to fix the issue.

The company is undertaking a similar effort for the fix this time around — it has started alerting customers by email and a mailing campaign, and will again offer house and office visits. The correction involves installing a protective casing over the cable and checking the routing and takes about an hour to complete.

As Motor Authority notes, Tesla’s quick move to fix the issue before problems arise isn’t surprising, given the small number of Roadster owners (the company has delivered about 1,300 Roadsters overall). The effort, the article says, is “no doubt intended to instill confidence in the still-nascent car maker’s ability to support its vehicles.”

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