Tesla Motors, manufacturers of the all-electric Tesla Roadster and Tesla Roadster Sport has decided to recall 439 of its sexy sports car, over a potential fire risk. 

The Palo-Alto based automaker has often been in the news this year, from its roller coaster initial public offering back in June through to its role in resurrecting the Toyota RAV 4 EV and its latest publicity stunt at the Autodesk Design Gallery in San Francisco. 

But just like Toyota’s Prius recalls late in 2009, Tesla are facing a somewhat smaller recall in its Tesla 2.0 and Tesla 2.5 Roadster models. 

Don’t worry though. The recall isn’t anything as dramatic as the 2009 Prius’ unintended sudden acceleration. Nor is it a problem caused by the Tesla’s massive lithium ion battery pack. 

As our Nelson Ireson explained yesterday when the story broke, the fire risk is about as far away from the main traction battery pack as is possible; the right-front wheel well. 

Caused by the chaffing between a 12V auxiliary cable and the Tesla Roadster’s carbon-fiber body, Tesla is recalling affected models to ensure that the wire in question has not rubbed through to its core, causing a potential electrical short and in extreme cases, a fire. 

Tesla Duo

Tesla Duo

As Tesla is keen to point out, while no-Teslas have caught fire yet the company would rather check wiring over than face a potential future issue.  Proactive action in this case seems the logical course of action.

The recall is being carried out after a concerned customer reported smoke coming from the front of their roadster. Closer inspection illustrated the cause - the rubbing 12V auxiliary cable. 

The affected cable is used in Tesla 2.0 and 2.5 Roadsters to provide additional 12V backup power to the car’s low-voltage electrical system in the event that the primary 12v source for the car’s lighting, turn signals and airbag cannot provide enough power. 

Tesla's Mobile Service Ranger vehicle

Tesla's Mobile Service Ranger vehicle

Owners of affected Teslas are being contacted by Tesla to arrange an inspection and modification of the affected wiring to eliminate the potential hazard.  The repair and inspection will be carried out by Tesla service engineers at a convenient time and place for each customer and is estimated to take one hour. 

We can’t help but feel sorry for the automaker, whose public image is bound to take some knocks as those keen to point out the flaws of electric cars use this recall as justification for their views.  

The irony here of course is that the system at fault is not the car’s high-voltage traction battery, motor or even control systems. It’s part of a wiring loom which every other car in use today needs - the power circuit needed to power low-voltage demands on the car. 

Today then, the vivacious Tesla has come of age, joining the ranks of automakers world-wide which have all had to recall a car at some point or other for similar reasons. 

 It just happens to be an electric car instead of a gasoline one.