No Model S recall, Tesla says – just a software update

Earlier reports suggested that Tesla was recalling as many as 29,000 Model S sedans. 

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    A Tesla S electric car and a charging station are displayed during the press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on Jan. 14, 2014.
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Tesla has issued a software update and an upgraded power adapter for owners of the Model S, its critically-acclaimed, five-door flagship sedan. 

In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA (hat tip to the New York Times), Tesla said that in certain circumstances, the current NEMA 14-50 adapters could pose a fire-risk. 

"Electrical resistance heating in the adapter or at the interface to the wall socket may lead to melting of the adaptor, cord or wall receptacle, and possible electrical arcing that could lead to fire," reps for Tesla wrote. "The software update fully addresses the issue by substantially reducing the heat generated in any high resistance connections outside the vehicle. In addition, while not necessary to address the issue, Tesla has also developed an improved NEMA 14-50 adapter to provide a higher level of assurance to customers in Testa products." 

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Earlier reports had mentioned a massive recall of as many as 29,000 2013 Model S sedans. But today, Tesla founder Elon Musk took to Twitter to refute the rumors. "Some confusion in media reports today," he wrote. "No Tesla vehicles are being physically recalled by Tesla."

Later, he suggested that perhaps "the word recall needs to be recalled." 

Mr. Musk has a contentious relationship with the press. On the one hand, he has benefited from a barrage of magazine pieces and cover stories on his work at Tesla and SpaceX. On the other, he has not hesitated to lash out at reporters when he believes his companies have been unfairly portrayed.

Last February, for instance, after the New York Times published an article on the Model S that suggested its battery faded in the cold weather, Musk wrote that the article was "fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that [the Times reviewer] didn't actually charge to max & took a long detour.”

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