Tesla issues updates for vehicle software after Hong Kong fire

A series of fires are igniting public concern.

Tesla has begun updating the thermal management system software for its Model S and Model X battery, proceeding with an “abundance of caution” after a Tesla Model S caught fire on Sunday in a Hong Kong parking lot, CNET reported on Wednesday, citing a statement from the EV maker.

The update adjusts charging and cooling settings within a vehicle’s battery management system to regulate each cell’s temperature and charge level.

The spontaneous combustion in Hong Kong wasn’t an isolated blaze. In April, a Model S set itself on fire when it was parked in a Shanghai garage, and a similar case happened in the United States in February. After the episode in Shanghai, Tesla said on its Sina Weibo account that it was investigating the incident, but has not provided an explanation to the public so far.

Other brands haven’t been immune, igniting concerns about the safety of battery-driven vehicles.

Nio has confirmed that one of its ES8 cars caught fire when it was under repair in Xi’an, the capital city in China’s Shaanxi province. And a BYD car did the same when it was parked in front of a building in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

Nio concluded that the chassis of the vehicle suffered severe impact before arriving the repair site, resulting in deformation of its power pack and cooling plate, causing a short circuit that led to the fire.

For BYD’s case, the automaker said the blaze originated in the trunk of the car, adding that the battery of the car remains intact.

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