Nissan LEAF fire blamed on faulty charger, NHTSA investigates
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating another electric vehicle (EV) fire. The fire was in a parked and plugged-in Nissan LEAF, but the investigation isn't looking at the car. It's looking at the charging unit.
According to the NHTSA, which opened its investigation yesterday (Monday, April 21), the fire was another in a suspected series of potentially faulty charging units that are overheating their plugs and creating a fire hazard. This latest complaint was from the owner of a plugged-in LEAF whose car began to smolder and smoke at the plug interface while charging from a Bosch Power Xpress 250V charging unit installed at the residence.
After ninety minutes of charging, "signs of overheating were first noticed," the NHTSA preliminary report states. "The overheating condition can cause damage to the vehicle and charger rendering both inoperable. Charging vehicles are typically left unattended and there is a risk of fire that could affect the vehicle and its surrounding environment."
The original complaint against the charging unit was filed in August and Nissan determined that it was not the LEAF at fault, forwarding their investigation to the NHTSA after denying warranty coverage for vehicle damage to the owner.
The investigation is ongoing, of course, but anecdotal information from electric vehicle forums online appear to show that the Bosch charging stations can be problematic, though whether it's due to faulty installation or bad design for the charger is not decided.