(800) 561-4887

No Fee If We Don't Win

NFL Player Randall Cobb House Fire From Tesla Charger

Randall Cobb tesla garage fire

NFL Player Randall Cobb and his family escaped a potential tragedy when their Tesla car charger caught fire in their garage, torching the house. The fire started late last night and spread so fast that the family ran out with just their clothes on their back.

His wife posted on social media that they were lucky to be alive, along with a picture of the burned charger.  An investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire and if there was a possible battery defect.

Fires in the US Caused By Tesla Chargers

In April 2024, a family in Chester County, Pennsylvania, had a close call when their Tesla charger outlet started smoking while charging. An independent electrician said they were minutes away from a house fire. Experts warn about the dangers of improperly installed home EV chargers.

In March 2024, a Tesla Model X caught fire while parked next to an electric vehicle charging station in New Orleans. The cause was under investigation.

In January 2024, a Tesla owner in Cary, North Carolina, caused a house fire after bringing a 12-volt battery from the car inside to charge it. The battery short-circuited and exploded while charging in the kitchen.

In recent years, there have been other isolated incidents of Tesla’s catching fire while charging at Supercharger stations, such as in Norway in 2016. Tesla determined that this was the result of an improperly tightened electrical connection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a probe in 2019 into all Tesla Model S and X vehicles regarding potential battery fires unrelated to crashes, requesting information on charging systems and thermal management.

Safety Measures to Reduce Tesla Charger Fires

Several key safety measures can help prevent fires from Tesla chargers and mitigate risks when charging electric vehicles at home:

  1. Proper installation by a licensed electrician is critical. The charging station should be installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and local electrical codes, with appropriate wiring, circuit breakers, and grounding. Outdated or incompatible wiring can be a fire hazard.
  2. A dedicated circuit with sufficient amperage to handle the electrical load is used for the EV charger. Avoid using extension cords or multiplug adapters.
  3. Install a residual current device (RCD) or ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) with the charging unit. This will shut off power if a fault or unusual current flow is detected, helping prevent electrical fires.
  4. Regularly inspect and maintain the charging equipment, including the connector cables and electrical components. Never use a charger that shows signs of damage or excessive wear.
  5. Ensure proper spacing between vehicles and other objects while charging, especially in garages. If needed, allow room for ventilation and fire suppression.
  6. Install garage smoke alarms and heat detectors, ideally connected to a home monitoring system. Consider a fire suppression system as well.
  7. Have an appropriate fire extinguisher accessible, though it may have limited effectiveness against a lithium-ion battery fire. Massive amounts of water are the most effective.

Dangers of Lithium-Ion Batteries

If a lithium-ion battery is damaged, defective, overcharged, or exposed to high temperatures, it can enter an uncontrollable self-heating state called thermal runaway. This can lead to the release of flammable gases, fire, and possible explosion. Battery temperatures can rise from 212°F to 1,800°F in seconds during thermal runaway.

When lithium-ion batteries fail and burn, they can release highly toxic gases that, if inhaled, can cause severe lung injuries and other health risks.

Charging batteries with the wrong charger for too long or in extreme temperatures can lead to overheating and increase fire risks.

To mitigate these hazards, it’s critical to choose certified batteries from reputable manufacturers, follow charging and storage instructions carefully, avoid damaging batteries, and dispose of them properly at battery recycling locations.

Current Tesla Recalls

There have been several significant recalls for Tesla vehicles in the United States in 2024:

In June 2024, Tesla recalled 11,688 Cybertrucks due to issues with the front windshield wiper motor controller failing from excessive electrical current, which could reduce visibility and increase crash risk. An additional 11,383 Cybertrucks were recalled for improperly attached trunk bed trim that could detach while driving.

In April 2024, Tesla recalled 3,878 Cybertrucks to address an issue with the accelerator pedal pad potentially detaching and interfering with the interior trim, which could lead to unintended acceleration.

In January 2024, Tesla recalled nearly 200,000 vehicles, including Model S, X, and Y, due to a software issue preventing the rearview camera from displaying, which could hinder driver visibility.

Image credit: Instagram

FREE Case Evalution

Our staff will evaluate your case submission and respond in a timely manner.

California Personal Injury Blog