Tesla Blames Shanghai Car Fire on Battery Module Failure

Tesla Inc. says a highly publicized fire that broke out in one of its parked electric cars in Shanghai two months ago was caused by the failure of a single battery module.

The April fire destroyed a Tesla Model S sedan and reportedly damaged three other vehicles nearby. The Model S is powered by several thousand lithium-ion battery cells that are grouped into more than a dozen modules housed under the car’s floor.

Tesla updated its battery management software in May to help avoid a recurrence. Earlier this month Chinese regulators ordered manufacturers to test the electrical systems of their new and sold vehicles and report results by the end of October.