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Tesla demand surges, stock rises 16 percent

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors said Tuesday that deliveries of its Model S sedan in the fourth quarter blew past what the company had forecast, sending shares up nearly 16 percent.

Tesla delivered almost 6,900 Model S sedans in the quarter, 20 percent above what the company had forecast, Jerome Guillen, vice president of global sales and service, said at the Detroit auto show.

He said the company this year expects to double its global sales and service locations, which total almost 150. He also said Tesla was working “feverishly” on the Model X crossover vehicle, which the company previously said would debut in the second half of 2014.

Analysts said California-based Tesla continues to perform strongly despite the specter of a safety probe by U.S. safety regulators related to two road fires of Model S sedans.

Also on Tuesday, U.S. safety regulators classified as a recall Tesla’s move to provide upgraded wall adapters and charging software, citing the risk of fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tesla is recalling 29,222 Model S electric sedans from the 2013 model year for the fix, according to documents filed online.

“An overheated adapter, cord, or wall receptacle, increases the risk of burn injury and/or fire,” NHTSA documents said.

Chief executive Elon Musk took issue with NHTSA’s use of the word “recall.”

“No Tesla vehicles are being physically recalled by Tesla,” Musk said on Twitter. “The word ‘recall’ needs to be recalled.”

Musk said the software upgrade was done last month over the air and the new adapter was being mailed to owners.



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