In response to a couple of fire cases that tarnished the reputation of the Model S, Tesla’s boss decided it is high time he set the record straight, Elon Musk-style! He recently addressed the issue in a blog post on the company’s website, announcing a clever fix that should prevent future incidents, or at least protect the occupants in case it happened again.
Tesla says the cause of the 2013 fires in U.S. and Mexico were, in both cases, underbody damage as a result of collisions. The Mexican one, for instance, happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph. In fairness, such impact could also cause fire in normal car.
To remedy this, Tesla announced a new Titanium underbody shield system, plus aluminum deflectors, to be fitted as standard to all new Tesla Model S units that roll off the production line. They will also retrofit them to the existing models, free of charge.
Tesla believes these shields should eliminate any chance of the car bursting in flames in case of an impact. But even if it did, the triple shield system they’ve devised will protect the occupants and give them plenty of time to get out of the vehicle safe and sound.
The triple shield system for Tesla Model S consists of a rounded, hollow aluminum bar designed to deflect objects, followed by a military-grade titanium plate, which has exceptional strength-to-weight properties, complemented with a third shield, which is a shallow angle, solid aluminum extrusion that further absorbs impact energy.
If you want to see these shields in action, head over to Tesla’s website. They have made some very cool GIF images of the shields crushing stuff which are worth a look at.