Video: Up Close With The New Tesla Model S Battery Shield

Tesla has offered all Model S owners a free battery shield upgrade following a NHTSA investigation into road fires, and Consumer Reports walks us through the upgrade. It’s a detailed look at how a few small changes can add a lot of piece of mind to buyers of the Model S.

The NHTSA investigation showed that the two highly-publicized fires were caused by debris striking the very front of the battery pack, penetrating the electrical cells and eventually causing catastrophic failure and fire. While no injuries resulted from these fires, Tesla responded with a three-piece shielding upgrade, which Consumer Report’s Jake Fisher details in this video.

Beneath the underbody tray, Tesla added an aluminum deflector piece, along with a small piece of titanium shielding designed to prevent any debris from penetrating the leading edge of the battery. This upgrade is totally free for current owners, and will be installed on all future models. In light of the GM ignition switch recall fiasco, Tesla is demonstrating how car companies should respond to criticisms over safety; promptly and with real solutions, not long, drawn-out Congressional hearings and half-hearted attempts at appeasement.

No wonder the automotive establishment hates Elon Musk.

Source: Consumer Reports

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.