Back in 2013, Tesla came under close scrutiny when two fires involving Tesla Model S sedans made the news. Basically how the fires started was when these two cars ran over some debris on the road which punctured the lithium-ion battery placed in the base of the car which led to the fire.
The National Traffic Safety Administration did their investigation and concluded that there are not defects to indicate that the sedan might be considered unsafe, but at the same time we can only imagine that customers would have lost some measure of confidence in the company. Well Elon Musk has decided to do something about it which is why Telsa has since installed new titanium shield and aluminum deflector plates on the underbody of the vehicle.
In fact all models produced after the 6th of March will have this shielding installed, and customers who have already bought their Tesla models will be able to get these shields installed on them for free. According to Telsa, they have tested these shields extensively about 152 times which involves hitting and running over objects like concrete blocks, a steel alternator, and a three-tow hitch, none of which appear to have damaged the car.
In a post on Medium, Elon Musk has attached several gifs showing the shield in action where in the case of the concrete block, it even managed to break it apart! Of course some are worried that the additional weight could impact the car’s range but according to Musk, the impact is minimal and will only have a 0.1% impact on the range of the vehicle. So if any of you owns a Tesla vehicle, perhaps this underbody shield should be something you might want to consider.