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CNBC and Reuters reporting that NHTSA has closed their investigation into the Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by yobigd20, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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  2. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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  3. RAM_Eh

    RAM_Eh Member

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    To be Specific

    Manufacturer: Tesla Motors, Inc.

    SUMMARY:
    The subject vehicles (SV), model years 2012-2013 Tesla Model S, are emerging technology electric vehicles using a high voltage battery (HVB) to provide propulsion energy. The HVB uses lithium-ion cells combined in 60 or 85 kWh capacities, and a control system that monitors the HVB and its liquid cooling system. The HVB is positioned across the width of the vehicle between the front and rear wheels and lies above a flat aluminum pan that forms the bottom of the SV's chassis. About two thirds of the SVs were manufactured with an air-assisted suspension system that actively controls ride height, including automatically lowering the vehicle at higher speeds. Two separate incidents in 2013 resulted in significant fires involving the SVs, one in Washington (Oct. 13) and one in Tennessee (Nov. 13). Both incidents involved active suspension equipped vehicles operating at highway speeds and reduced ride height running over debris in the roadway. In both incidents, the struck objects penetrated the aluminum pan at the forward area of the battery, damaging the lithium ion cells of the HVB. The SV's information display notified the driver of decreased battery performance and ultimately instructed the driver to stop the vehicle. The SVs were able to travel ~.8 and 1.8 miles after impact respectively. In both cases, smoke appeared shortly after the vehicle stopped and a fire developed in the HVB. Thermal runaway occurred in the HVB cells. The fires destroyed the vehicles but did not result in injuries. In the Tennessee incident, the object struck by the SV was determined to be a three-ball hitch that apparently fell from another vehicle. Tesla performed a series of tests reconstructing this incident and determined that a similar shaped object contacting the forward edge of the HVB could be "tripped" and potentially penetrate the HVB case. As the object's opposite end digs into the pavement, vehicle momentum causes the object to impart upward force into the case, described by Tesla as a "piking effect". Tesla?s testing reproduced damage similar to that seen in the Tennessee incident, and also showed that a change in ride height strategy, which was implemented in Nov. 2013 via a telematic software update to prevent the SVs lowering at legal roadway speeds, mitigates the risk of battery compartment penetration when a three-ball hitch is struck. The object struck in the Washington incident was not identified. More severe damage to the incident vehicle and the unknown shape of the object raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of raising the ride height for objects other than a three-ball hitch. In a Mar. 10, 2014 meeting with ODI, Tesla stated it would conduct a free-of-charge service campaign to modify the SVs by adding three new components to the vehicle's undercarriage to protect the HVB. A low-hanging transverse member and an additional underbody plate would be mounted forward of the HVB case and a third plate would overlap the leading edge of the case. Testing conducted by Tesla demonstrated that these modifications improved protection from debris impacts. ODI was aware of two fires stemming from road debris impacts when the investigation began. According to Tesla, the SV fleet had accumulated ~90M miles of service at the time it revised the ride height strategy. No further incidents have been identified, and Tesla reports the Model S fleet has traveled an additional ~90M miles. ODI believes impacts with road debris are normal and foreseeable. In this case, Tesla's revision of vehicle ride height and addition of increased underbody protection should reduce both the frequency of underbody strikes and the resultant fire risk. A defect trend has not been identified. Accordingly, the investigation is closed. The closing of the investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist, and the agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by new circumstances.
     
  4. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    So there is going to be a physical modification. I think that 's a good thing, as it will calm some of the more irrationally fears that still may be out there.
     
  5. GardenStateTSLA

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    Apologies if this is old news, it is also being reported that starting March 6th all MS will be built with a shield to prevent fires like these. Details are sparse but also says will retrofit older models.
     
  6. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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  7. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Does anyone know if all vehicles will be modified, or only the 1/3 that don't have active suspension?

    RT
     
  8. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

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    so does this then imply that Tesla will remove the low setting altogether? anyone know if Tesla tested the new underbody protection with the low setting on to see if all we need is just the underbody armor?
     
  9. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    The low setting is already back with firmware 5.9 which is being rolled out now. Low supposedly isn't as the previous low but is is already back.
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Nitpicker's corner: Thread title has the acronym wrong.
     
  11. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    Yes it should be NHTSA. Good news nevertheless.
     
  12. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Wow, the Anti-Tesla vitriol spewing out of ZeroHedge has reached another level entirely...

    To Get Underbody Blast Shield To Avoid Embarrassing Car-B-Q Moments | Zero Hedge

    "Once upon a time, Tesla's Model S was supposedly the world's safest car. Then a few of them spontaneously combusted either in the comfort of their own garage, or while doing the unthinkable, i.e., driving over pieces of debris on the road, and questions emerged just how much money was used to bribe the NHTSA which had rushed to proclaim the Model S the safest car it has ever tested without apparently doing any actual testing. Today questions of NHTSA bribes re-emerged louder than ever after NHTSA reported earlier it had "closed an investigation into fires involving electric sports car maker Tesla Motors Inc's popular Model S sedans after finding no "defect trend." Obviously a forced recall by Tesla would have promptly shifted the spontaneous combustion from merely its cars to its all important for marketing purposes stock price."

    These guys really have it in for Tesla, basically accusing Tesla of bribing the NHTSA. Not sure why they hate Tesla so much, but they view it as a bubble, which doesn't deserve it's stock valuation. Finally though, one or more of the posters have started calling them on their one-sided view of things. Check it out, profanity removed (several thread responses), but overall, 95% of the posters fall in line with the blog author but these are the exceptions:

    "Jesus christ, here we go again with the Telsa onslaught!! Last week, some Obama approved GM CEO announces that after fighting for 20 years in court and f*****g denying they had anything to do with 350+ burn deaths of mothers, fathers, and children in f*****g GM automobiles, the BITCH admits it, says SHE'S SORRY, and GM is going to "turn the page"!!!!! Are you f*****g serious???? 350+ human beings get cooked to death, and NOT A F*****G PEEP ON THIS BLOG about boycotting GM AND Ford got hit 10 years ago for billions in damages for the same f*****g thing and they never would admit it!! Now fast forward to Telsa in 2013-2014 and you have less then a dozen cars ignite, NO F*****G BODY IS HURT OR INJURED, and we are going to keep talking about this, like its the greatest automobile ripoff in history!!! GO DRIVE THE F*****G CAR (Tyler) PEOPLE, before you keep this bulls**t nonsense up! I've driven it, its off the f*****g hook, its like NO OTHER car on earth, its the real deal, and I'm sorry the oil industry and all the confused sheepple of the world can't see it or figure it out! And I get if you don't want to drive it, or buy it, or f*****g look at it, but stop the bulls**t progaganda about how bad it is then."

    "Tyler's continued obsession with taking down Tesla stock price/Elon. I would have though Elon fit his definition of an Ayn Randian super capitalist/enterpreneur hero, oh wait, Obama likes him. Every major car manufacturer has dealt with major safety recall issues, from the almighty Toyota to almost half the crap being churned out of Ford/GM/Chrysler. What, pray tell, is Tyler's car of choice? A Volvo?"

    This one is my favorite, and the guy puts it well too... "The mexican car crash sounds like a scene from an action movie - and the guy walked away from it."

    "There is a body of evidence that electric vehicles were driven (pardon a pun) from the market. Our system rewards cartels. The cartel gets to write both history, and protective market controls. Once in place the cartel stays in place, and everything that came before slowly evolves into something that was a bad idea. Almost nobody gets this. It is so common and examples are so numerous that it is as invisible to us as water must be to fish. Our entire system of public education is part of it, as is probably half of the State laws passed in any given year. There are cartels at every level of industry but in particular in energy, finances, media and transportation. The cartels have virtual government charters and enjoy government supports. They will be bailed out over and over because they are the backbone of the entire nation and it's spreading political structure. See it, people. Just see it for what it is. Stop pretending you are making informed choices from among options, because you are not. And when someone comes along saying that something new is no good or a threat or a waste of time, think in the back of your mind that even if it is true that is also the sort of thing the cartel would be telling you to blind you to something that for the cartel is an existential threat."
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    You can't fix stupid.
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    For some definitions of the word "fix", you can. No, I'm not recommending anything; just making an observation.
     
  15. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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