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Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the now-for-the-suv dept.

Transportation 152

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla said a few weeks ago it would add additional safety shielding to protect the battery of every Model S car on the road against damage from road debris. But it offered no photos of its update as it would look when installed--so one owner took his own. These may be the first detail shots of what the three different pieces look like. There's a half-round aluminum tube, a titanium plate, and a T-shaped section--and you can see how they combine to deflect and direct impacts to minimize damage to the battery. Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?"

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152 comments

Stop the Tesla Love (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715617)

Who cares if it'll solve Tesla's problem...?

I don't come to /. for automotive news.

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715685)

And you are the only person in the world who reads /. obviously...

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715735)

Seriously. The tech/gadget blogs suddenly covering cars because of Tesla is lame. It's poor fanboyish coverage at best.

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 3 months ago | (#46715947)

Yes, because it makes a whole lot of sense not to think of cars as technology, and Slashdot never reported on electric cars before Tesla [slashdot.org] .

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715903)

Who cares if it'll solve Tesla's problem...?

Oh Well trash vehicle trash shields trash ideas from a trash company ..

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (5, Funny)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46716143)

Who cares if it'll solve Tesla's problem...?

Employees of Tesla. Owners of Tesla vehicles. Geeks (well, nerds actually) who want to own a Tesla. Proponents of zero emission vehicles. People who are interested in new or inventive technologies...

I don't come to /. for automotive news.

There's the trap - come to be a troll, but look out - you may learn something here if you're not careful!

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716589)

"zero emission vehicles"

Derp.

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 3 months ago | (#46717491)

Add this one too: Anyone who has seen that an electric car is simply the best way to go into a modern city.

Re:Stop the Tesla Love (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46717689)

"proponents of fake zero emission vehicles."

FTFY

Electric vehicles are NOT zero emission, please stop spreading this marketing lie.

Problems? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715699)

" Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?"

You mean Tesla's problem of already being the safest car money can buy?

Or do you mean Tesla's problem of having every minor pecadillo be over-hyped by the media, especially right wing news outlets that want to downplay Tesla's success because admitting Tesla is successful is tantamount to admitting a policy of the Obama administration that the right wing fought against actually turned out to be a good policy. It might fix that.

Re:Problems? (-1, Flamebait)

glasshole (3569269) | about 3 months ago | (#46715739)

You mean Tesla's problem of already being the safest car money can buy?

That is highly debatable. Please dial back the Tesla circle jerk just a tad.

Re:Problems? (1)

EvolutionInAction (2623513) | about 3 months ago | (#46715799)

If you know something about their cars that I don't, please post. Their ratings out of the safety tests are the highest on record, and it's been pointed out many times that they have a lower incidence of car fires than average. Where's the debate?

Re:Problems? (-1, Troll)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 3 months ago | (#46715813)

The sample size of total number of Tesla's is still considerably smaller then ICE vehicles.

Re:Problems? (4, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | about 3 months ago | (#46715847)

The sample size of total number of Tesla's is statistically significant. Total size of population relative to ICE vehicles is irrelevant.

Re:Problems? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715997)

Then do the comparison properly, Tesla Model S car fires vs. ICE powered car fires for vehicles built at or after June 2012.
This will avoid the fallacy of including 15 year old vehicles against 2 year old vehicles, as well as accounting for the modern state of ICE vehicles.

I'd be surprised if there was a statistical difference between the two.

Re:Problems? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46717713)

If I do that and compare it to Volvos, the Tesla is far more dangerous.

Picking and choosing data is FUN!

Re:Problems? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715855)

But # of fires per vehicle mile driven can be calculated and the figures normalized. The Tesla sample size of 10K + cars is large enough to be statistically valid.

Re:Problems? (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#46716069)

The sample size of total number of Tesla's is still considerably smaller then ICE vehicles.

The relative sizes of the two samples is irrelevant. Statistically illiterate people almost always vastly overestimate the sample size required to draw useful conclusions. Inaccuracy is usually not caused by the "sample size", but the sample bias, for instance, if there was some reason that Tesla fires would be under or over reported.

Re:Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716577)

As some other AC pointed out vehicle fires are probably more common in older cars and so there is going to be sampling bias because the average Tesla on the road is much newer than the average ICE vehicle on the road. Anecdotaly the one (minor) vehicle fire I had was in a 10 year old car and was caused by a worn/leaking gasket.

Re:Problems? (2)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46715921)

The part where Tesla is daring to intrude on a market which is quite properly owned by a triopoly and funded with dinosaur corpses.

Re:Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716377)

The part where Tesla is daring to intrude on a market which is quite properly owned by a triopoly and funded with dinosaur corpses.

Reports of the dinosaurs' demise were vastly exaggerated.

Re:Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716567)

Their ratings out of the safety tests are the highest on record

They have a 5 star safety rating. Tons of other cars have a 5 star safety rating.

Re:Problems? (1)

EvolutionInAction (2623513) | about 3 months ago | (#46716699)

The rating only goes up to five, and they broke one of the testing rigs. Look, maybe they don't have the absolute safest car, but it's up there and it's not a circlejerk to say so.

Re:Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716907)

The rating only goes up to five, and they broke one of the testing rigs. Look, maybe they don't have the absolute safest car, but it's up there and it's not a circle jerk to say so.

It is a circle jerk to claim safest car when other cars have broken testing rigs too.

Re:Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46718727)

That was exactly my point and I got modded down to flamebait and lost my excellent karma over it....

Re:Problems? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715807)

If it's not THE absolute safest, it's one of the top safest cars you can buy. Point is, it's already an extremely safe car. This is just a minor tweak.

Full disclosure: I don't own a Tesla, but would buy one if they weren't so gosh darned expensive.

Re:Problems? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715935)

If it's not THE absolute safest, it's one of the top safest cars you can buy. Point is, it's already an extremely safe car. This is just a minor tweak.

Full disclosure: I don't own a Tesla, but would buy one if they weren't so gosh darned expensive.

About as safe as having a crap in bed then hoping you wont roll in it over night ,,

Re:Problems? (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#46715957)

Obama?! What, did he invent the electric car?

Re:Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716295)

Obama?! What, did he invent the electric car?

No, you're thinking of Al Gore.

Re:Problems? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#46716633)

Short memory? [youtube.com]

Re:Problems? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715991)

" Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?"

You mean Tesla's problem of already being the safest car money can buy?

Or do you mean Tesla's problem of having every minor pecadillo be over-hyped by the media, especially right wing news outlets that want to downplay Tesla's success because admitting Tesla is successful is tantamount to admitting a policy of the Obama administration that the right wing fought against actually turned out to be a good policy. It might fix that.

 

Right wing news media? The right wing fought against? You've raised douchbaggery to a new level.

Re:Problems? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716017)

every minor pecadillo be over-hyped by the media, especially right wing news outlets that want to downplay Tesla's success
 
Care to cite?
 
  admitting a policy of the Obama administration that the right wing fought against actually turned out to be a good policy.
 
What policy would that be? Can you cite it instead of just screaming "Obama!!!" at the top of your lungs?

Re:Problems? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#46716643)

You mean like the garage fire where the marshals weren't even sure it had anything to do with the car? Or how about the one where a steel rod was levered into the battery at highway speeds managed to start a fire?

Or how about the one who drove through a CONCRETE FUCKING WALL and caught fire? (oh, and I should mention the driver walked away)

Re:Problems? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46717733)

Sherman tanks can drive through walls without catching fire...

Re:Problems? (1, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | about 3 months ago | (#46716103)

As we all know, the folks here at /. all know much more about everything than anyone else so they are eminently qualified to opine on any subject. In the current case, I am sure that the engineers at Tesla will read every comment carefully to see where they have gone wrong and try to correct their mistakes even though they cannot equal the brain power and engineering prowess of the collective "Slashdot hive mind".
Let the flame wars begin!

Re:Problems? (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 3 months ago | (#46717515)

You have a bias-ply mind in a radial world.
Perhaps I missed all the 'right wing news outlets' hammering Tesla.
Was it ABC? CBS? CNN? Comedt Central? MSNBC? MTV? NBC? NPR?
Well, let me know because I can't monitor them all by myself.
You make a list and wheel (see what I did there) run those rascals down like the rabid chipmunks they are.

Re:Problems? (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 3 months ago | (#46718905)

I was all set to agree with you until I got to the end of your post. How is equating "Tesla is a success" with "Obama's energy policy is a success" any more valid than equating "Solyndra was a failure" with "Obama's energy policy is a failure?"

Sure, I've seen the media try to make both of those connections. I, wrongly, assumed Slashdotters wouldn't be stupid enough to fall for either one.

Was it really Tesla's problem? (5, Insightful)

dclozier (1002772) | about 3 months ago | (#46715701)

These accidents all seem to stem from the drivers and their carelessness. From crashing through brick walls to hitting large chunks of debri in the road rather than going around it. All Tesla has done is made their vehicles less prone to the driver being careless. (good move none the less)

Next up - Tesla cars catch fire after drivers park them in the ocean.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715725)

Next up - Tesla cars catch fire after drivers park them in the ocean.

Only if the titanium is replaced by magnesium.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46717865)

Or if there was lithium in the battery packs...

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 months ago | (#46715793)

disagree about carelessness.

I believe products should be designed (over-designed) so that even if users are not operating fully as planned, you should still have a safety margin to protect them.

its typical german (old school; not sure about now) engineering design. don't just do the job barely; OVER do it. just in case.

having protection down there makes uber sense ;) not having it is a weakness. this should have been there on day-0 and I'm very surprised that they didn't.

when making a brand new product, its best to over-plan for disaster and mitigate as much as you can, in advance, via over-design and better parts quality than you thought you might need. you get only a short window to prove yourself to the world, might as well do all you can to make that big splash work for you and not against you.

to contrast, the chinese way (sigh) is all about just barely having enough headroom to support use-cases. they will put lower voltage capacitors on a circuit thinking 'this is good enough for our foreign users; if the circuit blows up, who cares, we already got their money'. this is why so many people are going out of their way to avoid chinese junk electronics. their design mindset is ALL WRONG and actually dangerous.

I'd like to see more of a return to overdesign and thoughts about customer safety and product longevity. this throw-away culture really pisses me off.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 months ago | (#46715895)

Sure, except that in every reported case of battery fires in a Tesla, the user has walked away from the crash (even when the crash took place at 100 mph or so). The cars already have the highest safety rating possible in tests. Expecting a safety margin is one thing, and Tesla has shown they more than fulfill that. Expecting to be invincible is quite another, and that's what a lot of people (or, at least the media) seem to be expecting, and that's incredibly stupid.

This battery shield is a PR move, quite simply. Not a bad one, and it might marginally improve safety, but I suspect only extremely marginally so, and it's certainly not worth it as a safety measure alone.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 3 months ago | (#46716315)

It's perhaps the biggest example of the Tesla Kool-aid that being able to walk away from an engine fire is seen as something incredible and amazing.

In almost all engine fires, the only way you'll fail to walk away is because you were physically unable (trapped or unconcious). I've a low end 2003 Skoda fabia (costs approx , if my engine were to catch fire, I'd get the heat sensor beeping at me, then the engine warning light would beep at me, then, if I hadn't stopped by then, it'd go into crawl home mode. I'd imagine if a lot of people read their car manual they would find their car will do something similar, yet people were going crazy over how amazing it was that Teslas could do this.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716507)

Well yeah, the 100 mile per hour crash was the big thing there. Not that it is possible to avoid an engine fire by walking away but that they are able to walk after a potentially very lethal accident is significant.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46716675)

Well yeah, the 100 mile per hour crash was the big thing there.

It seems big, until you consider that a lot of people survive 100 MPH crashes in ICE cars as well, even ones that don't have quite as stellar of a rating as the Model S.

Of course, I've been arguing for 20 years or so that pretty much everyone would survive almost every crash if the NHTSA would mandate roll cages and five-point harnesses, but alas, thus far my entreaties have fallen on deaf ears...

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#46716679)

So you're saying you should expect to send your car at a concrete wall at +100mph, and walk away after emerging from the other side of said concrete wall?

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 3 months ago | (#46718135)

Yes. Then, and only then, will I trust you to put wings on it, so I can fly to work.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? MSV (1)

beltsbear (2489652) | about 3 months ago | (#46718335)

That will bring us closer to the future of the MSV:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (2)

master_kaos (1027308) | about 3 months ago | (#46716013)

It all boils down to $$$, for both the consumer AND manufacturer. I would love a Tesla, problem is, I also don't want to pay 1/3 of the cost of a house to get one. People say they don't build stuff like they used to, which of course is true, you look at a washing machine and there is a whole cockpit worth of buttons on it for options and configurations because people want it. I use the exact same cycle on my washer and dryer no matter what I am doing, the odd time I might use a second. I don't need 30 different cycles. My mom's 30 year old washer had 3 buttons (cold warm hot) and a dial for time, and it still running to this day with only 3 repairs. Of course the thing goes through 10x amount of water as a modern front facing one does. The dryer, also 30 years old (only repaired once), takes twice as long to dry (meaning twice as much electricity).

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46717781)

1/3rd the cost? I know people that live in homes that cost LESS than the price of one. hell I bought my very nice home 5 years ago at the bottom of the market crash for less than the price of a Model S and I'm on the edge of the $5,000,000 mansion neighborhood. so it's considered upper middle class land.

You cant call california home prices normal, they are ungodly abnormal.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 3 months ago | (#46718591)

You bought a $90k home that borders a community with $5M homes? That seems bizarre.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 3 months ago | (#46718941)

It's more possible than you would think in certain small cities. Drive through a few residential areas in midtown Columbia, SC and you'll see exactly that.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 3 months ago | (#46717823)

It all boils down to $$$, for both the consumer AND manufacturer. I would love a Tesla, problem is, I also don't want to pay 1/3 of the cost of a house to get one.

I wish I lived in your area... here, a Tesla costs ~1/8th the cost of a house, and 4 x the cost of a stripped-down budget new car.

I have to disagree with you on one point. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46716553)

Any consumer available product should certainly be engineered to be safe when used as directed, and should be able to accommodate any reasonably foreseeable circumstance without itself becoming an undue hazard. In this instance, a Tesla Motors vehicle should be able to withstand any circumstance which might reasonably be expected to occur - within bounds of reason. I understand that in all instances of battery fires, the vehicle's occupants had ample time to exit the vehicle and watch their car burn up from the safety of the roadside.

Incidentally, my (dinosaur powered) truck has a full skid plate under the carriage. That's an optional piece of equipment on my pickup, a vehicle which is even more likely than a passenger car to encounter operational conditions which include a greater chance of undercarriage damage (my truck's a 4x4 and was clearly designed with occasional off-road use as an intended capability). Mind you, I feel that my truck is quite well designed and is correctly engineered to perform its primary function adequately through many years of use; but Tesla is already exceeding even that mandate here, overengineering their product and even updating their design to accommodate "edge cases".

(Oh, and what you refer to as the "Chinese way" - we call that planned obsolescence in this country - it's practically the holy grail of manufacturing design for many firms, nationality notwithstanding)

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46717377)

That was a long time ago and, although I'm in the NA auto sector, our customers are mostly German-owned. When I first started, spec's were always with 100% margin of safety. Now with fuel consumption being the prime concern over safety (or perceived safety, anyway) parts are being thinned out to a few percentage points above spec. Notwithstanding items earmarked as safety-critical, like the CRS bracket or safety belt bits, at least. The lighter-and-harder materials like aluminum help but adoption is hampered by line-monkeys that insist on torquing the hell out of everything. Cracks abound. I'm fighting tooth and nail to keep ahead of the rust on my current car because I do not want one of these new disasters in my driveway. Every new car I've looked at has parts that are either partially rusted though or misaligned or loose and it's hellish to get decent warranty service anymore. I think the last straw was watching a friend's F-150 rust through it's decorative "chrome" bumper-like product in a year. I guess galvanic corrosion doesn't matter so long as you get that 0.1mpg improvement.

s/catch fire/sink (3, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46715971)

But to be fair, my Dad managed to sink a new VW Bug in Lake Michigan back in the late sixties. He learned that "It floats!" - right up 'til it sinks. Took a while.

Incidentally, he never thought about sueing Volkswagen - back then, he figured if he was stupid enough to drive an automobile into a lake, he got what he had coming. Nowadays, I'm pretty sure the settlement would've been worth millions.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (2, Insightful)

slinches (1540051) | about 3 months ago | (#46716065)

Going around road debris isn't always the best decision, so I wouldn't necessarily assume the driver is being careless. Running over something which may do some damage to your vehicle may be a much better alternative compared to hitting the vehicle in the next lane or swerving into oncoming traffic. Both of which would risk harming others.

Still, any vehicle with relatively low ground clearance is going to have trouble in this sort of scenario and the most anyone could claim is that the Model S is more prone to damaging expensive components. If that wasn't addressed, there could have been some liability issues in the sense that Tesla drivers may have a financial incentive to make a less safe decision in these sorts of scenarios. I think this, along with keeping the perception as the "safest car on the road" and general goodwill made it worthwhile to implement these design changes even though occupant safety was never really a serious concern.

This has really been a non-story from the start. Tesla had a minor design issue on a first generation vehicle and have consistently done the right thing for their customers as well the rest of the driving public in every decision they've made along the way. If only the same thing could be said for GM and their ignition switch problem.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 3 months ago | (#46716243)

any vehicle with relatively low ground clearance is going to have trouble in this sort of scenario

That's why when I'm driving through a parking lot and some ricer with their "ground effects" car is grumbling behind me, I speed up just slightly so they're paying attention to me and not the speed bump which they can't see because they're so close to me.

I always get a pleasure hearing a sustained, "CRUNCH!" as their car scrapes over the bump.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#46716463)

I guess you are not from the North East.
Pot Holes. The hole doesn't just appear, is breaks loose then a car or truck or plow will dislodge the material and make the hole. Causing debris, often without you seeing it. Other people can be careless too such as rear-ending you. And sometimes even if you are very careful, something could distract you enough to get in an accident.
We all think that we are great drivers... But we are not, a lot of times when we are not at our best, we are lucky that nothing happened or the other guy corrected himself before you hit them. If a driver is really that good of a drive and careful, they would be such a nervous wreck that they wouldn't every drive a car.

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 3 months ago | (#46716709)

Why don't we just get rid of all engineering guards and warning labels on everything?

Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46717805)

I want large steel spikes in the middle of steering wheels. a lot of drivers need to be impaled.

Complete Cover (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#46716973)

I don't know why they don't have the entire bottom covered. Better aerodynamics and protection against road debris in one.

hmm (1)

mr_tommy (619972) | about 3 months ago | (#46715719)

Telsa did this in response to i) dubious driving by end users and ii) dubious journalism by commentators. Would it be better put then not as 'solving a [pr] problem' but rather sliding along a scale with trade offs between weight and strength / safety.

There aren't really any problem (2)

Torontoman (829262) | about 3 months ago | (#46715737)

Really given the 'error rate' that Tesla has with this issue they have fixed something that wasn't really a problem at all. Or at least it was one that was so insignificant it's no big deal. I'd also like to say: Great Job Tesla on showing how to make a great product and stick it to the old guard as well.

Car blog? (0, Troll)

OhPlz (168413) | about 3 months ago | (#46715743)

My hybrid probably has some protective plates on its undercarriage, should I post that as a story?

Yes, please do. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46716021)

Specifically, post video of your car running over the same kinds of debris that Tesla demonstrated here [teslamotors.com] .

Re:Car blog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716093)

My hybrid probably has some protective plates on its undercarriage

Does it? Are you sure? Or are you just poassing gas because you have nothing of value to say?

Re:Car blog? (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 3 months ago | (#46717065)

I'm tired of seeing Tesla articles on the front page, it's noise in the way of actually interesting tech news. It's not unlike TV providers putting ads in the program guide grid. It's noise that gets in the way.

Most vehicles, if not all, have protective covers on things. The hood, for example. My Jeep (second vehicle) has metal plates covering all sorts of things. This might be a neat article for a car news site, but why here? How is the techy?

Gonna go with "no" on this one. (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 3 months ago | (#46715765)

Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?

Since Tesla's biggest problems come from buggy whip... I mean, car dealership... protectionism, combined with a dislike bordering on zealotry from a media that still considers the Chevy L88 as the engine to beat for every compact sedan they review?

No. No, these updates will not solve Tesla's problems.

Re:Gonna go with "no" on this one. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46716047)

You forgot Amoco, BP, Shell, Texaco, Sunoco . . .

Lemon Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716091)

Story

Looks like its not all roses for all owners. It also looks like they are caliming they don't have to abide by lemon laws if they are not a dealership. 66 days getting fixed in the first 5 months of ownership of a $100k car sounds unacceptable, but laws are for other people I guess.

Re:Lemon Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716515)

Link

Did you mean to include one?

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715775)

Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?

Tesla's problems are incumbents in the auto industry who are terrified of a well-funded, highly-desired auto manufacturer coming in and stealing their sales faster than the incumbents are willing/able to evolve and are thus willing to engage in whatever FUD campaign is required to tarnish Tesla's image to damage their business, regardless of how accurate the FUD is so, no, this won't solve Tesla's problems.

How much titanium (4, Interesting)

Kardos (1348077) | about 3 months ago | (#46715785)

is there in one of these plates? Are they detachable by thieves to be sold for the metal value?

Re:How much titanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715889)

How much does one of these cars weigh? Can it be tipped on its end for endless comedic value?

Re:How much titanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46718757)

Not Smart..

Re:How much titanium (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#46716083)

Given the location and structural requirements, I'm going to say this is not a readily detachable part - at least, no more so than any other automotive component. Probably as difficult to remove as any structural chassis element.

Now, if you want to think in terms of malicious behavior, seen the news lately about "smart car tipping"?

Re:How much titanium (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 months ago | (#46716299)

is there in one of these plates? Are they detachable by thieves to be sold for the metal value?

Given the location and structural requirements, I'm going to say this is not a readily detachable part...

Don't underestimate the persistence of a meth-head: Catalytic converters are removed with battery driven grinders and saws-alls all the time.

Re:How much titanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46717961)

This happens WAY less than it's reported.

And if you're living in one of the few areas where it is an actual problem...

You're not going to own a tesla.

Re:How much titanium (1)

Lodlaiden (2767969) | about 3 months ago | (#46718175)

You're not going to own a tesla....that is parked on the street.

Re:How much titanium (2)

Carnivore (103106) | about 3 months ago | (#46716211)

Titanium itself is pretty low cost, material-wise. The cost comes in working it. I just found a retail price of $450/m^2 for 1mm sheet. I'm not sure how thick the plate here is, but it's only about 4x the cost of stainless sheet from the same place. If we assume that the plate is a solid rectangle measuring 60x30cm, then the retail value of the material is $80. I don't think it'd be worth much on the scrap market.

Anyway, to steal it, you'd have to crawl under the car (12cm clearance), detach the plastic aeroshield, then get the plate off.

Missing the big picture (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#46716525)

Are they detachable by thieves to be sold for the metal value?

Would be a LOT easier to just steal the whole car.

Re:How much titanium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46718133)

I'm 40% Titanium!

I give them credit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715837)

I'm not the biggest fan of Musk and (as an hybrid battery engineer for a competitor) I was disgusted by the way he handled the reports of the fires as they arose but I have to give him some credit for these changes. We all, and by all I mean anyone mechanically inclined in this field, knew that there's no way their battery would be protected in real world driving conditions. It could have been their simulation models or maybe they were trying to stretch the boundaries of what determines a "safe" vehicle, most likely it would probably be attributed to the maturity of the company that led to the inadequate protection of the original vehicle. I know what kind of costs are involved with adding the extra protection and for the retrofit of the existing vehicles and I must say that I was surprised to hear that Musk had implemented the change.

Re:I give them credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715963)

I'm not surprised. What this announcement did was kill the investigation into the battery fires.

Tesla shield us! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46715859)

Shield us from Slashdot Beta Fail!

I doubt it. (5, Insightful)

Rollgunner (630808) | about 3 months ago | (#46715865)

I don't think any number of technical improvements can fix a problem that only exists in people's heads.

Hysteria, superstition, preconception and failure to understand statistics are the *real* problems that Tesla faces in marketing their product.

Sure it will. (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 3 months ago | (#46716009)

Ever heard of the placebo effect [wikipedia.org] ?

No (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 3 months ago | (#46716149)

Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?

No, because Tesla never had a problem in the first place, so this improvement wasn't really necessary.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716677)

Do these updates look like they'll solve Tesla's problems?

No, because Tesla never had a problem in the first place, so this improvement wasn't really necessary.

Says man with fingers in his ears and eye closed yelling "la, la, la, I can't hear you".

Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716167)

I don't care for the new look and feel of Slashdot. When did you guys become the whore of the advertising industry?

Long-lasting sparks (0)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 months ago | (#46716231)

Right before this announcement, there were stories of California fire officials asking golfers to be careful when using the now rather common titanium clubs in the rough, as the sparks generated when duffers hit rocks with them can last long enough to start a dry brush fire.

So again; what happens when such sparks encounter spilled fuel from a conventional car involved in an accident with a Tesla? (Here come the downvotes).

Re:Long-lasting sparks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46716745)

I'm guessing the same thing that would happen when steel sparks encounter spilled fuel from a conventional car.

Re:Long-lasting sparks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46718043)

Right before this announcement, there were stories of California fire officials asking golfers to be careful when using the now rather common titanium clubs in the rough, as the sparks generated when duffers hit rocks with them can last long enough to start a dry brush fire.

So again; what happens when such sparks encounter spilled fuel from a conventional car involved in an accident with a Tesla? (Here come the downvotes).

Please describe the scenario where the deflector underneath the plastic sheathe and located rear of the front wheels sparks in a way that fuel from another vehicle involved in an incident would be exposed to it.... I'd be more concerned about a ruptured battery pack and arcing at this point. "long-lasting" sparks last seconds, not minutes. You'd have to drive a Tesla over pre-existing wreckage for this to be much of an issue.

Re:Long-lasting sparks (2)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 3 months ago | (#46718793)

So again; what happens when such sparks encounter spilled fuel from a conventional car involved in an accident with a Tesla?

Probably not that much. Spilled gasoline is a lot harder to ignite than the movies portray it.

titanium would not be my first choice (3, Funny)

clovis (4684) | about 3 months ago | (#46716401)

I was really hoping they would have gone for us reactive armor for the battery shield.

Tesla cars rock (0)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 3 months ago | (#46716457)

But I will never EVER willingly buy a car that reports back everywhere it is.

car metaphor (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about 3 months ago | (#46716807)

This is Slashdot, please explain this article with a car metaphor.

misleading headline on linked article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46717787)

The linked article headline implies (intentionally or otherwise) that the NHTSA closing the investigation had something to do with Tesla adding the additional under-body protection. That is not true. The investigation said that there was no defect in the original cars. The fact that it came to an end at around the same time as Tesla taking additional, pro-active steps to make the car even safer is a correlation, not a causation as far as we know.

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