Tesla Promises Safety Upgrades to Model S After Fires

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Friday in a blog post that the automaker would upgrade its Model S electric luxury car with a titanium shield on its underbody and aluminum deflector plates. These safety measures come in the wake of three battery fires in North America last fall, which prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a formal investigation in November into 15,800 model-year 2012-2013 Model S EVs, the Detroit News reported. After the Tesla announcement, federal safety regulators announced they were closing their probe without seeking a recall, the newspaper reported.

"We felt it was important to bring this risk down to virtually zero to give Model S owners complete peace of mind," Musk stated. "There is no safer car on the road than a Tesla."

Get the full story from the Detroit News, here.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Where the electric cars are

As more manufacturers introduce electric cars, these battery-powered vehicles are becoming something people see on the road every day. At least in some parts of the country, they are.

More Alternative Fuel News

The number of purely electric vehicles offered in the U.S. will grow to a dozen by the end of this year. Many of those EVs are available only in a small number of states, however, with California being the epicenter of electric-car sales.

By Rick Popely | March 11, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2013 Tesla Model S

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 29,222 model-year 2013 Model S electric cars equipped with 240-volt NEMA 14-50 Universal Mobile Connector adapters.

The Problem: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that during charging, the adapter, cord or wall outlet could overheat.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

How Quickly Does the Tesla Model S' Battery Charge?

"How quickly does the Tesla Model S' battery charge?"

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By Rick Popely | November 9, 2013 | Comments (6)

2013 Tesla Model S: More Photos

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It's been a few months since we've tested the Tesla Model S, but the electric car continues to grab headlines. Fires, recalls and controversy aside, Tesla's electric sedan is gorgeous, impressively quick and full of innovative features. However, a few big issues crept up during our test, causing Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder to call the Model S a "work in progress."

Click here for the full review and continue below for the Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | October 17, 2013 | Comments (3)

How Do I Find Tesla Charging Stations?

"How do I find Tesla charging stations?"

Anonymous

By Rick Popely | October 6, 2013 | Comments (4)

Tesla Model S Safest Car Overall? Not So Fast

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On Aug. 19, Tesla announced it had the safest car in America with the 2013 Model S, which earned the top score, five stars, across six different crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just 1% of cars tested earn five stars across all six grades, Tesla said, and the agency's overall vehicle safety score, which automakers receive from the agency, captures a rating above five stars — in this case, 5.4 stars. That makes the Model S the safest car ever tested by NHTSA under its tougher 2011 standards, Tesla said.

The Model S earns an overall vehicle safety score of 0.42 (lower is better), which beats other five-star cars like the Buick Verano (0.5) and Cadillac ATS (0.53) sedans. Tesla says that translates to 5.4 stars. But NHTSA demurred: "NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond five stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the starred categories," the agency said in a statement to The New York Times. What's more, a number of other cars — from the ATS to the Honda Accord coupe — also get five stars across the board.

Dig into the details, and the stars reflect assessments of specific crash data — the individual readouts from various sensors on a crash-test dummy. Tesla argues, for example, that the Model S beats the Volvo S60 sedan (another car with five NHTSA stars across the board) because it preserved more driver space in NHTSA's side-pole test.

By Kelsey Mays | August 26, 2013 | Comments (3)

NHTSA: 2013 Tesla Model S Earns Five Stars

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Tesla's electric sedan aced the government's crash safety test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the 2013 Model S earned an overall score of five stars and five stars across all areas of testing, including front, side and rollover tests.

While the five-star rating is impressive, the road has not entirely been smooth for the sedan. Earlier in the summer 1,228 Tesla sedans were recalled for improperly welded seat brackets. Tesla did not receive any reports of related accidents or injuries. Despite the recall, the news has been mostly good for the plug-in electric sedan maker; it recently announced that it sold a healthy 5,150 Model S electric vehicles in North America last quarter.

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2013 Tesla Model S Review
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By Jennifer Geiger | August 9, 2013 | Comments (2)

Tesla Quick-Charge Stations to Offer Quick Battery Swaps, Too

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In front of gathered media and Tesla enthusiasts in Hawthorne, Calif., on Thursday night, California electric-vehicle maker Tesla did something quite remarkable. It parked a Model S sedan over a staging area with guided rails (similar to the rails at an automated car wash) and, via robotic arms beneath the car, swapped out the car's battery pack for a new one in about 90 seconds — nuts, bolts and all.

Currently, Model S owners who show up at Tesla's network of quick-charge "supercharger" stations can get enough juice for 180 miles' range in just 30 minutes for free.

Now, if you're in a hurry — or the station already has a line for the fast chargers — Tesla will perform an automated battery swap for about as much as it costs to fill up at a gas station.

By Kelsey Mays | June 21, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2013 Tesla Model S

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Tesla is recalling 1,228 model-year 2013 Model S electric vehicles due to a problem with the seats that could cause seatbacks to come loose in an accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected vehicles were manufactured between May 10 and June 8, 2013. An improper method for aligning the left-hand seatback striker to the bracket may have weakened the weld between the bracket and the frame of the vehicle. In the event of a crash, the left-hand seatback may not stay mounted, increasing the risk of injury to passengers.

Tesla will notify owners of the recall but has not yet provided a notification schedule; dealers will inspect the left-hand second-row strikers and fix the problem for free by installing additional mounting hardware to ensure a proper joint between the bracket and the frame. Owners can call Tesla at 650-681-5000, NHTSA’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.

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Recall Alert: Tesla 2.0, 2.5 Roadster
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By Matt Schmitz | June 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

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