Feds end probe of Tesla battery fires as fixes promised

March 29, 2014 

The U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog has closed an investigation into Tesla electric car battery fires after the company said it would install more shields beneath the cars.

The shields, an aluminum bar, a titanium plate and another piece of aluminum, will supplement a quarter-inch-thick aluminum plate now on the Model S, the only model that Tesla now sells. They’re designed to stop road debris from penetrating the car’s battery pack.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the Model S last year after two fires, one near Nashville, Tenn., and another near Seattle. Debris punctured the aluminum shield and the battery, touching off fires. Drivers were able to escape without injury.

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