Tesla to install shields in attempt to prevent car fires

| Saturday, March 29, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Electric car maker Tesla Motors said it will install extra shielding to prevent roadway debris from damaging batteries and possibly causing a fire.

The company said it will retrofit the Model S with an aluminum bar, a titanium plate and another piece of aluminum. The shields are designed to ward off the type of debris that caused fires in two cars last year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating when the fires were reported. It was unclear what impact the shields will have on the probe. Tesla said the action is not a recall.

CEO Elon Musk said the Model S has a high level of safety and that the shields make the car even safer.

Tesla has sold about 22,000 Model S cars in the United States.

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