Nearly 16,000 Tesla Model S vehicles have been investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for battery fires caused by parts of the vehicle overheating. Tesla Motors has not issued an official recall for the Model S electric super car in which three Model S vehicles had battery fires in late 2013. The investigation concluded that no other incidents of battery fires were found. Instead of issuing a formal recall, Tesla offered a software update and will upgrade the electric vehicles to avoid battery fires. The safety issues will be corrected by adding titanium shields and aluminum deflector plates. All Tesla Model S vehicles will have the aluminum shield if they were manufactured after March 6, 2014. The solution of adding an underbody shield and deflector plates to the Model S will reduce the risk of future vehicle fire.
The Model S was originally built to have three battery packs for a range of over 260 miles per charge; however, this was reduced to two battery packs in the current vehicle. More than 2,600 Model S vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2012, the first year of release. Currently, approximately 20,600 Tesla Model S can be found throughout the states. Tesla depends on a direct sales model by operating galleries in shopping centers versus the traditional third party dealerships. The stores are much like showrooms that provide information and direct customer sales to interested high-end consumers. The vehicle can only be purchased via the Tesla Motors website and many times there are no test drives or financing options.
For the owners of the Model S concerned with any future safety issues, there are Lemon Laws to protect automobile consumers. Consumers, by law, have the protections which allow for either a full refund or replacement vehicle if the recall issue cannot be repaired after repeated repair attempts. Most times, safety recalls are due to problems or defects that can affect the safety, value and performance of the vehicle. These include issues with mechanical and electric issues, brakes, steering, and other issues. If a vehicle has had multiple repairs for the same issue which have not been resolved after several attempts, then there may be a Lemon Law case.