Tesla’s stellar safety record has been under fire lately – quite literally – after a couple of high-profile Model S fires spread like wildfire, especially among the tech media. CEO Elon Musk is looking to extinguish any “false perception” as to the safety of electric vehicles by asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate the fires and making by changes to Model S warranties to cover fire damage, among other changes.
Specifically, Tesla has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see if changes to the car’s design, electronics or other equipment could improve occupant fire safety. If such changes could help, Tesla said they would redesign new cars and retrofit older vehicles to make them safer.
A new fire damage revision to warranties will cover the vehicle in the event of a fire, even if it results from driver error. So long as a Model S owner isn’t actively trying to destroy the car, it’ll be covered. The goal with the revised warranty is to eliminate concerns about the cost of a fire and ensure the Model S has the lowest insurance cost of any car at its price point, Musk said.
The company said they recently rolled out an over-the-air update that raises the air suspension on the Model S during highway travel to help reduce the risk of damage to battery cells located under the vehicle’s floor. Tesla is also planning another update in January that will allow drivers to control the ride height themselves.