Submitted by aaquino22 on November 8, 2013
We know that sports car tuning or air suspensions lowers the Model S at high speeds to improves aerodynamics and increases range. Lets face it, a lowered vehicle traveling at high speed, whether it's a Model S or a Lamborghini, vs a random trailer hitch or a bent metal pole on the middle of the road will inevitably cause damage to the under-body. I should know. In my younger years, I had a drop rice rocket with a clearance of 2-3 inches from the ground. I had my share of damaged bumpers and under bodies by merely going over speed humps.
I really think this is simple fix for Tesla. Have a sensor in the front that will scan for any large debris with the potential to go under the vehicle. Once the sensor senses a dangerous debris, a deflector shape similar to a snow plow on trains pops down under the front bumper. The deflector then drops down as close to the road as possible to maximize the deflection of the debris away from the center under-body, away from the front wheels and away to the side of the vehicle. It may not be 100% effective but at least the deflector will deflect any debris from hitting the vehicle's under-body where the battery is located thus minimizing damage and ultimately fires. After a couple of seconds deployed, the deflector then pops back up into the front bumper and resets preserving the aerodynamics. A service vehicle warning will then pop up in the display screen inside the cab to let the owner know to take the vehicle in for service. Obviously, this fix should be an add on piece that can be attached by taking the front bumper off and mounting it to the front frame. This add on piece can allow Tesla to recall all the Model S currently on the road for installation. I'm no mechanical engineer, but I am sure Elon has the best and brightest to work out the specifics. Fellow supporters of Tesla. What other ideas can help?
Long time support of alternative vehicles. Go Tesla!!