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Discussion in 'Tesla' started by El Dobro, Oct 2, 2013.
Saw this on Youtube today.
Saw the teaser on local news a few minutes ago, it apparently happened here in the Seattle area, and send Tesla stock down sharply.
So many deadly gasser vehicle fires, but it is this that makes national news.
KOMO TV:Tesla stock tumbles after Model S catches fire near Seattle
KING TV: Tesla stock tumbles after Model S catches fire near Seattle
It was probably something stored in the frunk. The motor, and I would think the alternator, is in the rear. There is battery up there, but wouldn't there be a fire wall between it and the cargo and passenger area?
Apparently it was a battery fire, after a collision with metallic road debris:
APNewsBreak: Tesla says car fire began in battery
There are so many fatal accidents in gas cars that if the news reported all of them there would not be enough time or space for it. When a gas car catches fire, it's an inferno.
This fire was caused by metal debris puncturing the car, the fire was contained in the front of the car, due to its design which isolates such fires, and the driver was not hurt. But since this is only the second EV fire ever (the other being a Volt that was intentionally crash-tested and then handled improperly afterwards, and caught fire two weeks later) it of course makes the news.
I bought TSLA at about $35. It was up to about $193, and since investors are as skittish as mice, and about as intelligent, the stock has now dropped to $173 as of this writing.
I'm sorry this guy's car was destroyed, but the car was designed so well that nobody was hurt. The Model S is the safest car on the road. The Model S is too big a car for me, but if it was smaller, and if they had not built the Roadster before it, the S would have been my dream car. As it is, I'll stick with what I have. But as usual, the news has the story backwards: This fire proves how much safer an EV is than a gas car. If this had been a gas car, the driver would probably be dead.
At the very least, he wouldn't have made it off the highway like the Tesla did.
Actually 17 other Plug-ins have burned, including Fiskers and Plug-in Prius
and EVs have burned in hours/garages as well.
This is the first/only EV fire of a car that was being driven or in normal use.
I received the following email from Tesla. Maybe because I drive a Roadster, or maybe because I'm signed up for news from them:
That was an accident. The car hid something on the road. Since the battery pack is situated at the whole bottom of the chassis. Those are lithium ion. When hid and short circuit, it will caused high temp. and finally ignited and burn. Nothing wrong with the car. It's because the battery hit something and short circuit.
The concern here is that there was a failure on a very low number of vehicle miles driven. Call it karma or hubris, but the universe always finds a way to humble: it only took a month for the safest car ever made statement to be put to the test. Perhaps Elon will figure this out and not make such statements about SpaceX vehicles.
Elon's point about this happening to a conventional car is very poorly made. The vast majority of cars made today do not have the gas tank in the front. On the other hand, road hazard damage usually happens to the forward half of a car and is far more likely than an accident. Take a look at the underside of a high mileage car and note all of the dings and scrapes. Now imagine that underside being an inch or two lower with penetration at any point being a cause of failure.
I am not saying that the Model S is a bad car or unsafe car -- just look at the Jeep fuel tank problem -- but this strongly suggests that they need to take another look at the "armor" used for the underside of the pack. They are very fortunate that the pack is easy to take on/off, if they decide to do a voluntary recall.
The car hit a great big chunk of metal, big enough to pierce armor plating, and yet the fire did not start until the car had warned the driver to stop; the driver had had time to pull off the freeway, find a safe place to stop, and get out; and nobody was hurt.
Further, the fire was directed downwards, away from the car, by design, until the firefighters made holes in the top of the battery compartment. This further protected the passenger compartment. The fire never did enter the passenger compartment.
The definition of "safe" is not that a car cannot be damaged by a honking huge piece of metal on the road. The definition of "safe" is that in an accident the occupants are not seriously hurt.
In this case, nobody was hurt at all, as the fire did not start until a considerable time after the accident, giving the driver time to stop and get out, and further, the fire was contained to a small part of the car, well away from the passenger compartment.
The Model S, as demonstrated by this accident, is the safest car on the road.
If you want a car that can never be damaged by anything, you won't find it. Even a tank can be destroyed by a bazooka.
I make no claim about the car being unsafe for the occupants. I do make a claim that there is a potential design flaw, as demonstrated by having a complete catastrophic loss in very few vehicle miles driven.
How many battery fires will there need to be before Tesla recalls the cars for a fix, or the owners file a class action lawsuit? How soon before insurance carriers put a special riders on policies to not cover battery fires?
"After 83 million miles of Model S driving, 12 significant accidents, and extreme crash-testing by U.S. Safety regulators, this is the first fire in a Tesla vehicle."
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/deutsche-bank-tesla-fire-had-to-happen-at-some-point-2013-10#ixzz2gws2l1N5 There are nearly 20,000 Tesla S on the road with millions of miles driven. The dozen major accidents didn't involve fire. The piece of metal this one hit was shaped just right to punch through a quarter inch of steel. The frame rails on a truck can be 3/16 inch thick. Should we start to worry about road debris punching holes in our cars' frames and severing brake or fuel lines?
There's no flaw. The S actually has more than a half an inch of ground clearance than the Prius. The smart suspension lower it, but not beyond what other performance and modified cars. This was just bad luck. Bad luck that with a conventional car could have ended with an accident or fire on the highway.
I repeat that this accident demonstrated how SAFE the Model S is. The accident was a complete fluke and likely would have caused much more damage in a conventional car. The design of the car resulted in a significant delay between the catastrophic accident and the start of the fire, and when the fire occurred, it was directed AWAY from the passenger compartment AND confined to a small part of the car, until the fire fighters opened up the battery pack in an effort to extinguish the fire.
The reason you don't read about fatal car fires in gasoline cars is that there are so many of them that the public has long ago gotten bored of reading about them.
The Model S is the safest car on the road, and this accident demonstrates that. Unfortunately, haters will hate, and some people will latch onto this as something to hate Tesla about, just like the nonexistent accelerator pedal issue in the Prius after someone who never should have been allowed to drive a car stepped on the wrong pedal and was too cowardly to admit it, so he tried to ruin a whole car company instead.
The design flaw is in the decision process to run over debris big enough to punch a hole in your car. Would a lighter car have been flipped?
Let's reduce the insurance premium for everyone by removing fire damage from the auto policy.
You can reduce your insurance premium by not purchasing comp & collision coverage. Just buy the mandatory liability insurance. Then your car is not covered for fire or any other damage to it.
Damage coverage to your car is not mandatory. Nobody is required to insure their car against fire or other damage. Personally, I'll keep full coverage on my cars, but that's my choice. You can choose how much insurance to buy, beyond liability, which is required in case you damage someone else's car.
Far far more than one fire with zero injury, if existing vehicle recalls for fire are any guide.
Here are some NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) web pages about vehicle fires and fire deaths:
Highway vehicle fires
Vehicle Fires in the U.S. in 2003-2007
"U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 287,000 vehicle fires per year in 2003-2007. These fires caused an average of 480 civilian deaths, 1,525 civilian injuries, and $1.3 billion in direct property damage."
I guess I am the only one here that does not own Tesla stock (nor have I sold it short).
None of numbers quoted control for model year or a specific defect. The highway vehicle fire rate has been falling rapidly as carbureted vehicles have been retired. Using statistics from 2003-2007 grossly distorts present-day risk. Every year the rate drops. Mind all of you, I was in a roll-over accident where the gas tank was punctured (also due to a design defect), and it was genuinely terrifying. That's why I have encouraged everyone to think of this in terms of a manufacturing defect, rather than occupant safety.
Anatomy of a recall (June 2013)
"General Motors Co. is recalling about 231,000 additional SUVs that might be in danger of an electrical short that could cause a fire.
The move is an expansion of a recall from last August to check 249,000 SUVs for a short in a circuit board in the driver's door that could lead to a fire.
Vehicles involved in both recalls include the 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL and 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender.
Of the more than 480,000 recalled SUVs, about 443,000 are in the United States, GM said.
The automaker said it has received 58 reports of vehicle fires and 11 minor injuries related to the issue"
58 fires, 480,000 vehicles, 6 years of vehicle service. One fire per 50000 vehicles per year.
Tesla model S: 1 fire, 25,000 vehicles, 1 year.
That's it from me, I know I won't change anyone's mind, but I have enjoyed this episode of lies, damned lies, and statistics.
I do not see how you can call it a defect when a huge chunk of metal punctures a quarter of an inch of steel, and the resulting fire is delayed long enough for the driver to get off the highway, stop, and get out of the car, and the fire is confined to an area where nobody would have been hurt even if they had remained in the car until the firefighters arrived.
This is not a defect. It is remarkably good passenger protection in the event of an extreme accident.
Yes, lithium can burn. So does gasoline. To try to portray the Model S as defective is pure FUD.
The linked charts go to 2011.
The GM recall is for a fire that happens even when the vehicle is sitting unused, not triggered by a crash. But in a sense it does answer your question about how many fires it takes to create a recall. In this GM case, it was 58 fires.
In earlier years, fires triggered by faulty Ford ignition- and cruise-control switches numbered over 1000 before recalls were forced.
Your figure of one fire per 50000 vehicle years is clearly excluding a huge block of crash related fires. Overall, with roughly 250 million cars and light trucks in the country, and 187000 highway vehicle fires in the most recent reporting year, we get closer to a fire per 1300 vehicle-years for the overall fleet. Against that measure, the Tesla is doing just fine.
This Telsa fire occurred just a few weeks and a few miles from a far more spectacular fire, in which a local BMW driver burned to death after a crash. But I haven't heard any suggestion that that BMW model should be recalled for its fire danger. WSP suspects meth in deadly I-405 crash; victim identified