Motoring Lists Tesla Model S Fire Hysteria Among It 2013 Gripes of the Year

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 14

First Of Three Model S Fires Happened In Early October 2013

First Of Three Model S Fires Happened In Early October 2013

What’s your automotive gripe of 2013?

Second Model S Fire

Second Model S Fire

Mine is the inaccuracies with which the media reports on various plug-in vehicle topics.

For Michael Taylor of Motoring, it’s the hysteria that surrounds a Tesla Model S fire.

As Taylor, Motoring’s “Man in Europe,” explains:

“The vilification of Tesla for a handful of fires in the beautifully engineered Model S feels maliciously orchestrated. There are calls for recalls, demands for action from the US National Highway Transport Safety Authority and widespread coverage of each fire, examined from every angle. Yet examination of the facts shows that each Model S fire occurred after a freak incident (such as a crash or having jagged metal pierce the battery pack). Indeed, the statistics show the Model S has far few fires per 100,000km driven than conventional internal-combustion-engine cars from Ford, Chrysler and GM in the US.”

Taylor takes it a few steps further by suggesting the “established players” are involved too:

“It’s all sounding like vitriolic poison driven by the established players, who should be both threatened and embarrassed by Tesla’s success. The question needs to be asked, though: Are they trying to turn Tesla into the new Tucker?”

Is the Tesla fire hysteria your automotive gripe of the year?  If not, then what is?

Third Model S Fire  (Instagram User Davanh)

Third Model S Fire (Instagram User Davanh)

Source: Motoring

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14 responses to "Motoring Lists Tesla Model S Fire Hysteria Among It 2013 Gripes of the Year"

  1. Big Solar says:

    Mine is just the fact that (I think) EVs are not selling as fast as they should because of mis-information. Whether the mis-information is intentional or not.

    1. Assaf says:

      I wish it was only mis-information…. as another story on this site today (or was it yesterday?) indicates, battery-maker capacity has become the true bottleneck.

      The biggest indicator of this are Leaf 2013 sales in the US. They have been rock-solid since 2013 was launched, averaging just over 2k cars/month and ranging only between 1864 and 2420 – the latter belonging to a 33-day, 5-weekend August.
      http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

      You cannot be so steady in a new still-emerging product, unless you are supply-constrained. The demand is all there, and more. But supply cannot increase fast enough. Same story with Tesla.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Funny thing is, Nissan will be at the new production capacity level (~2,700/month) when Smyrna comes back online next week (after 10 months constrained)… just is in time for the SLOWEST selling period for plug-ins – January/February.

        /timely

        1. Assaf says:

          yeah…. I wouldn’t count on their plans anyway.

          They’ve been promising the mythical 2,700/month (what kind of number is that anyway?) for over a half-year now.

  2. Assaf says:

    IMHO Taylor is spot-on. The media scare about Tesla fires has been artificial and context free, and crossed into ridiculous with Reuters resurrection of a month-old garage fire story.

    Today there’s a news story that demonstrates how “important” fuel- and car-related fires are to the mainstream media, when it’s not EV-related:

    The *entire* town of Casselton ND was evacuated last night, in the freezing cold, because a fracked-oil train collided with another and a dozen or so cars have burst. The fire dept. plans to let the fire “burn itself out”. If not for the blogosphere, I wouldn’t have heard of this story because it is buried in the back-pages (if mentioned at all), and updates are few and far between.

    http://www.startribune.com/local/238207831.html

  3. Mark H says:

    Mine is the double standard to subsidies and bailouts.

    I am a pretty fiscally conservative and like less government involvement but I go a little crazy when people complain about the 50 billion spent on GM, which netted less than 15 billion loss in the end, and those same people show much less anger over the 700 billion spent on the banking system with the untold loss of personal fortunes due to the fallout.

    I get the same thing over the $7500 US subsidy for EVs that if collected by every auto manufacturer until it runs out would be less than 15 billion and that would most likely happen over 10 years, yet not so much as a whimper over the 50 billion spent EVERY year just to police the oil lanes. And that is only a small fraction of the subsides that goes to big oil.

    I call that a double standard. Maybe it would help if each taxpayer got a more specific number for their own personal tax on where each dollar actually went. They would see just how small the amount spent on new technologies really is. Also, over HALF of the money tagged for alternatives goes to ethanol. I am so ready to throw ethanol under the bus and stop dragging real alternatives down.

  4. Chris O says:

    “The vilification of Tesla for a handful of fires in the beautifully engineered Model S feels maliciously orchestrated”. Ain’t that the truth….In fact the fires themselves feel maliciously orchestrated unless there is statistics showing that cars getting their undersides pierced right around the footwell area is a very common event. I wonder how many people get injured in such incidents? Notice that where Model S benefits from a 6mm protective plate for regular cars its just 1 mm of sheet metal that separates the occupants feet from the tarmac.

  5. Smith says:

    I think the Tesla is poorly engineered. I think it was poor engineering to locate a so lightly armored large lithium automotive battery so close to the roadway. I think it was poor engineering, to design Tesla charging connections so cheaply/light/poor that the connections are prone to overheat and cause fires. A firefighter was injured responding to a Tesla related fire, that Tesla charge connections are suspected as a possible cause by fire investigators. A firefighter was injured responding to a Tesla related garage fire. Allegedly a Tesla owner was burned on his hand and arm disconnecting burning charge connectors. I think statistically the Tesla is more likely to catch fire than similar vehicles. Customers of Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and Toyotas Rav4EV allegedly haven’t had any fires from road debris or vehicle accidents; yet Tesla has recently had three. It’s disgusting that Tesla has most of the media in their back pocket. Regretfully so many people prioritize short-term greed over safety. It’s evil to cover up the safety problems. Some people will do anything for money.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      And some people will write anything in blog comments.

      1. Smith says:

        There is no shortage of greedy people that want to pretend there is no safety hazard in Tesla automobiles. It is unwise to place a lightly armored automotive battery so close to the road. It is unwise to run so many amps through such light and poorly designed charger connections. Tesla cars are on video burning and exploding. Many Tesla charger connection problems have been documented.

        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/15304-Plug-Adapter-on-my-Universal-Mobile-Connector-has-melted

        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/18092-Schmelted-UMC-NEMA-14-50

        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/23212-Scary-issue-with-Nema-14-50-adapter-melting

        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/25444-Melted-Charging-Adapter-Cord

        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/15304-Plug-Adapter-on-my-Universal-Mobile-Connector-has-melted?p=316665&viewfull=1#post316665

        http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/15304-Plug-Adapter-on-my-Universal-Mobile-Connector-has-melted/page7

        http://insideevs.com/tesla-mode-s-garage-fire-official-incident-report/

        The Tesla software update is just a Band-Aid. There still is an underlying issue of bad Tesla hardware/electrical connections. All electric automotive manufactures need to be more careful about engineering designs, manufacturing and addressing safety complaints/criticisms of batteries and charging systems. These problems need to be nipped in the bud now, before the potential safety hazards can multiply.

    2. Guy Dormehl says:

      I wonder if this Smith is the same Smith1 who trolls on the Tesla forum all the time? What IS his problem? Oh he has vested interests in a conflicting business! That makes sense…..

      1. Joshua Burstyn says:

        The same, I’m sure.

        What a tool.

    3. Edison_Who says:

      Smith, you are aware that Tesla supplies the batteries for the Toyota Rav4 EV, correct?

  6. VoxMot says:

    ““It’s all sounding like vitriolic poison driven by the established players, who should be both threatened and embarrassed by Tesla’s success.”

    Has anyone checked to see Mr. Taylor has any of his own financial interest in he success of Tesla? I’m sure he would disclose that right?