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With Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes 293

Posted by samzenpus
from the burning-rubber-and-money dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tesla received a lot of attention over the Model S fires recently, but they're not the only car company having issues with spontaneous combustion. Ford has issued a recall on almost 140,000 Ford Escapes for potential engine fires. With little media attention on the recall, Musk might have a point about the unfair treatment Tesla gets in the news."
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With Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes

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  • "Spontaneous"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:18PM (#45546033) Journal

    I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • Re:"Spontaneous"? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:34PM (#45546145)

      I had a colleague once whose Ford truck was happily parked at work, until it suddenly combusted for no apparent reason. Building evacuted, fire trucks galore, clouds of toxic smoke. Thank you Ford.

      In all the cases I read of with Tesla, some outside event caused damage before the fire ensued. They are being targeted by the incumbents.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @12:13AM (#45546325)

        The Ford was smoking crack.

    • Re:"Spontaneous"? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @01:15AM (#45546621) Journal

      If a car catches fire when it's not in an accident, and it wasn't intentionally set ablaze - I would call that spontaneous.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:20PM (#45546041) Journal

    You can always tell a pioneer by the arrows in his back.

    • by lgw (121541) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @01:55AM (#45546799) Journal

      I'm sure the headline will be reprinted as "In the news: 140,000 Escape Burning Teslas, Ford Recalls". And I hear those SpaceX rockets catch fire every time they're launched!

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      So all those guys who create perpetual motion machines are pioneers?

      Being crucified doesn't make you a saint or right, the opposite in fact. Only occasionally do we get it wrong and crucify the innocent.

      Which makes your statement pretty much entirely the most ass-backwards way of evaluating a situation.

      The term we use for people who think like you is:

      Gullible.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:22PM (#45546063)

    Of course Tesla is getting lots of press, it's because electric cars are new. People (especially Americans) do not like change, they assume that the old way is the best way. With every new technology, you'll have those old bastards still crying about how their gas engines never did this (Even though they do, and on a much larger scale).

    The same press will plague the driverless car. Once one or two accidents happen the media will be in an uproar and so will the populace.

    • by haruchai (17472) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:27PM (#45546091)

      Electric cars are new AGAIN and they are very much the "old way"

    • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:47PM (#45546223)

      Of course Tesla is getting lots of press,

      Tesla's failures are getting a lot of press because Musk wanted Tesla's successes to get a lot of press.

      Musk cant have it both ways, Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      Ford on the other hand, well we almost expect recalls from them.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Tesla's failures are getting a lot of press because Musk wanted Tesla's successes to get a lot of press.

        Musk cant have it both ways, Live by the sword, die by the sword.

        This is a Tesla success. Their cars catch fire much less often than similar cars from other manufacturers.

        The most likely reason that Ford's car hasn't had the same issues when involved in serious accidents is that being an SUV the floor is that might further from the ground and less prone to being hit. Tesla have no introduced a firmware update that raises the suspension when travelling at speed to lessen this risk.

    • by Woek (161635) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @04:08AM (#45547265)

      This is something I truly do not understand. Americans should be extremely proud of Tesla Motors! An american company launches their first fully in-house developed electric car, almost out of nothing, and completely blows away anything that is available anywhere in the world. Including decades old multi-billion dollar companies in Europe and Japan. This car is not cheap, but it is exclusive, well built, comfortable, reliable, has good range, incredible performance, is innovative and almost legacy-free. And very importantly (and surprisingly for an american car if I may say so) actually looks very good! Furthermore, the company takes initiative to create a very useful charging network, and has amazing customer service.
      Americans, embrace Tesla Motors please!!

      • well, they look good in part because they poached about half of Lotus' design team, but thanks for the compliment?

      • Or, looked at without the marketroid glasses, it's an expensive Lotus with shittier range and longer refill time which sometimes bursts into flames during minor collisions.

  • by sheehaje (240093) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:23PM (#45546075)

    Maybe the media scrutiny is that Tesla's actually caught fire, and Ford is proactively recalling because there is a potential fire?

    • by haruchai (17472) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:31PM (#45546121)

      A quarter-million ICE vehicles catch fire every year in America alone so Ford and the rest need to be a LOT more proactive.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        most collisions go without fires...
        I still think the tesla pack is situated poorly.

        of course the fords have a wholly another reason for combusting(failed quality assurance/production, which is something you can "fix" by recall maintenance, so there is something to be proactive about).

    • by mojo-raisin (223411) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:32PM (#45546125)

      Ford is retro-actively recalling their cars after a few dozen caught fire spontaneously. Spontaneous combustion has yet to be achieved by a Tesla.

    • by steelfood (895457) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @12:18AM (#45546351)

      Sorry, but no. Car companies don't just do recalls. Like all other companies, they first calculate the cost of potential lawsuits vs. the cost of a recall. Then if the cost of the potential lawsuits outweigh the cost of a recall, they'll do the recall.

      The only way to calculate potential cost of a lawsuit is to firstly experience the event out in the field. Then, the only the lawsuit is more expensive than the recall is if the event is linked to a characteristic of the product's design or construction. Then it becomes recall-able. If a fire happens one or a few times due to the car meeting a very specific, user-created condition, then it's not worth a recall. If it has a chance of happening under normal operating circumstances (fender benders and other common accidents are considered normal), it's more likely worth a recall.

      There is no "proactive" recall. Proactive means the action is taken prior to any event, as a preventative measure. Recalls only happen after an event has occurred, prior to it becoming widespread (for full disclosure, I could have worded that last bit differently to de-emphasize the event having happened sporadically already and emphasize the prior-ness, but I wanted to make a point).

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Sorry, but no. Car companies don't just do recalls. Like all other companies, they first calculate the cost of potential lawsuits vs. the cost of a recall. Then if the cost of the potential lawsuits outweigh the cost of a recall, they'll do the recall.

        The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can force a recall.
        Their record of forcing recalls is *spotty, but it happens every once in a while.

        *Spotty because first they ask a company to recall the vehicle(s) and sometimes the company says "no," then the NTSA doesn't make them.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Sorry, but no. Car companies don't just do recalls. Like all other companies, they first calculate the cost of potential lawsuits vs. the cost of a recall. Then if the cost of the potential lawsuits outweigh the cost of a recall, they'll do the recall.

        Or the bad press causes them lost sales, Or the NTSB tells them too, or they do it pre-emptively because they know the NTSB is going to. Actually now days, rarely does it get to the stage where its a question of how many lawsuits are they going to get. Taking preemptive action regularly makes it easier for them to get lower settlements should they actually get sued.

        If a fire happens one or a few times due to the car meeting a very specific, user-created condition, then it's not worth a recall.

        Perhaps you should go get the facts about the Ford Pinto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pinto [wikipedia.org] Recalled BY THE NTSB ... even though they

    • by Pr0xY (526811) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @12:53AM (#45546527)

      The article points out that there have actually been 12 fires in the Ford Escapes being recalled

    • by tlambert (566799) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @02:14AM (#45546871)

      Maybe the media scrutiny is that Tesla's actually caught fire, and Ford is proactively recalling because there is a potential fire?

      Actually, if you read the article, you will see that both sets of vehicles are having approximately one fire per 10,000...

      "There have been 12 reported fires but no injuries in the bigger recall of 139,917 Ford Escape vehicles."

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:29PM (#45546105)

    With little media attention on the recall, Musk might have a point about the unfair treatment Tesla gets in the news.

    Well you haven't factored in that with a name like "Escape", you know the outcome of any fires will be fine. No such assurance strapping yourself into something named after a guy who lit 200 lightbulbs from a power source 26 miles away [badassoftheweek.com].

    • by Kvasio (127200)

      Nope, the name is just w pun. What they've meant is "once your car is on fire, there's no Escape"

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The Tesla is named Tesla because you'll feel like you're throwing fucking lightning bolts. The Ford is named Ford because you'll always feel like you've just run the Rubicon Trail when you successfully reach your destination. The Escape is named Escape because that's what you'll need to do when it lights afire.

  • Only Ford? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BringsApples (3418089) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:55PM (#45546257)
    Here's a list of manufacturers that had to do big recalls in 2013, found here: [nhtsa.gov]

    -November 26: 139,917 Ford Escape vehicles from 2013, Recalled for potential oil leaks that may cause an engine fire.
    -November 18: 707,176 Chrysler vehicles from 2003-2008, including RAM 2500 4X4 and RAM 1500 Mega Cab 4X4 models, Recalled for the left tie rod assembly, which may break, causing a loss of steering.
    -November 18: 265,044 Chrysler RAM 2500 4X4 and 3500 4X4 vehicles from 2008-2012, Recalled for the left tie rod assembly, which may break, causing a loss of steering.
    -November 4: 344,187 Honda Odysseys from 2007-2008, Recalled for software that may cause the sudden application of the brakes without the brake lights going on, increasing the risk of a crash.

    Not all are due to fire, but all are potentially fatal, and much higher number of cars recalled.

    • Re:Only Ford? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @12:10AM (#45546307)

      I like this one better

      November 25: 14,909 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles from 2013, Recalled for the wiring harness under the front seats which may short circuit, potentially starting a fire.

      Who cares if the engine catches fire, these ones catch the driver on fire.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        these ones catch the driver on fire.

        That's a feature. It makes for a more personal driving experience.

      • Re:Only Ford? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lazarus (2879) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @06:34AM (#45547711) Journal

        My personal favourite was the recall of 3.4 million airbags last year in Toyota and Nissan vehicles because the ones in the seats may catch fire in the event of an accident:

        "In an accident, the airbag for the front passenger seat may not inflate correctly because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant used in the airbag inflator, the companies said. As a result, there is a risk of fires starting or of passengers being injured."

        You survive the accident, but then your seat catches on fire...and your door won't open... Just imagine. Good thing the media is informing us all about how dangerous a Tesla is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am no fan of Musk or current electric cars but the fire/safety issue has been seriously overblown. More likely to catch fire in a 10 year old car by far, and as we have seen by the number of recalls posted above, many NEW vehicles have far more severe issues.

    While I would not buy a current Tesla, it may be possible in the next few years to buy a hybrid that meets my needs and costs less than 25k.
    And like it or not, EVERY manufacturer that is actually selling product in the electric or hybrid niches is hel

    • by IICV (652597)

      While I would not buy a current Tesla, it may be possible in the next few years to buy a hybrid that meets my needs and costs less than 25k. ...

      Teslas are PROVEN to be very good cars as long as the mileage constraint doesn't impact you.

      ... what the heck are you doing that you regularly need to travel more than 200 miles in a day?

    • by tftp (111690)

      While I would not buy a current Tesla, it may be possible in the next few years to buy a hybrid that meets my needs and costs less than 25k.

      You could do it back in 2005, and you certainly can do it today. That's what I did. No need to wait.

  • by the_arrow (171557) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @12:58AM (#45546557) Homepage

    Yes I want a car with a spontaneous combustion engine! It might not take me to my destination when I want it to, but it will be very exciting to drive.

  • Witch Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes
  • I'm not sure. I don't quite bite. I've only seen most of the Tesla fire stories here...and most of them in defense of Tesla. However, I've seen plenty of stories about other car companies having plenty of problems everywhere. I don't think Tesla is being unfairly criticized, but I think the community that has arisen to defend them is extremely vocal...to the point that they actually make the stories about the fires more prevalent. Hell, one story here talked about how common car fires are in general, so why

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      From my point of view: the people making the biggest fuss are the people who are decrying the "big fuss" around the fires. There's probably a term for this - feels, Streisandish...

      The people making the biggest fuss are drawing attention to the big fuss, which is bullshit. Shining a light on bullshit causes it to be revealed as bullshit.

      I don't know that a Tesla is actually safer than a gasoline car. I suspect strongly that it's less safe than a diesel. But I do know that a lot of bullshit arguments have been used to try to claim that these incidents prove that these vehicles are unsafe, and I have an allergic reaction to bullshit arguments. It makes my back itch.

  • Unexplanied fires are a matter for the courts.

    Model Ssss- I mean Canyonero.

  • Ford recalls 140,000 escapes

    Conveniently forgets about the 200,000 that didn't escape...

    .
  • Nothing is perfect. Percent of bad products is the key, not pure quantity. ( and how its taken care of afterward )

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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