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

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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 ) 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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @01:30AM (#45546675)

    My favorite exhibit at the Vienna Museum of Technology always was the Porsche-Lohner Wagen [technischesmuseum.at]. It's an all electric car built in 1900.

  • Re:Happily parked? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @02:58AM (#45547053)

    Yeah, it was happily parked, until I walked past, and laid a thermite grenade on the hood.

    Your credibility (wait, AC and credibility?) takes a hit, when you claim that a parked vehicle burst into flames. I have seen a lot of vehicles on fire, but never a parked vehicle that just suddenly decided to warm itself up. I'll bet you didn't see the fire marshall's report, which probably made mention of an electronic device that was left turned on, or some other logical explanation.

    I know you are bashing just for the sake of it, but here is how the last Ford recall went:

    The cruise control deactivation switch was live, even when the vehicle was off. It mounts on the master cylinder. If there is a leak, which the master cylinder was prone to, then the switch would short and ignite the brake fluid, which it was prone to. This mostly happened when the vehicle was left alone, as while they were in motion the fluid could not collect.

    This is a very well known thing from more than six years ago. It would behoove you to relax, think, and leave the petulant teenage angst in the past where it belongs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @05:26AM (#45547465)

    Back then, even though many homes did not have electricity or a method to charge a battery, even less people had cheap easy access to gasoline. Electric and steam driven cars were never seen to have an advantage over gasoline cars other than the lack of access to gasoline. Once gasoline became popular, the battery driven cars were wiped out very quickly. Now, 100+ years later everyone has electricity and easy access to gasoline. It's hard to get people to switch over naturally, even with tax incentives and playing the environmental impact angle. Until there is is some huge noticeable real world immediate impact that is not brought on artificially and makes electric cars much better, the switchover will be slow.

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

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

  • Re:"Spontaneous"? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @08:24AM (#45548091)

    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.

    They did the same to DeLorean he wanted to build dependable less expensive cars and went outside the Unions, Manufactures, and Dealers to do it, and you can see where it got him, to think he wasn't sabotaged before being busted on a questionable cocaine charges is foolish, he ended up having numerous and mysterious
    things with the plant, and contracted companies.

    Elon Musk (in my opinion) is too high profiled and wealthy for them to attempt the same type of discrediting campaign, so they will smear the Tesla name instead, another problem with the "freedom of the press" is they to can be bought off to report and make false claims, because they are a corporation and could give a shit about reporting anything truthful, all about dollars and ratings....

    I'm 50/50 on the people of the US as too how many read and hear news and take it into consideration but ignore it, and how many are foolish enough to believe the media is somehow an independent force that reports anything without interference from government and other corporations.

  • by Zeio ( 325157 ) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @11:28AM (#45549137)

    Pioneering was toyota which can make well over 1 million Priuses a year. Popular in Japan, US and worldwide, the car is reliable, has good safety record.

    Elon is a showman who is making a prototype a product. I know someone who has a Tesla roadster, rich guy, that was built with borrowed public money. Anyway, he went on vacation for a month and the car was not plugged in. Bricked the battery, $40k to replace, no warranty. Tesla treated him like garbage and they never fixed the battery.

    Elon is great at leveraging other's people money and ricking OPM to do a prototype. The sales numbers of the Tesla S relative to Toyota is pathetic. And if Toyota felt that they could offer a 100% electric product, they would, if it could possibly be done reliably. I've been to Japan many times and its a matter of national pride to save energy, they are motivated now all the nuclear plants are off to save money and in time they will offer an all electric offering when the technology can be warranted reliably for 8 / 125,000 miles. I have had many toyotas, a friend had one go for 400,000 miles.

    Elon is a circus man. There is a man in a lab right now quietly working on the cure for cancer, but Elon has to run around talking about himself and feeding his ego. And his car is a prototype. No doubt over the next few years we will see how his prototype will continue to disappoint the ultra wealthy one-percenters that can afford his radically overpriced 4 door sedan.

    Also, having ridden and driven in the Tesla roadster, the paneling was pathetic, the door didnt fit well (seemed the hinges were weak), the trunk lid was hard to close and the car was uncomfortable (not in terms of being small, just garbage ergonomics).

    So this whole Elon worship thing is done mostly by people who dont even own or have driven his stupid products. The sales numbers are dismal. 5000 cars a quarter. Unauthorized firmware updates. Bricking batteries without warranty if left uncharged. Lies about the range. No backup motor. Time to charge absurd, so on long trips layovers need to be planned - its worse than trains and riding a bus, and those are BAD.

    People think this is a Tucker? Ha! More like snake oil.

    This concept will be validated when a car company with actual 50+ years of building experience decides to productize this technology. until then this is just marketing and propaganda done with other people's money.

    5000 cars a quarter. Laugh.

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