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Owner of Battery Fire Tesla Vehicle: Car 'Performed Very Well, Will Buy Again'

timothy posted 1 year,26 days | from the go-ahead-touch-the-cornballer dept.

Power 232

cartechboy writes "The Tesla Model S fire that, to date, is either electric car Armageddon or 'no big deal' has been fun Internet theatre combined with a dose of crowd-sourced battery-pack pseudo-expertise. Now the actual car owner (and Tesla investor) weighs in with his take, which is, basically, 'nothing to see here and yes, I can't wait to get back into a Tesla.' Owner Robert Carlson wrote an email in response to contact by Tesla's vice president of sales and service, Jerome Guillen, saying he found the car had 'performed very well under such an extreme test. The batteries went through a controlled burn which the Internet images really exaggerates.' Carlson had no comment on the guy who videoed his car fire, who is now Internet infamous for shooting video in portrait mode." You can read Elon Musk's take, along with Carlson's correspondence.

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The heater really works (5, Funny)

macsimcon (682390) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040777)

It's powered by flaming batteries.

Re:The heater really works (1, Redundant)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040897)

Too bad it's not powered by flaming Anonymous Cowards. Travel would be free!

Re:The heater really works (3, Funny)

danomac (1032160) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040975)

I would say it's not very efficient though - most of the heat is outside the car.

Re:The heater really works (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041141)

That's to melt the ice or soften the asphalt on the road, for better traction.

Re:The heater really works (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041145)

We sophisticated folk call that the Tesla Fireplace.

Muaaaaaaa.

The are mortal after all (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040803)

Tesla cars can burn under certain conditions. I guess they really are just like all the other cars out there.

Re:The are mortal after all (2)

ttucker (2884057) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040891)

Car fires tend to be pretty spectacular... gasoline is quite flammable.

Re: The are mortal after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040951)

Only in vapor form. You can put out a match by dipping it in gasoline. That's part of the reason gasoline is such a good vehicle fuel. It has to be conditioned in a carburetor or a fuel injection system to be very volatile so it's fairly safe as a fuel.

Re: The are mortal after all (5, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041139)

Only in vapor form. You can put out a match by dipping it in gasoline. That's part of the reason gasoline is such a good vehicle fuel.

Good luck having a condition where you have spilled liquid gasoline but no gasoline vapor, which is QUITE flammable.

Gasoline was chosen as a vehicle fuel because once upon a time it was a waste product of kerosene production, so it was cheap and plentiful. The advantage it had was being VERY VOLATILE - easily evaporating into the air to form an explosive mixture. A carburetor does not need to "condition" it at all, just deliver a carefully controlled dose. Because of this you could produce an internal combustion engine without the need for a fuel injection system like diesel engines required, and with a lower compression ratio, so the engines would be simpler, lighter and faster. Less efficient, too, but who really cared when the fuel was so cheap?
=Smidge=

Re: The are mortal after all (3, Informative)

tftp (111690) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041343)

A carburetor does not need to "condition" it at all, just deliver a carefully controlled dose.

A gasoline engine with a carburetor runs on air-fuel mixture, not on gas. If you pour gas down the inlet manifold, the engine stops. The carburetor "conditions" the gasoline by mixing it with air in ratio that is prescribed for the given mode (vacuum, RPM, gas pedal, etc. - as many variables as you have money for.) The later carburetors, before they got obsoleted, were quite complex.

Re: The are mortal after all (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041379)

Essentially all ICEs run on a "air-fuel mixture". Burning requires both fuel and oxidizer, and O2 in the air makes for a suitable oxidizer.

Re: The are mortal after all (4, Insightful)

FrankSchwab (675585) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041631)

Well, you can run an ICE just fine by pouring gas down the intake manifold. When I was younger and stupider, I did that with my ancient Oldsmobile. Yes, it required a bit of subtlety, but not as much as you'd expect.

Carburetors got quite complex because people expected perfect engine response, at all throttle settings, at environmental conditions ranging from startup at 10,000 feet in the winter to running below sea level at 120 degrees F in the summer, and the government expected minimal emissions in all those situations. But, basic though inefficient operation can be accomplished with a straw and a gas reservoir.

Re: The are mortal after all (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041181)

Try heating it. If you want to see a spectacular fire have an ignition source near gasoline that has been heated. a good car fire is highly dangerous because the gasoline starts to boil at only 120 degrees F. and once it is boiling you can easily get the whole tank of fuel to the superheated vapor point by 200 degrees, easily achieved in a car fire. At that point if you release the pressure of the container and the WHOLE LIQUID MASS will nearly instantly vaporize.

That is the nice fireball you get. Gasoline is a good vehicle fuel because it's dirt cheap and easy to make, it's not because it is incredibly safe.

Re: The are mortal after all (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041609)

That is the nice fireball you get. Gasoline is a good vehicle fuel because it's dirt cheap and easy to make, it's not because it is incredibly safe.

Umm, gasoline is incredibly safe if you think about it in terms of how much energy it actually contains. When you consider that only a dozen gallons of it contains enough energy to transport a vehicle loaded to 3,000 lbs over 400 miles, it's hard to imagine getting any similar amount of energy into a container and not have be incredibly dangerous.

I suppose the only thing better for energy density and safety is Diesel.

Re: The are mortal after all (4, Insightful)

HairyNevus (992803) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041241)

You can put out a match by dipping it in gasoline.

....Maybe, if you're very quick. But the gasoline would be giving off vapor upwards, which the match would run into downwards. I've seen the old "dip your hand in water and you can dunk it in liquid lead" trick, but this sounds more like that "heat up a spoon with duck tape around the handle then put it in cold water*" cruel prank.

*do NOT attempt!

Re: The are mortal after all (1)

syockit (1480393) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041305)

"heat up a spoon with duck tape around the handle then put it in cold water"

I wanted to call out on that, but then found it the thing actually exists [duckbrand.com] .

But what's so special about this tape compared to a generic unbranded one, that you chose it particularly for this prank?

Re: The are mortal after all (1)

HairyNevus (992803) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041423)

Nothing, that's not the point. I just grew up seeing that brand so I spell it that way by default....

Re: The are mortal after all (4, Informative)

Brian Johnson (3380539) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041453)

Duck brand tape is the original tape, capable of being used under water. Originally made for the military. Duct tape is the name given to knockoffs to avoid trademark problems. It's not well suited for use on duct work. So, the previous poster specified duck tape because that's the original, and more correct term.

Re: The are mortal after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041245)

Yeah that's diesel not gasoline.

Re: The are mortal after all (1)

MightyYar (622222) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041277)

You can put out a match by dipping it in gasoline.

That's probably true under certain conditions, but most of the time you hear that fact used for heavier fuels like diesel and kerosene/jet fuel. Gasoline has a pretty high vapor pressure compared to the other two, even including butane in the mix depending on the season.

Re: The are mortal after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041345)

Sorry sir. Diesel fuel behaves that way. If you try that with gasoline, I will see you on Youtube.

Re: The are mortal after all (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041347)

Only in vapor form. You can put out a match by dipping it in gasoline. That's part of the reason gasoline is such a good vehicle fuel. It has to be conditioned in a carburetor or a fuel injection system to be very volatile so it's fairly safe as a fuel.

Yes, you can put out a match in gasoline (petrol), but you have to be quick about it. If there's enough vapor about it will certainly go PHOOM!

I've seen plenty of regular cars burning by the side of the road, without even the benefit of striking or being struck by another vehicle. And when the gas tanks begin to boil, that's when the fire fighters are very circumspect about getting near one as an exploding tank can fling flaming fuel for a large radius.

In contrast, this Tesla car fire is dullsville.

Re: The are mortal after all (1)

fisted (2295862) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041515)

You can put out a match by dipping it in gasoline.

You can do that with Diesel. I really wouldn't try it with gasoline.

Re:The are mortal after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041095)

Batteries burn up really nice when they go into thermal run-away conditions. LiPo Batteries really make a nice hot fire when they burn. If you have ever seen a Li-ion or LiPo battery burn up, you might feel safer in that gas powered car... lol

Re:The are mortal after all (1, Flamebait)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041189)

Yup in the hobby world we charge our LiPo batteries in kevlar bags that have an anti flammable lining and a metal closure to keep air out.

LiPo batteries are dangerous as hell, I have no idea why they sell them everywhere to anyone. They are little bombs if you charge them wrong.

Re:The are mortal after all (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041243)

As opposed to a plastic bin full of highly volatile, easily vaporizable, combustible fuel?

Re:The are mortal after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041483)

One major difference is that your average gas tank do not contain oxidizer. In a battery, the chemicals are self contained separated by a special paper and dully ready to react. All you need is add heat to that mixture.

Re:The are mortal after all (3, Insightful)

FridayBob (619244) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041031)

... I guess they really are just like all the other cars out there.

A car that can't suddenly roast its occupants in an explosion should be regarded as a step forwards. Don't forget how dangerous it is to travel at speed in a vehicle that carries both a tank of highly volatile liquid and an engine that, even when functioning properly, turns 70-75% of that potential energy into heat.

Re:The are mortal after all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041111)

And only gets 100 miles per charge. So major step backward, and tiny step forward. Good job. Yay progressives. Psfhthst!

Re:The are mortal after all (4, Funny)

samwichse (1056268) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041449)

Yay uninformed internet conservative!

It's so dirty! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040811)

I know this will probably get lost in the comments but, when my mom isn't home I like to go into her garden, cover myself in dirt, and pretend I'm a carrot.

Re:It's so dirty! (4, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040853)

I know this will probably get lost in the comments but, when my mom isn't home I like to go into her garden, cover myself in dirt, and pretend I'm a carrot.

Funny, that's how you were conceived.

Kind of on topic (4, Insightful)

AbRASiON (589899) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040813)

For the love of all things holy, can camera software / smartphone software detect if the user has _initiated_ the recording rotated and adapt appropriately?
Alternatively, can we get some simple, easy software which rotates video easily? Pictures are a breeze, video seemingly not. It's 2013 already!

Re:Kind of on topic (1)

Ron Elliott (1584463) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040869)

For the love of all things holy, can camera software / smartphone software detect if the user has _initiated_ the recording rotated and adapt appropriately? Alternatively, can we get some simple, easy software which rotates video easily? Pictures are a breeze, video seemingly not. It's 2013 already!

Rotating video on something like a mobile is difficult, there's not much processing power so it will take a while with large videos and drain your battery. As for detecting if the user has "rotated" the phone, how can we know if this isn't intentional? If a user intentionally rotates a phone to achieve a desired effect and we rotate it again this could cause frustration.

Re:Kind of on topic (2)

AbRASiON (589899) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040911)

The phones are capable of shooting in portrait or landscape and auto-rotating the video.

One would assume when you start the recording process in a portrait state, you want to see it "normal".
Furthermore, how hard would it be for a camera app to display a small arrow on the display depicting where "up" is.

Finally, I don't care about rotating on the phone itself, rotating even on a PC isn't that simple either :/

Re:Kind of on topic (2)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040871)

You're simply holding the Apple product wrong. What you suggest would require innovation, something lacking in Cupertino. Just learn to hold your phone correctly. /sarcasm

Re:Kind of on topic (1)

clem.dickey (102292) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041023)

The lens probably provides an orientation neutral, disc-shaped image. If the image sensor and recorder supported a disc shape, then the viewer (or editor) could choose the framing: horizontal, or vertical, square, Cinerama, or just leave it as a disc.

Re:Kind of on topic (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040875)

Software can't fix vertical video since the sensor was oriented the wrong way to begin with . The only "fix" would be to crop down to a lower resolution or design a phone where the sensor rotates independent of how it's held.

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

farble1670 (803356) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041131)

software can write the bits anyway it wants. it can write the bits such that "up" in the video corresponds to the current up direction of the camera.

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041443)

It is. What are you talking about? Did you have to run your head sideways to watch the video?

Re:Kind of on topic (3, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040883)

But what if they *want* it in portrait? It should do what the *user* wants, not what most people think is right.

Re:Kind of on topic (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041463)

But what if they *want* it in portrait? It should do what the *user* wants, not what most people think is right.

As my Photography professer told me early on. "You have to know the rules in order to break them."

After viewing the footage, I doubt this guy was breaking the rules. as he knew them. Which an observer could come to a quick conclusion that he had no idea what he was doing

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040885)

Can't rotate video afterward as you are going to crop a lot of the vertical to make a portrait into a landscape video.

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041259)

Or you play the video with the original aspect ratio despite the angle at which it was taken.

Re:Kind of on topic (1, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040889)

What's software going to do? Rotate the sensor back the other way?
Rotating the video will result in you having to tilt your head to watch the video.
If it bothers you so much just rotate your monitor.

People record in portrait because it's easier to hold and operate a phone one handed in that orientation.
You don't have to like it, but the "OMG FUCK PORTRAIT VIDEO" parade is really over blowing things.

Re:Kind of on topic (1)

reub2000 (705806) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040959)

Why not use a square sensor?

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041089)

Better yet, a circle. That way you can hold it at any angle without it affecting your composition.

Re:Kind of on topic (1)

LordKronos (470910) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041159)

Why not use a square sensor?

Because it would be sensor space that would rarely be used. It's not that common that people would hold in portrait but intend to shoot in landscape. And then on top of that, I don't know that it is technically possible to manufacture a plus-shaped sensor. If not, then that would mean either there would be a lot of the sensor that is completely unused (which means wasted cost of manufacturing, and possibly wasted battery life if it's not possible to keep portions of the sensor powered down), or you'd have to shrink the square sensor down to fit inside the circular lens (which means your effective sensor would be lower resolution). Neither of those are ideal trade-offs for somethings that might be used 5% of the time.

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041209)

My DSLR is square.

Re:Kind of on topic (2)

GiMP (10923) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041295)

Nobody should intend to film in portrait mode except in rare conditions that do not apply here with phones. The reason people do it is because it is the natural way to hold the phone, not because it is the natural way to watch the video. The phone should fix their mistake by cropping the image down to landscape or square. I don't understand what you mean by "sensor space that would rarely be used". With a square sensor, the recording would ALWAYS be square regardless of portrait or landscape orientation. It might be different than what users expect, so the cropped area on the display could show application icons for various features that are often hidden in pie menus.

Re:Kind of on topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041197)

Software cant fix stupid. And that is the problem, Most people are pretty darn stupid when using a camcorder or phone to record.

Re:Kind of on topic (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041313)

Arguably the problem is in video players that can't properly display videos taken in portrait mode.

Why can't youtube display vertical movies? It's 2013 already!

Didn't blow up, would buy again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040841)

So much for the Airlines being scared of laptop batteries because of their power density...
(yes, I know, not same tech...)

Captcha: suicide... can't make that one up.

Re:Didn't blow up, would buy again (3, Informative)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040985)

In fact, it's exactly the same tech. Tesla uses laptop batteries for their vehicles.

Re:Didn't blow up, would buy again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041103)

Yup, thousands of 18650 Li-ion cells.

Same ones as used in laptops, power tools, and flashlights.

http://forums.aussievapers.com/club-vape- [aussievapers.com] |-off-topic-discussion/12754-tesla-roadster-car-uses-18650-batteries.html

Re:Didn't blow up, would buy again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041267)

I stand corrected.
So why is the TSA so dumb, then?
It's not like Tesla can afford to load their car with massive chunks of airplane-threatening-explosion-proof metal dividers, and obviously it didn't go all firecrackers for the lack of them.

Re: Didn't blow up, would buy again (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041009)

The guy is a tesla investor. The fire could have consumed his infant grandchildw and he wouldn't badmouth Tesla. If I has money locked up in something like that I woud say the same things to the press, too. Also, today he probably has 5 times as much equity in Tesla as a week ago (nudge nudge) We are talking about a company controlled by the guy who came up with frickin' PayPal, for petes sake.

Re: Didn't blow up, would buy again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041357)

For $180, I could be a Tesla Investor. (should have bought yesterday, it's up over 4%)
I'm more cynical than most, but you went a bit overboard.

Re: Didn't blow up, would buy again (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041615)

Being an investor doesn't mean shit. For $1000 I could be an investor in almost every one of the Fortune 50 companies.

My cellphone bill cost more per month than it cost to become an investor in Tesla.

Re:Didn't blow up, would buy again (1)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041205)

Actually things like Kindles use the far more dangerous LiPo battery.

shoot the video in a format that fits the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040847)

it's a complete myth that we have to shoot video so it can be shown on a TV. who cares about TVs? the format should suit the subject material, not the shape some old guys in a smoky room settled on years ago.

PR Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040865)

Fuck off.

Can't you people realize that these billionaire fuckers hire PR people?

Are you that stupid?!

Guess so - looking at the mods here.

Lemmings. Elon Musk - the founder of PAYPAL (HELLO!!!) - is behind this shit.God, a little 19th century auto technology with new batteries and you guy are like virgins on a prom date!

Re:PR Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041113)

"a little 19th century auto technology with new batteries"

to be fair Elon has had a lot of success with selling old shit as new, he made his billions from just being a Jewish money changer and applying it to the internet, so making electric cars follows the "selling old shit with glitter" model, btw go look at Teslas accounting and see those money changer skills are still working. that is until a Jesus comes along and turfs him and his buddies out of the temple

Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (-1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040877)

Car executive says that his car catching fire is no big deal. What a shocker.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040991)

An investor (of Tesla), not an executive. Those with the money to purchase a Tesla probably invest in lots of companies with the potential to make them their next million.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041633)

Would have been funny if started selling his Tesla stock on his iPhone just after stepping out of the vehicle.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (1)

IICV (652597) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041025)

... if it had been a regular car, fire would have been the least of your worries.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041133)

Regular cars don't burst into flames after running over a metal object.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (2)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041211)

Yes they can. In fact pick any car and I can get it to catch fire by driving it over a single metal object.

The metal object will be a puddle of molten stainless at 3000 degrees, the car will almost instantly burst into flames.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041397)

No need. All you need is a tank puncture and a spark. Spark can be easily provided by friction caused by such puncture.

Of course, that won't "catch fire", it will "explode" with far more lethal consequences.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (1)

GiganticLyingMouth (1691940) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041049)

TFS states he's an investor, not an executive. Where did you get that idea? The quote "...performed very well under such an extreme test. The batteries went through a controlled burn which the Internet images really exaggerates." is from the driver, not the VP. Just the fact that a VP of the company contacted him about it would indicate that Tesla took the whole event rather seriously.

Re:Of course he doesn't think anything is wrong (3, Funny)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041255)

The car catching fire is pretty bad, but at least the car's owner didn't get electrocuted. Now *that* would have been a shocker.

seems about right (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040941)

If I learned anything from hollywood it's that a car will explode at the slightest touch.
If this had been a gasoline car the guy would be dead.

Hey (0)

Oil_Tan (854423) | 1 year,26 days | (#45040945)

wheres the marshmellows

Exaggerates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45040973)

The batteries went through a controlled burn which the Internet images really exaggerates.

That Internet, making up stuff you don't agree with again!

Re:Exaggerates? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041153)

My neighbor's truck caught fire shortly after he parked it. Problem was a fuel pump which did not shut down properly, and continued to pump fuel to a hot engine with a leak on the fuel injector rail.

Things went from bad to worse very fast.

He was able to push the thing into the middle of the street while it was in the infancy of the burn stage.

During the height of the burn, all of the neighbors were out with their garden hoses trying to keep the gasoline down, but kinda useless... the tank overheated, ruptured, and sent a small stream of ignited gasoline down the street. Of course, everybody moved their cars pronto. The gasoline went on into the gutter and went underground - what happened to it down there is anyone's guess, but it was well lit and smoked a lot down there.

Point I am trying to make is that when the energy which was intended to move a car and its passengers hundreds of miles is released in the space of a few minutes, the results can be spectacular, and destructive.

The fact the car did not literally explode says a heck of a lot.

Re:Exaggerates? (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041251)

I think this is the only worthwhile comment I've read on this entire page.

Re:Exaggerates? (2)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041187)

We've told you a million times: Don't exaggerate!

Re:Exaggerates? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041217)

BMW motorcycles will burn to the ground. It's actually a common failure point. the germans used crap fuel lines that will age and crack in only 5 years. The other failure is burning starter relays that are undersized by "german engineering" but they fixed that in 2005.

Re:Exaggerates? (2)

tygt (792974) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041319)

I can almost verify this; I was riding along one day (2003 BMW K1200GT) and suddenly my pant leg was saturated with cold fluid.
I quickly pulled over, and yep, it was gasoline... luckily, luiquid form and rapidly evaporating without a ready ignition source.
The bike has never been in an accident, it's been well taken care of - but the fuel lines were obviously not up to the task of carrying gasoline!

Fire that wont go out (-1, Troll)

JoeyRox (2711699) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041085)

Yeah, It performed as well as other lithium ion batteries do when they're on fire. That is to say not very well, with an uncontrollable fire that actually gets worse and spreads when water is applied to it. Good thing he wasn't driving through a thunderstorm at the time otherwise the entire state of Washington would be burning.

Re:Fire that wont go out (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041273)

The car also did inform the driver to pull over when it 'sensed' that there was a problem. Damn nice safety feature of the Tesla.

...yet was put out with water (3, Informative)

Albinoman (584294) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041399)

The article linked to a letter from Elon Musk. In it he wrote:

"When the fire department arrived, they observed standard procedure, which was to gain access to the source of the fire by puncturing holes in the top of the battery's protective metal plate and applying water. For the Model S lithium-ion battery, it was correct to apply water (vs. dry chemical extinguisher), but not to puncture the metal firewall, as the newly created holes allowed the flames to then vent upwards into the front trunk section of the Model S. Nonetheless, a combination of water followed by dry chemical extinguisher quickly brought the fire to an end."

You should probably know what you're talking about before stating that as fact.

surprise (-1, Troll)

farble1670 (803356) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041087)

tesla investor plays down the fact that his product burned to a crisp after experiencing a fairly minor impact.

Re:surprise (1)

The Wannabe King (745989) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041389)

An impact with enough force to punch through the armour protecting the battery can not be classed as "fairly minor". According to Tesla, the force was 25 tons (which means 250 kN), which is a lot. Most likely, the results would have been much worse if had happened to any other car without the extra protection under the floor.

Re:surprise (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041405)

Musk's bottom line is the accident outside Seattle that caused the Model S sedan and its battery pack to go up in smoke would have been far worse had it been a conventional gasoline-powered car. "Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse," Musk, who is also CEO of rocket maker SpaceX, writes on Tesla blog. Just as authorities have reported, he says the Model S struck a "large metal object" as it traveled at highway speeds. It went under the car and struck with a force "on the order of 25 tons." He says the estimate is based on the result: a 3-inch hole through armor plate that compromised the car's battery pack. But from there, he says everything went as it should. The car's "onboard alert system" directed to the driver to stop and get out. The fire was contained by firewalls within the battery pack. Vents in the pack directed the flames down and away from the vehicle. The fire department followed the correct procedure in trying to deal with the fire by puncturing holes in a protective plate and shooting water into the pack. If the same accident had occurred under a conventional car, the thin metal shielding around the gas tank or tubing could have caused gasoline to pool and burn the entire car to the ground. "In contrast, the combustion energy of our battery pack is only about 10% of the energy contained in a gasoline tank and is divided into 16 modules with firewalls in between. As a consequence, the effective combustion potential is only about 1% that of the fuel in a comparable gasoline sedan," Musk writes. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/10/04/elon-musk-tesla-fire/2924423/ [usatoday.com]

Re:surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041411)

Which part of pole vaulting a large chunk of metal that can put a 3 inch wide hole in 0.25 inch thick armor plate is minor?

Re:surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041413)

An impact that punches a hole right through an armoured gas tank is not a "fairly minor impact". The car suffered fire in one cell after taking a direct hit to the battery. That's not something that would happen in a fender-bender, and even if it did, all the safeguards worked perfectly anyway.

Blasted portrait video! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041161)

Last month I had the joy of having to create a DVD for a nonprofit event that had a combination of landscape and portrait recorded video that needed to go on it.

I chose the "better presentation" route - made the DVD in 4:3 mode, and cropped the portrait video to 4:3. Thankfully it was 1080p source, so I had MORE than enough resolution in the source for a DVD output. (And thankfully the portrait video was all shot stable enough with the subject still enough that it worked out.)

It's OK, its just fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041239)

The darling of the left will not suffer 60 minutes of rapid acceleration and saddle fuel tanks fire enhanced by remote control explosives.

The TEsla investor is a commedian, also. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041337)

"Controlled burn." Seriously? Ah, the sentiment of the bourgeois.

Better safe than sorry (5, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041351)

Till they fixed this problem I certainly will stay away from any Nvidia product.

Why Do Devices Support Portrait Mode Video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041355)

Why do devices even support portrait-mode video? They've got accelerometers in them, can't they just display an error message when some knob turns them sideways? Do Apple, Adobe, and Sony have a secret plan to take the world by storm with an upcoming release of portrait-mode video editing software, monitors permanently mounted skinny-side up, and portrait-mode DVD players that surely everyone will want or something?

Re:Why Do Devices Support Portrait Mode Video? (1)

black3d (1648913) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041539)

They don't even need to do that - in most devices the CMOS is a square and it's simply software which dictates whether the output is portrait or landscape. You could simply force it to capture widescreen even when held in portrait mode. Probably the reason they don't do this is it would confuse the folks who.. don't understand this stuff. "I'm holding it vertically, why isn't it recording vertically?" Actually - it's really just usability, but perhaps there should be an option on most of these devices "Always capture widescreen video".

Now.. some devices do have slightly wider than tall CMOS sensors, such as the iPhone 5s slightly landscape sensor [blogspot.com] , but a minor down-sampling of video resolution (since, if it's in portrait mode, the sensor is portrait so not quite as wide) would have little effect - especially on the majority of camera phones which don't record 1080p in the first place, so a "full-width" 720p widescreen video could be captured in portrait mode anyhow.

Portrait mode video (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041471)

portait mode is sometime the best option : http://pinball.org/videos/tournament/papa/papa-13-final-game-creature-from-the-black-lagoon/

Search Youtube for "car fire 2013" (2)

Required Snark (1702878) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041479)

About 2,270,000 results

Search "car fire 2013 -race" About 1,740,000 results.

Eliminates motor sports car fires.

Yes, the burning Tesla is on the first page. However, you could spend the rest of your life just watching all the non-Tesla burning car videos for just one year.

So why is one Tesla on fire such a hot item?

Re:Search Youtube for "car fire 2013" (2)

tftp (111690) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041541)

So why is one Tesla on fire such a hot item?

Because there are very few Teslas around, and because they showed up on the market just about a year ago.

Video in portrait mode (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#45041495)

This is also known as iPhone mode. It is only iPhone users that I see shooting video and stills like this. It is not just some of them, but all of them. I think they must teach this technique at Apple school.

Want to know more about car fires in America? (5, Informative)

Michalson (638911) | 1 year,26 days | (#45041589)

Here is some interesting information on car fires from the US Fire Administration (USFA->FEMA->DHS) and the National Fire Protection Association.

From 2008-2010 "Approximately one in seven fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. This does not include the tens of thousands of fire department responses to highway vehicle accident sites.". The leading factors in ignition where "mechanical failure" (44.1%) and "electrical failure" (22.3%). 1 [fema.gov]

The actual number of highway car fires in that period was approximately 582,000, or an average of over 500 car fires every day on American highways.2 [nfpa.org]

In this accident which involved an electric car a large piece of sparking metal debris was run over by the car and thrown up with enough force to slice through the cars stored energy compartment, in this case one of the batteries. The driver was alerted via the display to a problem and instructed to pull over immediately due to the fact that one of the batteries was now leaking and smoldering. A short time later the burning ember reached critical temperature and was able to ignite the softer materials in the adjoining 'frunk', the carpeted front side trunk located where most cars have an engine. The other 15 battery compartments, having not been skewered by a giant metal spike, remained unharmed due to the firewalls and other protection, as did the passenger compartment.

If the owner had been driving a gas powered car and that metal spike had instead been driven up into the gas tank, ripping it open and showering the fuel with sparks as it was dragged along the highway, would the driver have had any warning other than a loud bump and then the passenger compartment being consumed by flames?

This is not the first Tesla fire, there was another involving the Roadster resulting in a recall of 439 vehicles. The source of the fire in that instance was not the advanced battery at all, it was one of the old style 12V lines (Tesla vehicles still include a regular 12V battery for lights/instruments and 'ignition') being in a bad position near a headlight and susceptible to damage that could spark a fire. Going back to the statistics above we have over 100 car fires each day (22.3% of 500) caused by those 12V wires and components being damaged and shorting out. For example Honda recalled over 140,000 (non-hybrid) Fits in the US this year because the wiring in a 12V door switch could get wet, short out and start a fire. GM had the same problem last year and had to recall almost half a million vehicles.
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