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posted by Cactus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:05AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the plays-with-fire dept.
danomac writes:

Earlier this month, a Tesla parked in a Toronto garage caught fire. This does not seem to be charger related, as the Model S was not plugged in to a charger at the time. While Tesla fires have been in the news lately, this one was unique in that there was no collision involved.

Tesla said it has definitively determined that the Toronto fire did not originate in the battery, the charging system, the adapter or the electrical receptacle, noting that these components were untouched by the fire.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TrumpetPower! on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:20AM

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:20AM (#1292) Homepage

    Is the owner a smoker?

    b&

    --
    All but God can prove this sentence true.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:22AM

      by mechanicjay (7) <mechanicjayNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:22AM (#1293) Homepage Journal

      Indeed, an oily rag and a match will burn a battery car just as well as a dead-dino burner.

      --
      My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 1) by TrumpetPower! on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:23AM

      by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:23AM (#1294) Homepage

      ...and, no, I wasn't going for funny, though I am a bit chuffed I got my first FP.

      What I mean is that a smoldering cigarette would seem to be a reasonable suspicion in this particular car fire, as in any other, once you've ruled out the energy-dense systems.

      b&

      --
      All but God can prove this sentence true.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by wjwlsn on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:34AM

      by wjwlsn (171) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:34AM (#1299) Homepage Journal

      The first article linked in the summary shows a few pictures from the garage. It looks to me like the fire was at the front of the vehicle, well away from the passenger compartment, which appeared untouched. The fire patterning above the front of the car supports the idea that the fuel first ignited was at the front of the vehicle and that there was limited spread from that point. I can't tell what the ignition source might have been.

      (I've had fire investigator training to NFPA standards, although my actual experience is pretty limited... and those photos are pretty limited. Who knows, maybe it wasn't the car that started the fire?)

      --
      I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by wjwlsn on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:38AM

        by wjwlsn (171) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:38AM (#1302) Homepage Journal

        Yeah, look at the first photo... all the responders are looking at something towards the front of the vehicle. They're not interested in the rest of the car at all.

        --
        I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by lubricus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:22AM

        by lubricus (232) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:22AM (#1480)

        Maybe the fire was *in front of the car*, which is to say, *in the garage in front of the car*. I still haven't seen any picture that show the car had any fire damage at all. Some pictures of a burnt out front end were actually from the car that struck the trailer hitch.

        If you look at stories with recent updates, they all say that the Tesla was probably not the cause of the fire at all, so here's a revised headline:
        "Tesla Model S caught in garage fire"

        --
        ... sorry about the typos
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by stormwyrm on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:32AM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:32AM (#1298) Journal

    And the garage just happened to contain a Tesla when the fire occurred?

    --
    Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by paddym on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:14AM

      by paddym (196) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:14AM (#1343)

      Wondered about Tesla and Boeing Dreamliner. Does the Tesla use composite components? Does anyone know if driving these composites through the earth's magnetic sphere could induce currents that cause shorting? I find it strange that we've had these phantom fires in the cars/planes with batteries. Most planes are an aluminum faraday cage, so this should not happen. But the Dreamliner is different. I read that Tesla uses composite panels, but I would think the aluminum chassis would prevent something like this, unless there's not enough chassis to prevent such currents from occurring.

      • (Score: 1) by lubricus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:17AM

        by lubricus (232) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:17AM (#1478)

        Can't say anything about moving composites generating currents, but if that were the cause, wouldn't the fires be correlated with travel? The Tesla was in a garage, and (if I remember correctly), 3 out of the 4 Dreamliner fires were while the planes were on the ground. Doesn't this suggest some other cause?

        --
        ... sorry about the typos
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tastech on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:25AM

          by tastech (251) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:25AM (#1535)

          I remember reading somewhere the Dreamliner fires were the result of overcharging. A poorly designed or missing charging regulator can cause this. The Tesla EV's use Lithium batteries, These are sensitive to overcharging and can and have caused fires. Otherwise Lithium metal (Used in the battery) can react energetically with water. So probably a moisture issue, or a problem with the charging system implemented.

          • (Score: 1) by mmcmonster on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:42AM

            by mmcmonster (401) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:42AM (#1542)

            Is this up for vote?

            If so, I vote for jealous girlfriend/neighbor.

            Based on prior history from the company, if there was a fault in the Tesla electrical systems they would call a mandatory recall to settle it or an over-the-air update to mitigate it.

      • (Score: 1) by danomac on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:32PM

        by danomac (979) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:32PM (#1686)
        Submitter here - I submitted this article because there was no collision and the charger was not being used at the time. As I do not know the layout of the car (is the front a storage area? battery area?) I thought this could be more interesting than the "car crashed and caught fire" stories.

        Pretty sure the fire department would have indicated something if they thought the fire was caused by something else. I really like the idea of a Tesla and would love to own one (fires be damned! have to wear a couple layers of Nomex ;-) ), but they're way out of my price range. Some of these are growing pains for electric cars no doubt, and I hope that they sort them out ASAP.

        I've known a regular vehicle to catch fire after sitting for a while, there was a carburetor fire, so it's not like this happens only to electric vehicles.

        I hope Tesla sorts this one out, and fast.
        • (Score: 1) by DECbot on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:09PM

          by DECbot (832) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:09PM (#1969) Journal

          The battery is the underside of the car, somewhere between 5 to 10 cm thick. Placing the battery pack under the body will allow you (some time in the future) to drive to a battery swap station, and in 5 to 10 minutes, the entire battery pack for another one with a full charge.

          Petty much all of the Tesla fires are either the result of a puncture to the battery pack (large, metal road debris or various types of collisions) or related to the charger. The fires burned in a controlled manner and put out by untrained firemen not prepped to combat a lithium fire in a vehicle. Most of the charging issues have not been fire related, but rather dead batteries after a night of charging, or vampire charging of unreasonable magnitudes (leading to bigger than expected electric bills). The charging issues have been address so far with software updates, and in a few cases new hardware.

          When it comes to construction, the body and the side panels are all aluminum, joined by rivets, spot welding, MIG welding, and ridiculous amounts of adhesive. These things are build like aluminum tanks. I don't recall seeing any significant amount of composites on the body.

          --
          cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by kwerle on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:55AM

    by kwerle (746) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:55AM (#1406) Homepage

    A car caught fire. It was a tesla. This isn't news.

    • (Score: 1) by jheath314 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:08AM

      by jheath314 (1174) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:08AM (#1453)

      Hey, at least this is different from the usual Ford implosion.

    • (Score: 1) by danomac on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:38PM

      by danomac (979) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:38PM (#1689)
      It depends on what caused the fire, that'll determine if it's news or not. Right now they don't have a cause, which makes it interesting in my book.
      • (Score: 1) by kwerle on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:26PM

        by kwerle (746) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:26PM (#1880) Homepage

        It depends on what caused the fire, that'll determine if it's news or not.

        Unless it was a robot, I can't imagine what could make it technology news. The only way this is news is eco-econo. My hope is that neither of these topics has a place on /this/ site - unless it has a clear bearing on tech.