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Model S Accident/Fire

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by joshuaeven, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. pfq1982

    pfq1982 Member

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    CO, watching the video, do you think the fire patterns match that venting? Your post seems to hint the main battery actually could be involved here. I was thinking maybe they had regen off and caused a brake fire, but both sides seem to be equally involved from the video.
     
  2. Right_Said_Fred

    Right_Said_Fred Moderator

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    There are approx. 250 million cars in the US and approx. 280.000 car fires a year that fire departments respond to. That is one fire in 1070 cars. It's actually amazing this is only the first fire in a Model S, given that there are 15.000 of them on the road.
     
  3. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    The front end is smashed and there is accumulated and burning debris on the ground and quite a distance away from the car itself extending to underneath the vehicle. This tells me that it was in a crash and the other vehicle was somewhere else (behind or to the side of the camera) or that it had already been removed. The only other explanation that would validate the front end damage is an explosion in the frunk compartment from whatever was stored inside. The car obviously did not collide with a pole or other stationary object.
     
  4. c041v

    c041v Supporting Member

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    I thought it might be this at first, but look carefully where the car is sitting - it isn't in the adjacent slow lane yet. In order for this to be a glancing T-bone, the "other" vehicle would had to have traveled into the gore area and the merge lane where the Tesla is sitting to hit it. It doesn't add up. From what I barely can see in between the flames, there does not appear to be major deformation on the driver's side of the car.

    I'm calling it a frunk fire, but I'm not an expert.
     
  5. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I think the debris is completely consistent with melting plastic.

    After some more thought, I think the brakes are unlikely. My guess is a 12V short. There was one buyer here that reported that a 12V short on his new Model S that drained the battery, and Tesla had to replace the battery and the defective electronics (A/C, IIRC). That could easily lead to a fire.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    That would be concerning to me if so. My car is currently off to get a full battery replacement after the my 12v seemingly died. That would take it from annoying inconvenience to Neo-style bullet dodging since it died in my garage.
     
  7. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    I should take the advice of government officials who emphasize that we shouldn't immediately blame Al Qaeda for a terrorist attack.

    That said, I don't see any evidence that is not consistent with a cascade failure of the main battery, but there are many other possible explanations. My point is that I think folks who are ruling out a battery fire are wrong to do so.

    - - - Updated - - -

    There isn't any debris from another car. There should be broken glass and brightwork scattered in front of the Tesla if another car was involved.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A 12v failure is plausible. We have reports of 12v battery deformation.
     
  8. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    I was on that road yesterday in the afternoon but I didn't see the accident.

    This area was hit with wind and rainstorms the day and night before the accident resulting in extensive power outages because the leaves are still on the trees. We had to run our generator for about 9 hours. I wouldn't rule out someone transporting fuel for a generator. Generators are virtually a "must have" in the NW.
     
  9. daxz

    daxz Member

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  10. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    How do you explain the deformation of the front end of the car? The metal of the hood is shredded and consistent with an impact or explosion. A battery fire doesn't shred metal. I bet something inside the frunk exploded, and my money is on a leaking gas canister...
     
  11. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    The Model S could have rear-ended a semi. That would smash the front but do no damage to the semi-which would have had to drive much further away to park without obstructing traffic.
     
  12. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Based on probabilities, I'm liking the 12v explanation more and more. That is a real, and known problem.

    From what I recall from shop class (and my old Chemistry classes) the sulfuric acid in the battery can release hydrogen gas if it shorts, which could then cause an explosion. If that were to happen all of the plastics and fabrics in the front end could ignite and we could end up with this video.

    Anyways, it seems more probable that a known problem that has damaged batteries enough to cause them to visibly deform could be the cause here, vs a failure in the main pack itself.

    Though again, the fire could be consistent with any number of causes.
     
  13. Yuri_G

    Yuri_G Member

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    Very good observation.
     
  14. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    We had a lead-acid battery explode on our boat once. Not pretty.
     
  15. pfq1982

    pfq1982 Member

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    Does the 12V sit in the middle or closer to one of the sides?
     
  16. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    The hood isn't shredded. It's pitted. If you look at some of the Jalopnik photos/screen captures, you can see holes through it.

    The hood is extremely thin sheet aluminum. A strong enough heat source from within the frunk will could cause hotspots that melt holes in the hood.
     
  17. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I have transported both propane (for a grill) and gasoline (for my lawnmower) in the frunk of my S. It is entirely possible for this to be the result of whatever was being transported inside the frunk and have absolutely nothing to do with the mechanics of the car itself. Hell I've even had bottles of liquor like Bacardi 151 which is flammable up there. one of those rolling around and smashing is definitely enough to catch fire on something. obviously that would have nothing to do with the car itself.
     
  18. Smop

    Smop Banned

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    Closer to the passenger side (right under-behind the fireman's cut loop). From the video it looks like (to me) this is potentially where the fire started from (greater intensity).
     
  19. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Fire1.jpg

    You can clearly see where the hood has melted through. Those holes aren't from impact or shrapnel.
     
  20. c041v

    c041v Supporting Member

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    Capture.JPG

    I'm sure this guy had something to do with the shredded metal.
     

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