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No Model 3 battery fires!

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by ratsbew, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    There are a ton of Model 3 on the road and I'm sure that many have been involved in bad crashes. By this point in the Model S's timeline there had been quite a few fires.

    Has Tesla engineered the risk of battery fires almost entirely out of the Model 3's battery pack?

    What are the fire stats on ICE cars at this level of production and time on the market?
     
  2. Swampgator

    Swampgator Active Member

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    I started a thread on this last month: No Model 3 fires to date

    I do believe this is big news as well. But we will not see it in the headlines because it flies against the prevailing narratives.
     
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  3. Atari2600

    Atari2600 Member

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    Probably no fires because the designer clearly treated the battery pack as a passenger and not a supporting structure. People like Sandy Munro can suck it.
     
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  4. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    It sure looks that way, doesn't it!

    Well, without crunching the numbers I think it's pretty clear that the Model 3 is probably approaching the number of miles racked up by the Model S and yet the number of fires is either zero or very close to zero. I did see one burned Model 3 but it was in the California wild fires so that one doesn't count. And I'm pretty sure we would have heard about it even if it was only a small glovebox fire caused by a stoned passenger putting his still burning pipe in the glovebox or a drunk person accidentally discharging their handgun into the battery.

    So, the numbers on the Model S were something like 25% of the fires per mile VS. gas vehicles. Or was it 12.5%? In any case, the Model 3 is looking to be super safe in terms of both fires and bodily harm in violent impacts. No wonder the short sellers have moved onto other topics like failure to get European sales approval (oh, wait, already done), no demand in Europe, etc.
     
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  5. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    I think this is one of those things we've noticed, but we don't want to say anything because it's like knocking on wood.

    Just the act of saying it can jinx it.
     
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  6. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    #6 StealthP3D, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
    I doubt it. Nobody talks about gasoline fires but they still happen all the time, every day. I saw a VW full of twenty somethings engulfed in flames 20 feet high. Everyone but the driver burned to death. But the media does not make ICE fires national news. They only get reported in the locale where there occurred.
     
  7. OPRCE

    OPRCE Member

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    That intumescent fireproof gel on the battery pack of M3 has probably helped and is something I would like to see retrofitted into the S/X design, where it [or similar] apparently featured in 2013 but was subsequently removed:
    Impressive battery in the Tesla Model 3
     
  8. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    If I recall, the battery was a stressed member of the Model S chassis, not so in the Model 3. If true, I think that would be the biggest contributor to battery safety in the Model 3.
     
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  9. SSedan

    SSedan Active Member

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    When comparing ICE fires I think it important to be honest and admit the average age of ICE on the road is 12 years old and there are a lot of cars that are neglected, poorly repaired, even rusted to the point of reduced structural integrity. Yes new cars catch fire too but I don't think we can sort those out from the total numbers.

    I am curious what will happen with EVs after a decade of salt exposure and such. People here are aware of how home wiring can be a problem with charging if it gets loose or corroded, what is going to happen to cars as the wiring connections degrade?
     
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  10. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    The high voltage electrical systems in an EV are all made to the same standard (unlike older homes), owners tend not to modify them (unlike old homes), the loads are known and predictable (unlike in a home), they are designed with redundant fail-safe protections and are designed assuming they will age. The two are not really comparable, the car is much safer as it ages. The primary fire risk for the aging car is still collision trauma.

    And gasoline is quite a hazard even in a new car. Especially during the trauma of a collision. Look at all the fires new BMW's had recently. Nobody wants their car to catch on fire but I'm tired of the vocal shorts who pretend that EV's are unsuitable for transportation because of fire risk when, in fact, ICE cars are a much larger risk. I just wish the media would report the ICE fires to the same degree they flock to a Tesla fire.
     
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  11. SSedan

    SSedan Active Member

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    My point was not necessary to compare EV wiring to homes but rather to compare old EV wiring to old ICE, neglect, poor repairs. I was just referencing houses because wiring can cause fires not just the pack. People just don't seem to recognize the potential in EVs.
    A decade from now tell me no wire clamps will have come loose and are chaffing the wire or half-assed repairs. No salty water will have gotten to connections.........

    I am not saying EVs are bad, love my S what I am saying is it is still just a car and while there are no cylinder rings to go bad or transmission clutches to fail it is still just a car and mechanical things fail, and those of you who push the no maintenance and half a million miles and all that crap are just as dishonest as the shorts you are complaining about. You may believe it yourself but that doesn't mean it is the truth.
     
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  12. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    It sounds like you are unaware of all the fail-safes incorporated into the Model 3. This is a very well engineered car. I'm not saying it's impossible for it to catch on fire but age will not add much fire risk.

    Salty water in the electrical connections? Even if you drove it into the bay it wouldn't catch on fire. It's engineered to be protected from that. Chaffing wire would likely be detected and shut off. Even so, it's designed with minimal combustibles around the wiring. Time will tell but I don't expect to see a bunch of Model 3 fires just because the car is 10 or 15 years old.

    I have not heard a single person claim the Model 3 needs no maintenance for half a million miles. Everyone recognizes it needs tires balanced and rotated, coolant changed, brake fluid replaced, suspension components replaced, etc. You are likely referring to people who claim it needs a lot less maintenance than any ICE car. And that is absolutely true. The 500,000 mile life of the drivetrain has yet to be proven but there is not much evidence that it won't go 500,000 miles. So, yeah, I think it's likely in most cases.
     
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  13. Vitold

    Vitold Active Member

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    Model 3 is measuring resistance and can detect and act on shorts with electronic fuses, much better than blow fuses regular cars got.
     
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  14. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

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    You’re certainly an optimist! Here’s a case of a Model S catching fire from a loose electrical connection: https://electrek.co/2016/09/09/tesla-fire-france-electrical-connection-improperly-tightened-human-robot/ Something like that could surely happen with aging and corrosion.
    Given how many Model S drive units have been replaced I’m a little bit skeptical about the claim of a 500,000 mile lifetime. I thought it was a little disturbing when Elon advertised that the AWD could run on only one drive unit. It made me think that he doesn’t have confidence that the drive units will make it that far.
     
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  15. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    That was a Model S, we are talking about a Model 3, which has more advanced electronics and fail-safes.

    And, again, you use early Model S drive unit failures to imply the drive units of the Model 3 probably won't make it to 500K. Tesla is constantly improving which is why the Model S was so much better than the original Roadster. And why the Model 3 is so much better than the Model S. You had to go back almost three years on a completely different platform (Model S), to make the case that aging Model 3's will catch on fire at rates comparable to ICE cars? Not even the Model S has fire rates as high as ICE cars and there are plenty of aging Model S's out there still driving around. The Model 3 fire rate is vastly lower and shows every sign of remaining that way.

    You are not making a lot of sense here.
     
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  16. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    You do know that early model 3’s are experiencing drive unit failures too? My neighbor had his fail already and I have seen reports online of others having the same issue. So it isn’t a bad comparison given Tesla’s history.
     
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  17. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    I'm a rational guy and it's illogical to interpret Musk's statement that the Model 3 AWD could run on only one drive unit as that he thinks the drive units are inherently unreliable. Here's my RATIONAL take on that:

    During development, Musk asked the software engineers, what happens if a motor in a dual motor car fails. The engineers tell him the motors are so reliable it's not a reasonable concern. But Musk is troubled by this. He knows that everything has a failure rate and this means a dual motor car has twice the failure rate of a single motor car. Why should the buyer of the more expensive dual motor car have statistically less reliability when, in fact, the extra motor should offer extra redundancy? But his engineers insist the motors are so reliable this might only happen to one in a million dual motor cars and having FWD and RWD software in addition to AWD software makes development and testing much more involved. It's much easier, they tell him, to just have AWD drive software and, in the unlikely event that either drive unit fails, they will just disable the car and show a "Tow to service center" message. But Musk thinks dual motors should offer redundancy and he tells his engineers this isn't about what's easiest, it's about what's best, and to develop software to deal with either front or rear motor failure.

    It may have cost another half million$$ to develop and test the software that allows an AWD car to turn into a FWD or RWD car with motor failure, and given the inherent reliability of the Model 3 drive units was probably a complete waste of money, but you can bet Elon is gonna brag about how good the AWD is because they have inherently higher margins than the RWD. This isn't some cheap, penny-pinching car here, Elon spared no expense and the Dual Motor car is worth the high price tag because he didn't cut corners. And he wants the world to know it.

    Or you can choose to believe that Elon knew the drive motors were so unreliable he has to make up the excuse that if one motor won't get you there the other will.
     
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  18. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Well, maybe since the early 3’s were actually experiencing drive unit failures (so definitely not “one in a million”) he was being realistic.
     
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  19. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    The early Model S motors had a design flaw that caused ALL of them to need replacing. Tesla recalled them under warranty.

    The three or four Model 3 drive unit failures that I've been made aware of are different, they are manufacturing/assembly errors. And that's to be expected given the nature of the ramp. A bolt wasn't tightened or a piece of foreign matter fell in before it was sealed up. To say that's evidence they are not properly engineered to easily last 500,000 miles is to show ignorance. Sorry, but I have to speak plainly and call it how I see it. Because I don't think there is much room for any other interpretation given the fact that there has only been a handful of Model 3 drive unit failures and they all happened when the car was brand new. And it's a very low failure rate. The Model 3 is designed as a modular car so, in these instances, they just unbolt the old drive unit and bolt a new one in. I think I've heard of three or four failures which is a very low rate considering they have made over 150 thousand of them.
     
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  20. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    The early Model S motors had a design flaw that caused ALL of them to need replacing. Tesla recalled them under warranty.

    The three or four Model 3 drive unit failures that I've been made aware of are different, they are manufacturing/assembly errors. And that's to be expected given the nature of the ramp. A bolt wasn't tightened or a piece of foreign matter fell in before it was sealed up. To say that's evidence they are not properly engineered to easily last 500,000 miles is to show ignorance. Sorry, but I have to speak plainly and call it how I see it. Because I don't think there is much room for any other interpretation given the fact that there has only been a handful of Model 3 drive unit failures and they all happened when the car was brand new. And it's a very low failure rate. The Model 3 is designed as a modular car so, in these instances, they just unbolt the old drive unit and bolt a new one in. I think I've heard of three or four failures which is a very low rate considering they have made over 150 thousand of them.
     

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