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Tesla Model S Fire Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Btr_ftw, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    After looking at article after article about Tesla fires, I'm starting to see a pattern here. They seem to mostly originate from the same place in the car. The front of the car... (duh) but more specifically the front drivers side.

    Full disclosure here. I have owned more than a couple Teslas and some of them were fire salvaged cars... and guess what? ALL of the fire car's I've owned the fire originated from the front of the car, specifically the drivers side. Ok no biggie. Then I see a new thread the other day about ANOTHER Model S that caught fire IN THE SAME LOCATION. I know that there is a high concentration of wiring harnesses up front along with the fuse boxes but something is up, why does it come from the front, and why the front driver's side?

    Something
    has to be going on here. I understand that my sample size is too small to make a conclusive answer, but given that Teslas don't catch fire very often I feel that I'm not too far off base.

    So lets analyze some Tesla fire trends shall we?


    No accident, no impact, happened while driving fire originated from front drivers side.

    [​IMG]


    France Fire, no accident, happened while driving, car made a loud noise. Fire started from front drivers side.

    [​IMG]



    I personally OWN this car. This is the car that caught fire in Canada. Guess where the fire started? Front drivers side. No accident or impact, just caught fire in the garage

    [​IMG]


    Another one of my personal cars. Guess where the fire started? THATS RIGHT THE FRONT DRIVERS SIDE

    [​IMG]


    And most recently.. no impact, not driving, no accident.... Can anyone please help me determine where the fire started? Might be the front drivers side but not sure


    [​IMG][/IMG]
    [​IMG]





    I reallllllllllllly think there is something more here.
     
    • Informative x 7
  2. doubleohwhat

    doubleohwhat Supporting Member

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    Do we know what year these cars were manufactured? I'm wondering if this is something that Tesla has noticed and already fixed or if this is happening in recent builds as well.
     
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    According to the article I read from the FB group, the last one fire investigators said started from the condenser for the BMS system. I'm assuming that means the fan for the left side HVAC condenser, since there isn't a separate heat pump for the BMS and radiators/condensers don't really seem like they can catch fire themselves.

    Here's the article, and the quote:

    Tesla Model S caught fire in Yorkshire, Tesla says cause is due to a crash 2 months before the fire

     
  4. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    from top to bottom

    black car on top was a 2013
    blue car was a 2016
    blue car was 2013
    black car was 2013
    second black car I'm not sure of year, probably 2015
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Informative x 1
  5. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    The last couple look to me like front LEFT, not front right.
     
  6. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    thats interesting, I wonder what they mean by that.

    the BMS is a circuit board that lives in the rear of the pack thats not cooled in any way. perhaps they mean the condenser for the the battery itself? but even that wouldn't make any sense. so do they mean that one of the condenser fans caught fire?
     
  7. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    I don't think I ever said right, did I?
     
  8. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    My apologies, you said "driver's side" and somehow my brain translated that to "right side".
     
  9. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    That was my theory on how to understand it. The Karma that caught fire in a parking lot was blamed on a cooling fan in the front, too.''

    Another thought, which doesn't help much: I think it's a british investigator, and the english have sometimes used condenser to mean capacitor in electronics, which would seem like a suitable context here.

    But I don't think the BMS has large capacitors up front, and there is an HVAC condenser that is used as part of the battery thermal management right where they described.
     
  10. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    I initially translated condenser to capacitor. But re-reading I have to admit it's pretty vague. I'm curious too. If it's a fan or a motor of some sort it should be protected by a fuse.
     
  11. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    On that last photo, isn't the steering wheel on the opposite side of the fire damage (is that a UK license plate)? Are US and UK cars flips of each other under the hood parts wise?
     
  12. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

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    Nope, they are more or less the same

    @Btr_ftw Guess none of these fires were battery fires?
     
  13. Btr_ftw

    Btr_ftw Court Jester

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    I don't believe any of them were battery fires. They would have been a hell of a lot worse. Of my fire cars none of the packs were harmed
     
  14. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I wondered the very same thing in the UK car fire thread:

    In that thread they say it seems to have started between the wheel-well and the front bumper... there's not too much else there than the condenser coils and the accompanying fan.
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Why do you buy fire salvaged Teslas? For the usable parts?
     
    • Like x 1
  16. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    This reminds me of Otmar's "Stretchla" project, where his donor car was damaged in that area and he spent some time digging in to it. Specifically his 2014 blog entries for March and April.

    In that area, there's the condenser coil fan motor, the motor controller, and some electric louvers controlled by a small motor, and not much else it would seem.

    Here are some pics (credit: Otmar's Blog):

    Louvre motor (connector view):
    [​IMG]

    Louvre motor assembly:
    [​IMG]

    Air duct behind louvre motor:
    [​IMG]

    Fan controller (heatsink side):
    [​IMG]

    Fan controller (part #):
    [​IMG]

    Mounted item locations:
    [​IMG]


    It would seem all these parts are also duplicated on the passenger side, so I wonder what's up with what seems to be a predominantly driver-side issue. My feeling is that the fan motor would be the most likely culprit...
     
  17. Lex

    Lex Member

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    Perhaps this is the reason we don't get to do more stuff remotely with the app... ?

    Though the percentages are still very low it's wise to have our parking areas prepared for our new "always on" high voltage instruments, versus the "cold soak" of an ICE car eg. smoke detectors in garages, and a procedure for cutting power to the charge cable safely, from as far away from the car as possible, and having a way to extinguish flames. Oh and call emergency first ;)
     
    • Like x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  18. Nosken

    Nosken Member

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    #18 Nosken, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
    There is a distinct pattern, black & blue cars are prone to fires. :)
    Sorry, couldn't resist. Thanks for the interesting info.
     
    • Funny x 4
  19. MDR SEA

    MDR SEA 2015 Model S 85D...& loving it!

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    For what it's worth, when I exceed ~90 mph in my 2015 85D (typically when passing) I get a burnt toast like smell.
    These speed bursts last maybe 10 seconds max and the smell lingers for about 30 seconds. Consequently I'm wary of attempting a max speed run in this vehicle. No matter, it's the whiplash acceleration that I like.
    Has anyone else experienced this smell?
     
  20. Newscutter

    Newscutter Member

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    I've been wondering about these "parked fires" too. Partly because my last service (third year on a April/May 2014 build) had job number one as an item that I hadn't requested repair/service for and isn't part of the regular regimen. It could be in a completely different part of the car (I dunno) but in case it was a proactive replacement of something related to this... and because it has "heater" in the part name, I'm just wondering if this is related??

    "Replace Battery Coolant Heater due to potential low isolation"
    MDL, S, DM, THERM SYS, ELEC BATT HEATER 1038901-00-G
     

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