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Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score -1, Troll) 293

Right, I got that. The problem is that your suggestion is false. It's not easy. It actually takes major impact.

I am not sure why you're fighting the evidence in front of you. It clearly doesn't take major impact, so either it needs to be better built, or the battery needs to be moved. Your retort will likely be, "Oh, but that was TOO major to take," in which case - to reiterate - it's in the wrong place. If it can't be moved because it's too heavy then, well, there's another reminder of why EVs aren't there yet.

(N.B. I have no doubt that EVs are the future, but they won't get far as long as douches like Musk respond to criticism with misdirection.)

Well actually, I don't see how. I assume you have some statistics which show that?

You countered the debris-hitting-Tesla scenario with a bus-sucking-up-mattress scenario. If you really believe that large vehicles sucking up large spongy objects is significant in a discussion about cars running over random debris, YOU need to show this.

To be clear: mounting a fuel tank with large surface area flush against the road is a generic road vehicle manufacturing fubar. Protecting the fuel tank, and protecting the humans from the fuel tank, are (obviously) old problems.

Yes, yes you do. Cars are expected not to behave nicely if you abuse them. They are only expected to function if you do not run them into anything, or over anything inappropriate.

Disagree. Modern cars are expected to fail gracefully during an accident, whether that's with seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, side impact panels, whatever. They may no longer "function" AFTER the accident, but their final duty is to behave as nicely as possible in preventing people from being seriously injured/killed.

As someone who enjoys older cars, I am acutely aware of this, because the main sacrifice I make is with safety features in the event of a crash. (And, to reiterate, I do think EVs are the future - I just think Musk is a dick.)

Tesla has issued a firmware update [] which mitigates the issue, stopping the vehicle from decreasing its ride height automatically. This underscores the fact that it is the driver's responsibility to drive the car.

What does that last sentence mean? It's the manufacturer's problem to fix an unsafe car. Automatic (or even easily manually configurable) unsafe ride height is a manufacturing fault. By issuing the firmware update, they've implicitly acknowledged a hazard, but merely appeared to decrease the associated risk rather than actually tackled the hazard.

For getting around regularly, I prefer public transport anyway. And I understand that it's harder to have your batteries mounted higher up in an EV. I don't think we have enough evidence that a Tesla is safer than a comparably built ICE car with similar usage profiles. The Tesla doesn't strike me as "unsafe", to be clear, just immature - and it is rather held back by an egomaniacal spokesperson with a penchant for misleading propaganda and control freakery. In particular, nobody should want a car to dominate where everything from manufacturing through dealership through servicing is monopolised.

BTW, ta for the civil discussion. Lots of angry car nuts here on both sides, lol. It's just a car and this is just Slashdot.

Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score 1) 293

You're rehashing the same argument above. Part of designing a car properly MUST include the safest reasonable behaviour following an accident. And the positioning of the battery is not in accordance with that principle. Any amount of "well, another car would PROBABLY have also suffered horrible damage for maybe different reasons" is both speculative AND irrelevant.

Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score 0) 293

You suggested that there was something unusually wrong with Teslas because they can be set afire because they ran over road debris.

I am suggesting that there is something unusually wrong with Teslas in that their "fuel tank" can be easily pierced to start a fire, because of how it is mounted. Of course debris can cause other vehicles to catch fire, but the scenario tends to be more esoteric, e.g. a huge bus picking up a mattress lying in the road.

If you don't see how "bus picking up big spongy thing" is a less likely scenario than "bottom of car being pierced by random debris", please think a bit.

OK. The Tesla has a big fucking metal plate close to the road. Your normal car doesn't. Win: Tesla.

So what? Clearly it's not good enough.

It was his fault. He ran over something he shouldn't have run over because he was driving too fast for the conditions, which include sight distance.

You don't get to absolve yourself from safety problems because, "Well the driver wasn't behaving responsibly." You're entirely missing the point in safety features. Even if you're one of those fucking retarded "hurr personal responsibility you get what you deserve" people, the more damage a car sustains (e.g. catching fire), the more likely it is to harm random people in the vicinity.

The problem can happen while the vehicle is still because there's power all the time to someplace that shouldn't have power all the time.

But what causes the problem in the first place? An engine repeatedly overheating, followed by a leak, followed by a pooling. And what happens at the first overheat? An instrument panel warning. The timescales involved are nothing like the collide-warn-and-catch-fire Tesla sequence, and mean that the car is most likely to catch fire while stationary. Still DEFINITELY a recall issue, and Ford's not getting any brownie points from me for it - I just wish Tesla would make the same admission.

Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score 1) 293

It would depend on the particular vehicle, of course. A modern gas car tends to have much better protection around the tank, so fire would be less likely. But maybe there would have been a partial loss of control if some component was damaged.

(What really matters to me is that the Tesla could have been designed better, not that some other vehicle might perform worse. It is tedious to always read the, "But.. but.. XYZ alternative might have been worse!!!" response which comes from people when their babies are criticised.)

Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score -1, Troll) 293

Yeah. That's a good point. That should be fixed in the majority of dino-burning cars. e.g. Buses should not catch fire after running over mattresses []

Except that had to do with a whole mattress entering the engine bay and igniting, and not ignition of the car's own equipment. Anyway, perhaps there is a problem with the bus design? Remember, "Teslas are imperfect," is not synonymous with, "Every other vehicle except Teslas are perfect."

], Ambulances should not catch fire while sitting in the station house [] (most Ambulances are Fords, BTW)

Clutch at straws much? The article no information on the fire's cause beyond that it likely originated in the ambulance. And then you say "most ambulances are Fords" to slip in a bit of FUD. If this is the sort of reasoning Tesla fanboys demonstrate, it's no wonder so many people laugh at them.

and trucks which run over tree branches [] should also not catch fire.

You've given me a document summarising many sorts of accident. Please tell me which specific incident you want me to look at.

The fuel tank is under the ass of the people in the back seat in any car designed worth a fuck. Or at least, right behind their ass, and below it.

Compare and contrast the surface areas close to the road - there's a chap.

You are being a disingenuous asshole specifically because the Tesla problem did not happen without warning. A major collision is in fact warning.

Ah yes, the "warning" of a few seconds after a major collision before the car is on fire. Sorry, how disingenuous of me not to make an equivalence between that and the long period of time it would take between an initial engine overheating report and the Ford fires.

Also, so far there has been warning. In the last case, there were even alert messages. If that's not warning, then fuck you.

Well, I for one am glad that there was a polite warning telling the person to stop driving. Almost Apple-like in its minimalism: "Oh, something might have happened and you car might not be able to start - fancy taking it in for service?" Don't panic. It's probably your fault anyway.

Look, if that number of LiOn batteries can be crammed together without a safety mechanism to at least WARN the user to stop immediately in the event of puncture, the car is so badly engineered that I'm not even going to think about buying it. And I'm not denying that the 20+ year old cars I enjoy are probably less safe, but they're not sold with Musk's stream of bullshit. My problem here is with the lies.

Also, the Ford problem is equally likely to happen any time the brakes are not depressed.

Evidence, please?

It is probably more likely to happen while the vehicle is running, because of heat and vibration,
  and infinitesimally more likely to happen also because of the increased voltage output from the alternator while the vehicle is in operation (charging voltage.)

Except that all the empirical evidence points to this not being the case. Nice try, though. So much clutching at straws.

Comment Re:An anonymous reader writes (Score 1) 293

Eh, hover-rockets are not revolutionary in 2013. If practical deployment could be demonstrated rather than a flashy demo, that'll be a significant step (apologies if I've missed recent news). I can't see SpaceX as anything more than an artificial firewall between the government and government-trained engineers which allows Musk to siphon off some cash. It's not like Paypal, which was genuinely a private entrepreneurial affair, or even Tesla, which (ignoring the big government loan) was operating in the private sphere.

Social dynamic what? Are you arguing that you're okay with the time it takes to "fill up" during the day because you can spend time talking with other Tesla owners? That's.. well, it's weird, and it sounds like you're clutching at straws... but if you're genuinely so interested in your model of car that you can regularly hang around making enjoyable social encounters on the basis of it, I guess you'd count as an enthusiast. You're quite entitled to this hobby, but I doubt most people are that keen in their model of car. I'm certainly not! a car's a tool to me, and if a Tesla were the best option then I'd buy one, but I'd certainly not want to hang around with dudes who like chatting about Teslas. It's just not my err "scene".

Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score -1, Troll) 293

You're right, they shouldn't. And no Tesla has caught fire as a result of a minor collision. All the Tesla fires have been the result of major collisions that would catastrophically damage any car.

Ah, okay, you're equivocating. Let me be very specific: no car should catch fire as a result of running over debris in the road as happened wih the Teslas in question. The reason the fires started is that the "fuel tank" is sitting right underneath your ass, so a large surface area of the "tank" close to the road.

Yes, and it appears Tesla have very much succeeded in these aims. In all three major accidents, the fire was contained and nobody was hurt from it.

Which is great, but not putting your fuel tank under your ass would be a good step towards minimisation of consequences like, say, fires, don't you think?

What sort of mental fault causes a person to argue that a fire which could have been avoided is okay because, well, at least nobody got hurt?

In the two cases where the cars weren't damaged by crashing into a wall and tree, the drivers were able to safely pull over.

Eh, which stats are we looking at? You're implying at least 4 accidents...

In the same circumstances, a traditional car would not have fared so well.


The NHTSA has already reviewed one case and found that the car was not at fault.

Of course it wasn't the car's fault that it encountered debris.

It's not. The failure rate of a car spontaneously catching fire under normal operation and the "failure rate" of a car catching fire after being involved in a major accident are two entirely different things. You aren't comparing like with like.

Of course they're different things: the Ford problem is likely to happen when nobody is in the car (if the engine overheating which eventually leads to the problem occurs during driving, the owner will be warned to pull over and/or seek service, at least for current models); the Tesla problem is likely to happen during driving and without warning. So, the Tesla problem is more dangerous.

"Oh but what I meant is that the Tesla problem only happens after an accident!!!" So what? Accidents happen. Your distinction artificially created to confirm your bias doesn't actually help anyone.

Comment Re:An anonymous reader writes (Score 0) 293

And this is how fanboys really think.

Musk's aerospace work is a product of an artificial system: he used government money to hire experienced aerospace engineers who had been trained with government money (either directly or via a previous contractor). Since the US version of crony capitalism requires that all government work be contracted out to private business for profit, someone was needed to give the impression of success of private enterprise's collaboration with government - and it happened to be him.

Similarly, a Tesla is just a Lotus with increased cost, reduced range, longer fill-up time, and the "fuel tank" right underneath your butt to warm your hole if you happen to run over any shit in the road. If you want an electric vehicle, well, they've been around for longer than the ICE, and these days you have several options to choose from, most of which are cheaper and aren't made by companies which want to control every aspect of sales+maintenance (competition to drive down costs? thanks!) and which deny imperfection in their products.

Comment Re:The peril of new technology (Score 0) 293

When you impale a car, things like fires are going to happen.

Ugh, no, you horrible little fanboy.

When you impale a car in a minor collision, things like fires should NOT happen. The main aims in car safety are to nearly eliminate the effects of minor accidents and to lessen the effects of major accidents.

From a driver PoV, it's less dangerous for a parked vehicle to catch fire. Of course, this does not excuse Ford, but since their failure rate on this model is half of Tesla's and Ford are acknolwedging the problem, any comparison leaves Musk exposed as the propagandist that he is.

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