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Old 8th February 2012, 11:35   #91
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Guys,

The fault needs to be brought to the public's notice, whether its of VW, the car or an after-market accessory.
+1 to that. VW may or may not be directly responsible for the accident. It could be an aftermarket accessory. But VW surely is morally responsible for at least helping the cops find the cause of this accident.
Muzzling media coverage simply makes people believe that its VW that caused the accident. And if it really didn't, then it still makes people believe that VW is insensitive since it is willing to hush up this incident to avoid bad press and loss of sales. In either case, its in VWs interest to come clean and be sensitive towards its customers. This is no regular accident, it has cost a life!
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:37   #92
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

A very tragic incident. I would suggest all car users to carry a hammer and knife for breaking the glass and cutting the seat belt in such cases. But as said by above post @amit_mechengg, I don't know whether the owner would be in sound mind to use these.
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:45   #93
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

VW have taken down two of my posts from their fb page. It was not even a rant, just a link to the news story and a request to publish the results of their investigation or any updates. I have an eerie feeling this is going to go the Skoda way i.e co. taking pure legal advice.
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Old 8th February 2012, 11:57   #94
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Red face Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

Thats a tragic loss. My deepest condolences, hope the family gets the strength in the sad hours.

Although @moralfibre had pointed out with a pics reference that the door was found open, the pics did not show any damage to the glass if there was a breakage to pull the deceased out.

I may sound stupid but many safety systems do have a flaw in the sense that to reactivate them they need the power supply (something like the one touch push buttons, the switch position I mean). In case of fire if the car battery power to the windows was lost, then there is a chance that the windows might stay in the locked position untill the power is restored and the locks can be unlocked. So any amount of trying to open from inside using the latch might not have worked.


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Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
Almost all cars that have accident sensors UNLOCK the doors, not lock them. Why would a car lock you in in the event of an accident???
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Old 8th February 2012, 12:10   #95
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

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Originally Posted by DevilsCry View Post
Report of VW Vento catching fire
Article Window

Two shocking revelations-
1. Seat belt got jammed
2. Doors automatically locked themselves
We need an equivalent of US NTSB to investigate all transport accidents.

In Indian setup we have DGCA for investigating air accidents, and another separate railways department. Is there any such department for road?
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Old 8th February 2012, 12:27   #96
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

This is soo sad.. My condolences to you and your family ...

The picture of the car in flames itself is so frightening. Even a small lighted matchstick makes your finger retract immediately.. Imagine what that poor man went through..

There is no question of hammer of scissors or fire extinguishers or whatever.. How can somebody's brain function rapidly when the car cabin is engulfed in flames??!!! That man might have been so frightened.. I'm feeling very sad for him!
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Old 8th February 2012, 12:29   #97
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

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Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
You beat me to this post.

Almost all cars that have accident sensors UNLOCK the doors, not lock them. Why would a car lock you in in the event of an accident???
In this incident there was never an impact so the "unlocking" part would not have been triggered , I was responding to an erroneous post . My point is that when the car's mechanism is such that the doors are always unlocked from the inside even when the locks are engaged , people should understand that the locks are mechanically designed not to lock from the inside so even if the ECU sends out a wrong/erroneous signal for the door to lock the design per se would not allow the door to be jammed from the inside. There are 2 parts to the lock - the electronic part which instructs the lock to be engaged and the physical part where a block of metal moves to prevent motion . The Vento's door locks are so designed that it can be always opened from the inside .. to quote an example of a uni directional stop-go arrangement, the mechanism of an one way valve which allows flow in one direction and does not allow flow back ( just an example ) Thus I am pretty much sure that the door cannot be jammed by the ECU (unless of course some loose metal piece moved which jammed the door which is too much of a coincidence)

I am certainly not convinced about the jamming of the seat belt too . These are mechanical devices which cannot jam because of ECU malfunctioning - they can get damaged due to the heat .

The cause of the fire is what VW / Police have to convince me - find it hard to digest that the car was allowed to be taken by VW without even a police FIR .
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:00   #98
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

Shocking. Deepest, heartfelt condolences, nawal. RIP & God Bless his soul.

Incidents like these make you wonder about car manufacturers and their claims about "full safety" measures. Of course there's the chance that this was an one-off incident and might happen as a 1-in-a-million shot, but still this happens which goes to show that no car is 100% safe, be it any car manufacturer, not only VW.

As souravc rightly pointed out, even after centrally locking the Vento, the doors tend to open from the inside which is a big safety issue in itself. (haven't checked the child lock doors so can't comment on that) Hence the theory that the door got locked and couldn't be opened is skeptical - it could be that the door got jammed somehow. Only thing I can think of is an electrical spark or a combination of some short circuits which could have locked/jammed the door. Remember, we are talking about the driver door here, which tends to have a lot of electrical switches inside it - power window switches, electrical ORVM switches, etc. Naturally, outsiders would have tried to pull open THAT door first.

Here is the Vento's driver side door (taken from GTO's official review thread) -




Could it have been a short circuit of any/some/all of those switches?

As regards the fire, it's definitely originated from the rear. Otherwise people couldn't have got the time to pull the poor fellow out by the time they took to get him out. The fire might have spread into the cabin by then and the immense heat inside caused the burns. Some of the rescuers might have got their hands burnt too.

Regular incidents of Nanos catching fire showed an inherent flaw in the first generation Nano. Maybe a thorough investigation will show what went wrong with the Vento as well. I for one hope that this turns out to be a one-off incident and never repeats itself again. Shuddering to think what would have happened if an entire family (with 2-3 small kids) got trapped inside in such a situation.
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:03   #99
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

My condolences to the family and cannot even imagine the horrors which the person must have gone through. Scary.
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:06   #100
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

First and foremost, I didn't rescue anyone, My friend did. The picture and text on post #1 have been picked up from his FB profile. I just called him up for more details.

Secondly, the door did not jam. only the seatbelt was jammed. In fact, when the 30-40 people from the restaurant reached the car burning across the road, the driver side window was already down and the driver himself opened the door. No glasses were broken.

3-4 people together pulled on the jammed seat belt and ripped it from its mount to free the driver. The picture in post #1 looks dark due to the smoke and not due to ambient light. It was 7.30 AM on a sunny morning.

Thirdly, the fire started from the engine bay, not the cabin. The fire had started BEFORE the car came to a complete halt(when it hit the Ford Fusion). Initially black smoke started gushing out from the engine bay. When the onlookers saw this they rushed to help and within 30 seconds the first rescuers had reached.

After pulling the driver out, fire on him was put out by these people using gunny sacks/ jackets / water from jugs from the restaurant. Clothes were completely burnt but the person could still walk on his own. He was put in a police van which reached immediately and was taken to hospital barely 1 km away.

Before the fire brigade people reached, there were 3 big sparky explosions from the car. Fire brigade people put out the fire within 3-4 minutes. End of story.
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:08   #101
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

This isn't surprising but the attitude is disgusting and shameful. As everyone have commented before, they need to take moral responsibility of the incident and come out with the analysis, which will only increase their credibility and trust for the brand. Not trying to brush things under the carpet like this.

I'm not too well versed with the social networking sites, but how about tweeter/anything else? Fellow members there - Please voice your concern on these channels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dingolphie View Post
VW have taken down two of my posts from their fb page. It was not even a rant, just a link to the news story and a request to publish the results of their investigation or any updates. I have an eerie feeling this is going to go the Skoda way i.e co. taking pure legal advice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by souravc View Post
The cause of the fire is what VW / Police have to convince me - find it hard to digest that the car was allowed to be taken by VW without even a police FIR .
Edit - @antz.bin - Thanks for the clarification and explanation. Puts to rest the speculations on door getting jammed. As far as the seat belts getting stuck, I have a suspicion it may be due to pre-tensioners since those rely on electronics for their operation. Those 3 big sparky explosions part is very unnerving, I havent atleast heard or read about any explosions in similar events with other cars.

Last edited by bala80 : 8th February 2012 at 13:16.
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:20   #102
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by poloman View Post
Mustang, How about the fire of electrical origin which started in the cabin. I had a case of smoke billowing from under the steering of my old zen due to electrical short circuit. The fire must have started very near to the occupant which explain his inability to unbuckle the seat belts and suffering 70% burns on lower body despite being rescued in a matter of minutes. Polos and Ventos are notorious for electrical malfunctionings which make this case more serious and cannot be written off as one off incident.
Lets wait for VW findings on this. Electrical fires usually start due to non standard wiring to add amplifiers, music systems and other electricals. Shoddy wiring or system overload is the main cause.
Can you please let us know the source from where its determined that polo and vento are notorious for electrical malfunctions?
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:28   #103
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by souravc View Post
In this incident there was never an impact so the "unlocking" part would not have been triggered , I was responding to an erroneous post . My point is that when the car's mechanism is such that the doors are always unlocked from the inside even when the locks are engaged , people should understand that the locks are mechanically designed not to lock from the inside so even if the ECU sends out a wrong/erroneous signal for the door to lock the design per se would not allow the door to be jammed from the inside. There are 2 parts to the lock - the electronic part which instructs the lock to be engaged and the physical part where a block of metal moves to prevent motion . The Vento's door locks are so designed that it can be always opened from the inside .. to quote an example of a uni directional stop-go arrangement, the mechanism of an one way valve which allows flow in one direction and does not allow flow back ( just an example ) Thus I am pretty much sure that the door cannot be jammed by the ECU (unless of course some loose metal piece moved which jammed the door which is too much of a coincidence)

I am certainly not convinced about the jamming of the seat belt too . These are mechanical devices which cannot jam because of ECU malfunctioning - they can get damaged due to the heat .

The cause of the fire is what VW / Police have to convince me - find it hard to digest that the car was allowed to be taken by VW without even a police FIR .

I agree.... it would have to be an extremely unlikely sequence of events to (a) jam the seatbelts and (b) jam the door locks too.
What is more likely is that the driver probably panicked and froze for a few seconds and was then quickly overcome by flames going by how quickly the fire spread. It's extremely unfortunate.
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:43   #104
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Lets wait for VW findings on this. Electrical fires usually start due to non standard wiring to add amplifiers, music systems and other electricals. Shoddy wiring or system overload is the main cause.
Can you please let us know the source from where its determined that polo and vento are notorious for electrical malfunctions?
90% of Polo and Vento owners on the forum including myself have complained of the power window issue in Polo/Vento. No clear explanation/solution is provided by VW till date to my knowledge. BHPian Abhinav.Daos is experiencing serious electrical issues in his Vento. Please search in the forum for more examples. i am sure there are plenty.
We are all fans of Polo/Vento and VW brand. But the way the company conduct itself here desires a lot to be improved.

Last edited by poloman : 8th February 2012 at 13:55.
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Old 8th February 2012, 13:58   #105
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

The issue is not just about car fires (can happen to any car), but the obvious failure of electronics and non-release of seat belts & locked doors, which is what is the main culprit for the hapless motorist to suffer and meet with his untimely demise. I am sure this may be an issue with most modern cars which seem to over-rely on too much of integrated electronic systems.

It is also clear that VW must be hushing up things as has been pointed out by many of our friends who have found their posts deleted from VW FB pages, etc, and also the mysterious silence in the press, which is again superb machination by VW PR.

On the fire itself, I have had my Mahindra Commander jeep catch fire on 2 occasions (in the late 90s), both because wires touched hot engine parts and melted down, but I managed to act quickly and douse the fire within seconds, damaging only the wire harness and nothing else. Of course, there were no sensors in seat belts or electronic locking mechanisms then. I did not even have a fire extinguisher in the car and I had to use the cleaning cloth to dampen the fire, and it worked. One learning from that is: how does one open the bonnet to extinguish a engine bay fire - because the metal may be already too hot and getting your fingers under the latch may be impossible. Why are car manufacturers only concerned with pampering their cars with gizmos when they do built basic safety features like "limp mode" functioning of doors, seat belts or bonnet openings, specifically to be used during such emergency situations.

Most readers are anyway familiar with the way the VW-Skoda group is run, judging from the problems reported and their responses. I am sure the German team that flew down will deal efficiently with the situation and we will never know the truth behind the fire, and it will be blamed on electrical overload through ICE and such like, without answering crucial questions like jamming of the seat belt or non-opening of locked doors which actually led to these fatal consequences and not the fire itself. When a Nano caught fire, there was so much national furore and sales of Nanos fell for over a year on safety concerns. I think VW also deserves the same market response, and I would tell all my friends not to buy cars from irresponsible car companies like VW who not only make cars with inept electronic systems but also hush up bad news using their "German" lineage and superior money power.

And I would also request all our friends here who own Polos, Ventos & Passats - and any other car too - to re-examine their cars for electrical overload, availability of fire extinguishers in their cars and their drill in response to such emergencies - like how you would open the bonnet latch, for instance, or get out of their seat belts and cars very fast.
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