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Old 8th February 2012, 16:25   #121
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
1. I am quoting from this thread and news reports that the seat belt was inexplicably jammed, something that should not happen except in an accident when impact would have damaged it.

2. It has been discussed in this thread that the seat belt could not be released, there are no assumptions from my side on that.

3. Without owning a VW, all I simply understand is that when you press, seat belts are supposed to open, that is a basic principle in any car, that cannot be explained away as electric "overloads" or abuse of the car by the motorist.

4. Problems with the Skoda (part of the VW group) have been thrashed in this group so many times, and the manner in which VW has reacted at the outset - going to the extent of even removing comments about the accident in FB groups (as someone said here, not my assumption either) - is indicative of the combative mood they are in to suppress public debate and adverse publicity.

5. I have already heard some loose talk that ICE electrical "overload" caused the fire, which is understandable, but why should the driver not be able to get out of the car himself or why was it difficult to remove someone who was uninjured and in his senses when the fire happened?

6. Reality - I would not advise any one to buy a car where there has been such a gruesome tragedy where the preliminary prima facie evidence and talk indicates that some basic safety mechanisms have malfunctioned. I respect human life, not revere the brand more

Points 1, 2 & 3 - Effect of fire completely ruled out by you .
Point 4 - Any company PR would fight bad publicity which includes FB . I was the one who pointed out about the deletion and I have posted on the VW's FB page .
Point 5 - Difficult to understand your question , maybe you can read post # 101 , an eye witnesses account and revisit
Point 6 - I am still searching for the prima facie evidence of failure of safety mechanism from the posts . If this one incident convinces you to turn against a car , I am afraid you would not have any car worthy enough to buy!

The point is that we have every right to clamour for the truth but we also have the duty to give some thought to our conclusions please .
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Old 8th February 2012, 17:15   #122
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Well I dont think VW also acted in an above board manner either. The very fact that they took away the car which is the most important piece of evidence in this incident casts them in a very bad light. Sure other manufacturers tend to do the same but why? This is evidence and it could be well that something is wrong with the car. Surely when an FIR is lodged and there is a case in court, the court will call for evidence in this case it is in possession of one of the affected parties . Dont you think there is something grossly wrong with this? The manner in which VW took possession of the vehicle is enough to cause a lot of doubts in everybody's mind.

A responsible car manufacturer should have cooperated with law enforcement to get the bottom of this instead of taking over evidence. Surely they are not playing accuser, judge and executioner here. And it is not that only VW does this. Even Toyota in the US acted in the same manner when their Prius's had problems with their carpets getting stuck with the accelerator pedal as a result of unwanted overspeeding. This caused quite a few deaths in California. There were multiple news reports on this.
Sorry if I missed something, but no where in the news articles is it written that vw has forcibly taken the car away. Correct me if am wrong.

I am not an expert in legal matters, but from what I see day to day, incase of accidents/fires etc, the cars are taken to service station - UNLESS there is a death involved or very critical/fatal injuries. Remember , in this case the driver was still alive and died only few days later, and to quote excerpts from another member who got information from an eyewitness

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Originally Posted by antz.bin View Post
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...

....

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.
So, the person could walk, so even if medically he was critical, the cops or others may not have the competence to understand that. Also till his death atleast, there was no FIR filed. Hence the car would be taken to a service centre and not police station.


So, the assumption that vw took the car to cover is baseless.

However, the reports say that vw is investigating the matter. If they do not come out with the details, then we can assume there is a cover up.
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Old 8th February 2012, 17:52   #123
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by mxx View Post
I am not an expert in legal matters, but from what I see day to day, incase of accidents/fires etc, the cars are taken to service station - UNLESS there is a death involved or very critical/fatal injuries. Remember , in this case the driver was still alive and died only few days later, and to quote excerpts from another member who got information from an eyewitness

Well my only point is since the death has taken place and the death is unnatural there should be a legal investigation. Obviously the condition now is such that VW cannot remain in possession of the car for the simple sake of propriety and fairness. VW cannot be party to the investigation now and it can be only done by independent experts. Otherwise should there be a court case later the evidence either way cannot be used in a court of law.
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Old 8th February 2012, 18:21   #124
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

Somehow, I have never have had any faith in German cars; this just strengthens it. This makes me wonder if even Rapid can "Rapidly" catch fire as it is based on the Vento? The possibility cannot be denied now? isn't it?
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Old 8th February 2012, 18:31   #125
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

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Originally Posted by souravc View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
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.
90% ?? Where did you get the stat ? Being quite an active member on this forum , this is news to me .
min. 90% if not more for polo.
The issue is very much reported in all Polo threads in Team-BHP and is not restricted to Team-BHP Polo owners.
The dealership also confirmed the power window issue in Polo (irrespective of petrol/diesel/tl/cl/hl/1.2/1.6). Few s/w upgrades also done to resolve this during service, however the issue still exist.
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Old 8th February 2012, 18:39   #126
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Well I dont think VW also acted in an above board manner either. The very fact that they took away the car which is the most important piece of evidence in this incident casts them in a very bad light. Sure other manufacturers tend to do the same but why? This is evidence and it could be well that something is wrong with the car. Surely when an FIR is lodged and there is a case in court, the court will call for evidence in this case it is in possession of one of the affected parties . Dont you think there is something grossly wrong with this? The manner in which VW took possession of the vehicle is enough to cause a lot of doubts in everybody's mind.
How did the cops allow VW to take away the car? It is the prime piece of evidence. Do we ever get the truth out of it? If VW is honest it should allow forensic investigation and allow honest investigation into the incident. By their action so far, they seems to be not interested. VW will go all out to cover up with its huge PR machinery.

@ Nawalsingal - Any update on the case? Who is investigating the case? Did anyone record any statement from the owner who knew what happenned?

Last edited by Fauji : 8th February 2012 at 18:40.
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Old 8th February 2012, 19:10   #127
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

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Originally Posted by amtak View Post
Somehow, I have never have had any faith in German cars; this just strengthens it. This makes me wonder if even Rapid can "Rapidly" catch fire as it is based on the Vento? The possibility cannot be denied now? isn't it?
Well I guess its your personal opinion but probably its a bit too totalitarian to make upfront when the cause of this incident is yet to be determined. The verdict is still up in the air as to what could have caused this unfortunate incident.

In my previous post I pointed out the issue with the inadvertent acceleration of Priuses in the US with many deaths in California. In this case it was Toyota. At least a proper investigation was performed (by the by Toyota is still being sued for the same, and there are countless stories on this as it was pretty big a few months back) by the NTSB in the US and other law enforcement authorities. Many recalls have taken place for other car manufacturers after fatal injuries resulting from manufacturer defects. So I guess its a bit premature and unfair to lay the blame at the feet of the Germans only
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Old 8th February 2012, 19:58   #128
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

Shocking stuff.

I am sure there is no fault with the car. I am not aware of any car that has an electrical system on the seat belt lock so that it stays locked. It is a simple mechanical release. It is the same with door locks. Cars in the range of the vento have electrical systems for the central locking. When it comes to opening a door, it is a mechanical release.

I do know that yanking hard on the seat belt and at the same time, trying to release it from the buckle will get you nowhere. Some helmet locks feature this design too. I am sure the rescuers and the owner himself tried everything they could.

If the fire started from around the seat belt fastening area, the mechanism must have got jammed due to it melting. This can happen to any seat belt buckle release unit.

Can a fire start and spread so fast that it cannot give the owner enough time to react? It is sad that the owner is no more. If the owner had come around and recovered, we could have had a more accurate understanding about the chain of events.

After market equipment or accessories are another possibility for this fire. Even still, I can't understand how the owner got trapped. We are far away from truly professional after market kits and installers.

VW; you better come out with a reason for this.
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Old 8th February 2012, 20:22   #129
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

Whatever, is there any press release from VW regarding this horrific fire? They have the car in their possession for investigations. What is the follow up action by the Police ?

Why are they so silent?

How do we get to know the end results of their investigations?

Last edited by nanduchitnis : 8th February 2012 at 20:27.
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Old 8th February 2012, 20:47   #130
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

I think we have differing opinions on the forum as whether we should blame VW or not. My take is this

- It is an isolated incident as of now and we haven't established if this is a defect with the car or not. Some say it is, some say it isnt, but in truth, we have to wait for the investigation to finish. The investigation will have to establish both on the cause of the fire and also on any safety features that need to improved.
- Even if it finally turns out to be an issue with the car, I don't think the Vento becomes a bad car. Neither can we blame VW, as all manufacturers have had issues at one time or another. We should judge them based on how they respond.

- I, as a VW vento owner, am apprehensive. Until the cause of the fire is ascertained I cannot be sure that mine wont go up in flames at some time. I have a family with two small kids and even though the chances are very low given that its a single occurrance, I cannot sleep (or maybe drive) easy.

- If there is an underlying issue in the car that may affect others, we can reasonably expect VW to work with urgency, give a heads up and proper notice to other impacted vehicle owners and fix the cars as soon as possible

- On the communication side, while they would have to handle bad publicity, I am not sure trying to hush up is the right approach. (Sourav, I had posted twice on FB too, asking for information and they took it down) They should certainly acknowledge the incident and the nervousness that atleast some of the Vento/Polo owners feel. It shouldnt be difficult to say that that its unlikely to be a vehicle defect, but our investigation is expected to complete by XXXX date and we would provide further updates. The reason they are having to take down FB posts is because they havent acknowledged the incident publicly or a made a formal statement. If not, they just have to refer others to their statement.

The lack of acknowledgement makes me very nervous because,
- It may be a design flaw and VW are looking to have the fix ready before they announce it
- I dont know if trying to hush things up take priority over their proactiveness in letting existing vento owners know if it impacts them. Would they just try and sneak a fix in during services.
- Skoda horror stories and the company's 'ostrich' response to any issues. After all they are the same group.
- Most of all, if it is a flaw in the car, will they be happy to acknowledge that and do justice to the family for their irreparable loss.

I'd say the jury is still out on whether its an inherent flaw and justice to the family and impact to other owners will come up only after that, but VW are doing a bad job with the communication by not addressing concerns/engaging with existing Vento owners.

Apologies for the long post but I wanted to cover all the points that I felt are relevant. Feel free to add/debate!

Last edited by dingolphie : 8th February 2012 at 20:50.
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Old 8th February 2012, 21:25   #131
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

+1 to that, very well said dingolphie & I appreciate your concerns. At this moment a simple acknowledgement of the fact by VW that the current Vento/Polo owners getting nervous & giving them confidence that nothing untoward similar to this incident would happen, can go a long way in building the trust. Shying away from the facts is not going to do any good for their credibility. They must act fast & proactively carry out thorough checks of potential hazards & take corrective actions.
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Old 8th February 2012, 21:37   #132
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

Hi,
Condolences to the family.

Just one point which has not been mentioned.
The latch/ buckle of the seatbelt should not release in the event of loads it will be subjected to in the event of an accident. This will normally mean that as web tension increases, the buckle becomes increasingly more difficult to release. If you are struggling to get out, pulling against the seatbelt, it will be quite difficult to release the buckle.
Could Vento owners check it out? Pull against the seatbelt, and see how easy/ difficult it is to release the buckle.

Drivers doors do not have child locks. (In fact front doors normally). Vento owners to check again.

Forensics can establish quite a lot. If done properly. Source of fire, and why it spread so fast with such intensity needs to be established.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 8th February 2012, 21:40   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta
Hi,
Condolences to the family.

Just one point which has not been mentioned.
The latch/ buckle of the seatbelt should not release in the event of loads it will be subjected to in the event of an accident. This will normally mean that as web tension increases, the buckle becomes increasingly more difficult to release. If you are struggling to get out, pulling against the seatbelt, it will be quite difficult to release the buckle.
Could Vento owners check it out? Pull against the seatbelt, and see how easy/ difficult it is to release the buckle.

Drivers doors do not have child locks. (In fact front doors normally). Vento owners to check again.

Forensics can establish quite a lot. If done properly. Source of fire, and why it spread so fast with such intensity needs to be established.

Regards
Sutripta
Release button operates fairly normally even if seatbelts are pulled hard in all cars.
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Old 9th February 2012, 09:48   #134
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Well I guess its your personal opinion but probably its a bit too totalitarian to make upfront when the cause of this incident is yet to be determined. The verdict is still up in the air as to what could have caused this unfortunate incident.
Agreed. I know it's too early to say anything; However, the reason I stated the same is because all of a sudden a lot of Vento's are catching fire. Since, the Rapid shares the same platform + Mechanicals, the chances of they catching fire in the future could not be denied. However, I would like to clarify that I am using the word chances (with the +/- probability).

I'll be happy if I am proven wrong. At the end of the day, it's a person who has lost his life and the trauma that the family must be going through a tough time now. RIP friend.
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Old 9th February 2012, 10:07   #135
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Default re: Volkswagen Vento catches fire. Owner dies from burn injuries

I tried releasing the belt when pulling hard and hardening the seat belt. There is no relation with the latch mechanism. The hardening happens on the B pillar as it should since it unwinds from there. Its a simple mechanical setup at the latch.
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