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Old 2nd April 2012, 20:46   #1
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Default Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Came across this in today's Indian Express, "Skoda Rapid catches fire at Deepali Chowk, Rani Bagh on Sunday." The owner had bought the car in February. He had gone to see a doctor and saw his car ablaze when he came back. The relevant link is as below:-

Delhi, 02 April, 2012 DigitalEdition

Name:  Skoda Rapid on Fire.jpg
Views: 20506
Size:  130.7 KB

Does anybody here have any pointers?

We were very keen to buy this car following the rave reviews by one and all. Any inputs would be appreciated. Might have to put the decision-making process on hold.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd April 2012 at 09:23.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 20:56   #2
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

I'm . IIRC recently there was a same incident where a Vento caught fire which resulted in death of the owner due to fire injuries. Good to know, no one was hurt. This is very heart wrenching to see such good cars going up in flame. VW/Skoda now need to come out with the reason why this is happening?

Could be possible that the owner had got some accessory fitted from outside due to which this would have occurred. On close look the car is a Ambition TDi variant with a rear view camera too installed at the rear bumper. There are various probabilities to the case of fire.

Today itself got 1st service done on my Vento TDi HL.

But in the end, VW/Skoda need to give an explanation for these fires as it could affect prospective customers. There has been no reasoning for previous Vento catching fire, hope this case doesn't goes down without a explanation.

Last edited by el lobo 6061 : 2nd April 2012 at 21:02.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 21:10   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Good God! What happening with VW & Skoda? Thank heavens this was not fatal like the other one! I think Skoda has to get to the bottom of it soonest.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 21:23   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

This is a classic case of head vs. heart.

Let me first give you an analogy.

Statistically the safest way to travel is by air, yet more people have a fear of flying (irrational if you ask me) than all the other forms of transportation put together.

The same thing applies here. Say VW has sold about 100,000 of these cars globally and maybe 10 (if that much, let us just use this as a base number) have caught fire. That is 0.01%. Even reduce the number of cars sold to 10,000 and it is still 0.1%. So the odds are that it will not happen to you.

However, I do understand the fear you have. What if it happens to me, and worse, what if I am inside the car when it happens and I can't get out.

There is a similar case a few months ago in Pune when a person was trapped in his VW Vento and died.

So let me ask you the following.

1) How long can you afford to wait till you buy a new car.

2) If you don't buy the Rapid, what other car will you buy (I ask this because other cars have caught fire too).

3) Would you have peace of mind while driving this car or will it always be on your mind that this accident could happen to you at any time.

These are questions you need to answer for yourself but feel free to voice your thoughts and we will be happy to help resolve your doubts on this forum.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 21:49   #5
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
This is a classic case of head vs. heart.

Statistically the safest way to travel is by air, yet more people have a fear of flying (irrational if you ask me) than all the other forms of transportation put together...There is a similar case a few months ago in Pune when a person was trapped in his VW Vento and died.
Well said, However, one is an aberration, two is a coincidence and three is a pattern. that is why i am worried. Moreover, if the same airline keeps crashing, i wouldn't like to travel by it.

However, I do understand the fear you have. What if it happens to me, and worse, what if I am inside the car when it happens and I can't get out.
Worse!! I am recommending this car to them, and a guilty conscience is the worst thing to happen to you



So let me ask you the following.

1) How long can you afford to wait till you buy a new car.
Actually time is not a constraint here

2) If you don't buy the Rapid, what other car will you buy (I ask this because other cars have caught fire too).
Probably wait for the Ecosport or maybe, just maybe the XUV 5OO

3) Would you have peace of mind while driving this car or will it always be on your mind that this accident could happen to you at any time.
That is why i am seeking answers. i like to drive my cars stock, so if it zeroes down to after market fitments, i wouldn't bother. if it is a 'design issue' then i will stay away.

These are questions you need to answer for yourself but feel free to voice your thoughts and we will be happy to help resolve your doubts on this forum
Thank you for your honest attempt. Inputs like these make the forum what it is.
My answers to the above questions in Bold.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 21:51   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Even in this case it looks like from the pictures that the fire started from the engine bay, now what i fail to understand is how come short circuit cause fire in a stationary car where none of the electrical would be on except maybe security system. Can this cause fire? Fortunately in this case no one was injured.

We may not want to believe, but there is something wrong with VW/Skoda group. Two incidents in the space of less then three months isnt something that would be easy to ignore howsoever insignificant the statistics might try and prove.

Someone lost his life in the Vento fire, lets not brush that aside by hiding behind statistics, it makes the near and dear ones feel the loss of life was insignificant.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 2nd April 2012 at 21:53.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 21:59   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

In the caption below the photo in the link they have mentioned the cause of the fire as short circuit. Who came to the conclusion so quickly? The police or Skoda? Or is it the newspaper?

I find it strange. Or maybe we don't know the whole facts as yet.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 22:09   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Better to wait for the actual facts before jumping the gun.
Quite possibly there may have been some kind of after market electric/ electronic fitment in the vehicle, which might have triggered the fire.
No point speculating without the full facts.

VW and Skoda seem to be doing quite well all over the world in general, so they cant be all bad. I think these cases of fire etc could be more the exception than the rule - but at no point am I condoning them. All I would say is if it is possible, lets ascertain the facts first before forming a judgement.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 22:10   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Statistically the safest way to travel is by air, yet more people have a fear of flying (irrational if you ask me) than all the other forms of transportation put together.

The same thing applies here. Say VW has sold about 100,000 of these cars globally and maybe 10 (if that much, let us just use this as a base number) have caught fire. That is 0.01%. Even reduce the number of cars sold to 10,000 and it is still 0.1%. So the odds are that it will not happen to you.

However, I do understand the fear you have. What if it happens to me, and worse, what if I am inside the car when it happens and I can't get out.

There is a similar case a few months ago in Pune when a person was trapped in his VW Vento and died.
No offense and sorry for being OT, but this analogy compares a service (airline trip) with a product (car). An airline service it bought for moving from point A to point B. After reaching your destination, do you really bother about the airline (until you have you next trip with the same one). Worst case scenario, if you don't like the airline you can skip flying with it in the future (since you don't own the plane). But a car is a product that we own or one of our acquaintances own. So the risk in the case of car seems to be omnipresent (irrespective of whether it's used or not as seen in the VW/Skoda cases).

There are a couple of things that can be noted. VW has not come out with a fact finding report for the earlier case, in spite of flying in 'experts' from Germany. Looking at the sales numbers off-late & the flood of ads, it's clear that they are not making great numbers either. The latest incident will only add to their owes. Hope they come out with the root cause of the earlier incident soon.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 22:52   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by andromeda View Post
No offense and sorry for being OT, but this analogy compares a service (airline trip) with a product (car). An airline service it bought for moving from point A to point B. After reaching your destination, do you really bother about the airline (until you have you next trip with the same one). Worst case scenario, if you don't like the airline you can skip flying with it in the future (since you don't own the plane). But a car is a product that we own or one of our acquaintances own. So the risk in the case of car seems to be omnipresent (irrespective of whether it's used or not as seen in the VW/Skoda cases).
None taken, but you are more likely to have a fatal accident, particularly when you look at the state of our roads and the crazy drivers, than you are to die of your car catching fire. Do I then take it that it is better to not drive at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
We may not want to believe, but there is something wrong with VW/Skoda group. Two incidents in the space of less then three months isnt something that would be easy to ignore howsoever insignificant the statistics might try and prove.

Someone lost his life in the Vento fire, lets not brush that aside by hiding behind statistics, it makes the near and dear ones feel the loss of life was insignificant.
I am not making light of a person's death and definitely not using statistics to prove or disprove anything. I am just saying that the chances of the same thing happening to any VW owner is remote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by handsofsteel View Post
My answers to the above questions in Bold.
Let us be fair and say that irrespective of how well designed and built a car is, it will have some flaw or the other. Nothing can be perfect. As an example look at NASA. They have some of the greatest minds on the planet working for them. They have virtually unlimited budgets. Yet some of their rockets have blown up on take off or re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

Therefore, whatever car you recommend will always have some flaw. Whether that is something minor or major is a different issue.

Well said, However, one is an aberration, two is a coincidence and three is a pattern. that is why i am worried. Moreover, if the same airline keeps crashing, i wouldn't like to travel by it.

Let me ask you this question another way. Would you say the same thing if the fires were in say the VW Beetle which has sold tens of millions globally.

I agree three is a pattern, but like shankar said, let us first ascertain the cause of these fires before jumping to conclusions. If the causes of the fires are different, it is not a pattern but three aberrations.

I agree that recommending a car is worse than being in it yourself. The chinese have a saying "Save a man's life, and he is your responsibility forever". I may be paraphrasing but the essence is that. I guess the same thing in a different way works when you recommend something and it is defective. You take on the guilt.

You welcome for the feedback. If I can help in any way, it is a good feeling.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 07:59   #11
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Unhappy Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Its sad to know that the cars from the Czech stables are getting flamed. VW and Skoda should have detailed investigation done and come up with a solution which will assure the prospective buyers or else thjey too will go the Nano way. it took quite some time for the nano to regain the lost ground, hope the Czechs reliaze this.

The link posted by OP does not talk about the incident in detail? Could the car be possibly set on fire by some miscreants if its not an internal issue?
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Old 3rd April 2012, 08:19   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Damn, that sucks. Luckily, no one was in the car at that time. VW & Skoda need to make the reason for the burning Vento / Rapid public, whether it is the fault of an after-market electrical accessory or a problem with the factory electricals.

Skoda has established contact with the car owner:

Quote:
"We are aware of the case and have been in constant touch with the customer. Our technical team will carry out an inspection as early as tomorrow to evaluate the case. In the interim, we have extended full cooperation to the customer to reduce any inconvenience” – ŠKODA spokesperson
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Old 3rd April 2012, 09:50   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Most likely to happen is because this has happened in India these companies will only do a cover up cosmetic investigation. We have seen this done by other company where 4 people were burnt alive in Delhi.What happened in Union Carbide Bhopal , these are only small replicas of that.
I think time has come Indian govt. also should force the recalls like US based on Govt's own investigation reports of road accidents.ARAI and likes can easily form a wing for road accident investigations. They are competent and have all the relevant know-how.
In such scenario , comming to this Skoda rapid fire case , instead of investigation done by Skoda it should actually be done by Govt.( ARAI or so ) and supported by Skoda.Investigation results should be available to see for public.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 09:59   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
I am not making light of a person's death and definitely not using statistics to prove or disprove anything. I am just saying that the chances of the same thing happening to any VW owner is remote
Do we have some evidence to support this claim, unless there is, nothing can be said about what might happen next. Only facts as to why it happened can help one claim that the rest of the Ventos and Rapids are safe or unsafe.

There is a perception that VW/Skoda are hiding facts (remember its a perception, there is no evidence to support this), and because this has happened twice the perception has strengthened, and can be only erased if some independent body does the analysis and comes out with the truth as to why this happened. Unless that happens folks will always look at the VW group with skepticism.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 10:13   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Rapid Catches Fire In Delhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
This is a classic case of head vs. heart.

Let me first give you an analogy.

Statistically the safest way to travel is by air, yet more people have a fear of flying (irrational if you ask me) than all the other forms of transportation put together.

The same thing applies here. Say VW has sold about 100,000 of these cars globally and maybe 10 (if that much, let us just use this as a base number) have caught fire. That is 0.01%. Even reduce the number of cars sold to 10,000 and it is still 0.1%. So the odds are that it will not happen to you.

However, I do understand the fear you have. What if it happens to me, and worse, what if I am inside the car when it happens and I can't get out.

There is a similar case a few months ago in Pune when a person was trapped in his VW Vento and died.

So let me ask you the following.

1) How long can you afford to wait till you buy a new car.

2) If you don't buy the Rapid, what other car will you buy (I ask this because other cars have caught fire too).

3) Would you have peace of mind while driving this car or will it always be on your mind that this accident could happen to you at any time.

These are questions you need to answer for yourself but feel free to voice your thoughts and we will be happy to help resolve your doubts on this forum.
We have , of late, become a consumer market, and hence, are spoilt for choices. Here, we are talking about 6.50 - 10.00 lacs sedan market. Of course, all those cars catching fire car be merely coincidental, but why take chances when we see probabilities, peace of mind and multiple options available?

Skoda has had a history of problems in India, what with the failing DSGs, questionable after-sales service, consumer court cases and dubious dealerships. To add to it, we see cars catching fire. You might say I am exaggerating here, but I am not - because I speak for those who might be putting down their hard-earned 8 lacs trying to upgrade from a hatchback, living their dreams.

Besides, whatever might the reason have been, I expect VW group to put up a clarification / apology / condolence, which wasn't done in the case of Vento (Pune). Maruti / Honda / other manufacturers regularly apologize for delays and other inconveniences caused to customers, even if it is to earn brownie points for further sales.

I, for one, would be a lost-customer case for Rapid/Vento, because I would rather retain the peace of mind for my family's safety than argue on analogies and possibilities. To each, his own. Thank you.
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