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Old 15th May 2015, 19:35   #46
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by Prash22 View Post
Thank you autohead115. That's a useful video.

I got a message on social media a few weeks back saying "Due to increase of temperature in the next few days, please don't fill petrol to the max. It will cause an explosion in the fuel tank. Fill it half and leave space for air"
Is this true? I always thought air/oxygen is needed to cause fire and a full tank mostly shouldn't have enough oxygen to cause fire.
There is a set point in EVERY fuel tank called as 'Fuel supply cut-off when the tank reaches the Auto Lock point'.

In this case the fuel is filled only till such point that there is a free board in the tank for expansion and movement.

It is good sense to fill fuel ONLY till auto-lock to avoid any issues and overflow of the excessive fuel.

EDIT:

Data below is for Swift Diesel (Latest one):

Full tank capacity: 43 litres
Auto lock - cut off point: 35 to 37 litres
Free board space: 6 to 8 litres.

This is the free board that I have mentioned above.

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th May 2015 at 19:37.
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Old 15th May 2015, 20:00   #47
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by Prash22 View Post
I got a message on social media a few weeks back saying "Due to increase of temperature in the next few days, please don't fill petrol to the max. It will cause an explosion in the fuel tank. Fill it half and leave space for air"
Is this true? I always thought air/oxygen is needed to cause fire and a full tank mostly shouldn't have enough oxygen to cause fire.
I wouldn't worry about it at all. A lot worse will happen to the purveyor of this social media trash much before their fuel tank explodes 'due to increase in ambient temperature'.

For petrol to catch fire, the ambient temperature needs to be around 280 to 300 degrees C, aka the kindling point of petroleum. That's not happening on planet Earth anytime soon. (Source: 10th Std chemistry).
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Old 15th May 2015, 20:38   #48
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Really sad news. May God give his family all they need to overcome this great loss.

One thing that comes to my mind is why are so many cars getting on fire recently. People are using cars for over a century now and even if I let go of those early days, we are using gasoline engines for more that half a century. So why all of a sudden this particular issue is cropping up even after all these research and technological advancement. It should have been the opposite, isn't it. Instead we are witnessing these type of incidents since last three or four years and I think with time the frequency is increasing. So what's going wrong. After market fitments are not new. People used to install electrical accessories ten years ago as well. I think car makers should sit and think about this first. Seems like this is going to be another safety concern. May be in five years time, we will see manufacturers coming up with fire extinguishers as a safety kit just like ABS and Airbags.
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Old 15th May 2015, 21:02   #49
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by Carpainter View Post
One thing that comes to my mind is why are so many cars getting on fire recently.
The oldest generation of cars did not possess electronics as the current generation do. No ICE, No sensors and no electronic equipment besides a light maybe. Nowadays, right from the steering to adjustment of side mirrors, everything is electronic driven. Though the manufacturer would have put in safety measures to prevent short-circuit of some kind, there is still a risk quotient of a blown fuse or some stuff that can cause a fire.

Besides, the car owners (a minority) embellish their cars with a lot of fitments - underbelly lights, loud horns etc. - which increase the risk of a short circuit if they are not properly installed. We all know how some ICE shops conduct installation of speakers.
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Old 15th May 2015, 21:43   #50
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by Carpainter View Post
One thing that comes to my mind is why are so many cars getting on fire recently. People are using cars for over a century now and even if I let go of those early days, we are using gasoline engines for more that half a century. So why all of a sudden this particular issue is cropping up even after all these research and technological advancement.
Where is anyone trying to point a finger onto the engines we use or the level of R & D that has gone into automobiles?!

The problem could be due to faulty fitment of accessories on that car. I know after market installations aren't new but the installer isn't perfect may be. Some wrong installation method could have happened that could have caused this issue.

As the cause of this incident isn't clear, commenting actually becomes difficult.

Chevrolet to hide themselves from further embarrassment will blame it on after market installation. The reason for the person to get trapped could be a manufacturing defect but AFAIK, Chevrolet will not have that courage to stand up and accept.
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Old 15th May 2015, 22:58   #51
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

The Tavera goof up and then the Captiva catching fire issue and now a Sail.

Things couldn't get any worse for GM and specially when they rolled out a plan to have 5% of the Indian automobile market share a few days back.

What is surprising is that the whole electronic sytstem of the car malfunctioned. If the central locking is jammed then the driver could have exited the car by rolling down the windows, which I guess were power windows and stopped functioning too.

Apart from the head rest option I had read you could apply force with your legs on the corners of the windshield to pop it open as they are glued down. Not sure how true is that.

On the power windows, they can be a pain at times. Imagine you reach home and the window refuses to go up. A real safety hazard.

This was one of the reason why my dad suggested for our first car we have manual rolling windows at least at the back,specially after the Mumbai 2005 floods, where a lot of people died by drowning in their car.
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Old 15th May 2015, 23:12   #52
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

A gory incident where a life has been lost. The fire accident was for sure avoidable. Whatever the reason, the incident needs an introspection by us, as to whether our cars can ever become burning coffins?

The reason could be tampering with the electrical circuit by some inexperienced or callous electrician. Most of the times, we fit electrical accessories and the fitting is handled in some cases by inexperienced or callous persons.

If its a manufacturing defect, GM needs to look at it. But the truth will never come out, as the car is fully burnt and the sole witness is no more.

A good way out could be to keep a fire extinguisher (can't help fight big fires like this one) handy in the car.

Another way out will be to keep the wheel spanner and / or jack within an accessible distance from both the driver and the front passenger. The jack or the tony bar or the spanner can be used to break the glass and make safe exit.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 15th May 2015 at 23:16.
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Old 15th May 2015, 23:30   #53
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Carpainter definitely has a point there.

I'm not that familiar with modern diesel cars but if someone can confirm that they have a similar BSIV cat convertor as their petrol counterparts, then I would focus on a combination of faulty/exposed by design/damaged fuel lines, the use of substandard / adulterated fuel and it's impact on the engine & cat convertor's operating temperatures.

This combo of circumstances is enough to reach the kindling point of diesel (about 400 degrees C) in our driving conditions and adulterated fuel has been the curse of South Asia for some time now.
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Old 16th May 2015, 09:31   #54
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Unhappy Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Real Unfortunate incident, Guy would have invested his hard earned money in the Car, and the same took his Life :(
May his soul rest in Peace.

Atleast now am at ease with the Fact that all four doors of my Ford open from inside even though it's centrally Locked. I was quite worried about this until now.
However this is not the case with my Santro, which has aftermarket lock installed & in case of emergencies the Lock pin needs to be pulled hard to unlock all doors!

Even if the Central Lock System would have got faulty, It's a fact that when something like a Fire / Water happens too quick we are in a state of Shock as to unlock this with a switch or pull the pin...etc. We would only try to grab the handle just before it engulfs us before we going partially unconscious.
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Old 16th May 2015, 13:48   #55
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Firstly, I would not want to blindly blame the manufacturer or their engineering design without personally knowing the actual cause of the incident.

In this regard, my humble request to everyone is to keep a tab on aftermarket mods, UNLESS you know what the job is and it will be executed in the best quality possible. No matter which manufacturer, but the quality they offer will be far superior to the regular accessory shop guy. I have seen many shops in JC road do horrible wiring for accessories. Hence one must watch out on the quality of installation.

Secondly, can we make a list of those cars whose doors can't be manually unlocked WITHOUT electrical power?
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Old 16th May 2015, 18:07   #56
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Such a terrible incident! my prayers for his family to overcome the pain.

I'm not going to talk about anything technical here. Something just came to my mind due to what happened with us yesterday. I'll be creating a new thread for it anyway. We got petrol added to our diesel car accidentally (not our fault)

Anyway, the petrol pump guys took the fuel back from the service station. The service guys said they'll mix it back in the tanks. Now, I've read its a disaster when petrol is added to a diesel car! Just a thought, do you think that's what happened to the guy maybe? What if petrol was accidentally added to his car or maybe there was a lot of petrol in the fuel station (mixed in diesel that was recycled) due to all the stupid mistakes they make (apparently, they say it happens a lot of times)
This is just my thought anyway
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Old 16th May 2015, 18:23   #57
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Firstly, I would not want to blindly blame the manufacturer or their engineering design without personally knowing the actual cause of the incident.

In this regard, my humble request to everyone is to keep a tab on aftermarket mods, UNLESS you know what the job is and it will be executed in the best quality possible. No matter which manufacturer, but the quality they offer will be far superior to the regular accessory shop guy. I have seen many shops in JC road do horrible wiring for accessories. Hence one must watch out on the quality of installation.

Secondly, can we make a list of those cars whose doors can't be manually unlocked WITHOUT electrical power?
That's going to be a long list. Better to vice versa this as most jap cars I've driven don't have this.
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Old 16th May 2015, 19:56   #58
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
In my car the central locking is after market (MGA) installed at my MASS. The doors lock once the speed crosses 20 KMPH and unlock once the engine stops. We can also unlock manually using the lift up knob, even when the engine is running.

Scary to think whether this can get jammed due to a short circuit and not allow manual opening. Must check with MSM people about it's working. If it is possible to disengage central locking before starting out and re-engage while parking the car, it would be nice.
In my humble opinion, this is one of the much safer designs of the door locking mechanism, which enables one to get out even when there is no electrical power or when there is an electrical short circuit due to fire or other reasons. The only design that is safer than this is not to have electrical central locking at all, but only manual mechanical locking/unlocking for each of the doors (like how it was during the days of the Ambassador & Padmini).

Let's break it down. Your car left the factory with a completely mechanical manual lock-unlock system for each of the doors, which happens to be the safest in my book (as mentioned in the previous paragraph).

The dealership then put in electrical actuators into each of the four doors, and then linked it to a controller which can unlock/lock all doors when the relevant button on the remote is pressed etc. All of this draws power from the car's battery.

In other words, the locking mechanism is purely mechanical, with an electrical assist system put in place in each door for the remote locking system. Even if the electrical assist system fails completely (due to whatever reason), the underlying mechanical system would still remain operational.

When the electrical assist system has failed, it may require a bit more force (than normal) to open or lock a door, that's all. The mechanical system is still the one that locks and unlocks the doors, and it should be operational even if the electrical assist is taken away. (This can be compared to the power-assisted steering or vacuum booster-assisted brake pedal requiring more force to operate when the engine is not running).

One more thing to be noted is that the driver's door lock lever may require more force to operate than the other doors when the central locking system doesn't work, as it's the one that has the master actuator (locks/unlocks all doors). The front passenger door and rear door levers may require only the normal force, or at most a very small bit extra, but much less force than the driver's door lever. (Of course, in cars where both the front doors have master actuators, the rear door lock levers would require much less force than the front ones).

I'm willing to bet that your car's door locks would still work and the lock-unlock levers would still remain operational (may require extra force for the driver's door only) when the central locking system fails, due to whatever reason.

One way to test this:

1) Pull out the bonnet/hood release lever

2) Lower the front & rear windows on the driver's side of the car completely

3) Take out the key, close the doors and press the lock button on the remote

4) Open the bonnet/hood, and disconnect the battery

5) After this, try unlocking and opening the driver's door from the inside, through the open window*

6) Then try unlocking and opening the rear door from the inside, through the open window*

I believe both the doors on your car can be unlocked and opened through the windows quite easily. The driver's door lock lever may require some extra force to unlock, but the rear door (and other doors) most probably wouldn't.

If one is able to unlock & open the doors in such a test situation, then the door locking mechanism is of sound engineering design.

If one is not able to open the doors in such a test situation, then the manufacturer or accessory maker must be taken to task and forced to change their lousy, untrustworthy & horrible engineering design (that could possibly endanger lives).

* - Some cars may have a power window roll up mechanism when the car is locked, either as a factory fitment, or as an aftermarket accessory. In such cases, the assistance of a second person is required, by making him/her sit inside the car and test the door levers after the battery has been disconnected. Extreme caution is advised when testing such cars, and one should not use a child for the purpose.

P.S.: Whatever be the door locking mechanism on one's car, I always advocate keeping a window-breaking tool, seatbelt-cutter and a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in the car, and training everyone on how to use them. Previous posters have provided information on such tools, and where to get them.

Last edited by RSR : 16th May 2015 at 20:19.
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Old 16th May 2015, 20:15   #59
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by RSR View Post
I always advocate keeping a window-breaking tool, seatbelt-cutter and a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in the car, and train everyone on how to use them. Previous posters have provided information on such tools, and where to get them.
Tassem has a thread (first of a series, apparently) that is covering nice recommendations for this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...e-one-day.html
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Old 17th May 2015, 09:05   #60
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

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Originally Posted by Prash22 View Post
Thank you autohead115. That's a useful video.

I got a message on social media a few weeks back saying "Due to increase of temperature in the next few days, please don't fill petrol to the max. It will cause an explosion in the fuel tank. Fill it half and leave space for air"
Is this true? I always thought air/oxygen is needed to cause fire and a full tank mostly shouldn't have enough oxygen to cause fire.
Very unfortunate incident.

No that message on whats app was rubbish. I too got it.
All fuel tanks breath in a controlled way to allow the fuel to pass till engine, else if it was sealed container then while engine consuming fuel it would create Vacuum in fuel tank. Similarly in opposite ways, there is a mechanism from where if there is increase in pressure in fuel tank, the fumes are released out. Normally fumes are created irrespective of weather and this mechanism works always.
I got to know about this when I use to have petrol fumes inside my car and found out that during a usual repair the lid to cover this system was left open. This fumes disposal system is directly connected to the fuel tank, and disposes off the excess fumes.

I think with spreading of Socialising Apps and availability of unverified content , we should not forward such messages until we are sure about the authenticity of the content.

Regarding this incident I guess only Chevrolet can do a proper analysis and we can only speculate possibilities. However I found a lot of information worthy enough to be educated in such scenario, like I wouldn't have thought of using head rest as a means to break glass. Team-bhp is doing a good thing in keeping this thread on front page itself so that more and more people are aware of situation and know means of handling the situation in any eventuality.
May the passed away soul rest in peace and his family members get strength to bear it.

Last edited by GTO : 17th May 2015 at 15:36. Reason: Typos
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