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Old 15th May 2015, 01:39   #1
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Unhappy 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Shocking news of a 42 year old man burnt alive as the two month old Chevrolet Sail diesel caught fire. Short-circuit is the suspected reason for fire. Link from Gaadiwaadi.

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The recent news state that a 42-years old man died as his two months old diesel-run Chevrolet Sail car caught fire on the Surajkund-Pali Road in Faridabad.

It is very sad to mention that due to the fierce fire, the victim couldn’t get out of the Chevrolet diesel vehicle and was burnt alive. The victim, identified as, Hardev, a resident of the Hirapur village in Faridabad was trapped inside the car and died before the fire brigade was called to control the fire.

Police believe short-circuit could have triggered the fire, which jammed the central locking system of the car and Driver Hardev trapped Inside. The victim, was living on rent in Sector 14, Faridabad. He was on his way to Gurgaon from Faridabad through the Pali road when the incident took place about 8.30pm on Tuesday, said a police officer investigating the case.
Even though such fire / accidents can happen in any car, incidents like these raise a lot of questions on the kind of safety a car provides. If the central locking gets jammed because of a fire and the occupants are charred to death trapped inside - this is clearly poor engineering, poor designing and poor testing. What is more appalling is that the car was only 2 months old, according to the news piece. A hardly run, new car causing such a horrific accident - too bad. Guess, Chevrolet should look into the faulty parts and issue a recall as soon as possible - if this is actually caused due to a manufacturing defect.

May the poor soul rest in peace and may the almighty give courage to the family of the deceased to overcome this disaster.

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Last edited by GTO : 15th May 2015 at 14:21. Reason: Pics
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Old 15th May 2015, 01:58   #2
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Very unfortunate incident. I guess these are the reasons why Ford allows you to unlock doors from the inside irrespective of the locking status.
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Old 15th May 2015, 02:51   #3
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Even my Chevrolet Beat allows to unlock the car from inside, even though the car is centrally locked. (Central locking activates after 5 seconds of turning the ignition on).
The lock inside is not electronically controlled, but manually controlled. Just lift the lock lever (old style) and the car unlocks.

Chevy Beat Lock Lever:

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I fail to understand though as to why a person cannot unlock the door from inside. Atleast in this case, a Chevy Sail's door can be unlocked from inside by just lifting the door lock lever.
I believe this is a mechanical part and not an electrical switch (which can fail due to wires catching fire).

Chevy Sail Lock Lever:

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Well, I am not defending Chevy or any manufacturer for that matter. The point is someone has lost his life and I want to know why couldn't he unlock the door from inside ?
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Old 15th May 2015, 03:02   #4
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
Well, I am not defending Chevy or any manufacturer for that matter. The point is someone has lost his life and I want to know why couldn't he unlock the door from inside ?
That is a good point. The Chevy Sail does not have a lot of electronics in it.

A fire can be caused form multiple reasons like a badly installed after market ICE as well.

Proper investigation will be very important.
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Old 15th May 2015, 03:44   #5
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Thats really tragic, hope they are able to find the root cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
Even my Chevrolet Beat allows to unlock the car from inside, even though the car is centrally locked. (Central locking activates after 5 seconds of turning the ignition on).
The lock inside is not electronically controlled, but manually controlled. Just lift the lock lever (old style) and the car unlocks.
If the car has central locking it means that those levers are controlled electronically albeit with a manual override. If the electronics go crazy due to a fire or any such extreme situation not sure if the manual override would still work.
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Old 15th May 2015, 05:37   #6
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I saw this with my own eyes. The car was up in high flames by the time I reached the spot. It must have caught fire only a few minutes ago. Was a very gruesome sight. Nobody could help since flames were almost three stories high. Plus this spot is on a desolate stretch on this road. By the time the fire truck turned up, it was too late. Nobody could get to 10m near the car as the heat was very intense.

Saw the car and it's carcass next morning. Very sad indeed to have seen a life lost but could not help any bit to save it.
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Old 15th May 2015, 05:59   #7
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Such a tragic happening!
I always thought petrol cars are more vulnerable to such incidents, petrol being more flammable than diesel.
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Old 15th May 2015, 07:29   #8
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Default Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Man burnt alive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Thats really tragic, hope they are able to find the root cause.







If the car has central locking it means that those levers are controlled electronically albeit with a manual override. If the electronics go crazy due to a fire or any such extreme situation not sure if the manual override would still work.

It's very sad to hear this.

If there is no manual override then this is a serious safety issue. In accidents the doors unlock automatically right? Not in case of fire?

I just want to understand how these things work.
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Old 15th May 2015, 08:04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
I fail to understand though as to why a person cannot unlock the door from inside.

Well, I am not defending Chevy or any manufacturer for that matter. The point is someone has lost his life and I want to know why couldn't he unlock the door from inside?
AFAIK, the lock/unlock even though mechanical is controlled by electronics do in case of fire, these electronics can go haphazard and may not respond to manual override when the driver inside tries to open it.

As the immobilizer and central locking have the power supply throughout, it would be difficult.
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Old 15th May 2015, 08:46   #10
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
I fail to understand though as to why a person cannot unlock the door from inside. Atleast in this case, a Chevy Sail's door can be unlocked from inside by just lifting the door lock lever.

I believe this is a mechanical part and not an electrical switch (which can fail due to wires catching fire).
It may look like a conventional pop up lever but it may be just a switch for the actuator in which case it may not work in case of electrical failure.
One way to verify this is to disconnect the battery for a few minutes and see if you can operate both the pop up lock and the door latch and open the door from inside. You will lose radio code ( note this before disconnecting) and ECU will reset but you will be sure that the door can be opened mechanically.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 15th May 2015 at 09:23. Reason: Fixing quotes. Please preview the posts before submitting. Thanks!
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Old 15th May 2015, 09:19   #11
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Post re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Very sad to know a life was lost in the incident. I seriously hope this case is properly investigated and results published. Having simple mechanical locks and the car caught fire probably due to short circuit, it is important to know how/why the man got trapped inside? [he should have had many seconds, if not minutes, to open a door?]

As Soumyajit's post show, the locks seems more mechanical than electronic (assumption). So very important to understand if the parts/functioning failed due to 'x' or if the man panicked and the fire caught on by then or something worse.

Incorrect installations of aftermarket equipment have been the reason for short circuits in cars on prior incidents; it is really important that people pay attention to good electrical practices when going about such jobs. [not for this incident but to avoid any incidents].

Prayers for the family. No one would have expected such a thing from a 2 months young car.
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Old 15th May 2015, 10:00   #12
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Very sad indeed. Like most I would think that a central locking system can/should always be to override a central locking system, even if it goes haywire.

The other thing I dont understand is how such a tremendously fierce fire can occur in the first place. If it was that fierce and sudden, maybe the occupant just panicked or froze?

I have been, especially in my navy and offshore years, involved in a number of fires onboard of ships and rigs. Even though all crew is trained, very few do respond correctly. Fire is terrifying and has a profound effect on people response, very often comletely counter productive.

Jeroen
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Old 15th May 2015, 10:11   #13
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Default re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

A similar incident happened with a friend who was locked inside a 320d because of an electrical failure. At that time, he also tried unlocking the car manually but wasn't of any help. Finally, a few hours (after being locked) later, he called his cousin who came with a duplicate key and unlocked the door manually (using the skeleton key).

I had always thought that the manual over-ride unlock lever was there as a safety measure (in case the electricals go bad) but it was later (after my friend's incident) that I realized that I really don't know what these are for.

Last edited by S2!!! : 15th May 2015 at 10:12.
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Old 15th May 2015, 10:24   #14
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

Very sad incident indeed. I read in newspaper that the person who reported this to police gave the registration number to them. It would be difficult for the cops to identify the person as the registration plate was illegible when they arrived at the spot.
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Old 15th May 2015, 10:28   #15
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Default Re: 2-month old Chevrolet Sail Diesel catches fire - Driver burnt alive

I think they should test unlocking of cars in case of electrical failure or some type of fire conditions. We have been hearing many such fatal cases.
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