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Old 2nd August 2012, 12:09   #256
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by amtak View Post

However, one thing that I noticed is that when they tried to open the door, it didnt open very easily; somewhere I had read that they have some sensors that opens the locks in case of fire or something?
This is scary, reminds me of the NHC that caught fire in New Delhi some time back, where doors got locked and all brunt alive. Are VW sensor's equipped with locking facility in case of impact or fire?

-Sajan
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Old 2nd August 2012, 13:20   #257
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by sajands View Post
Hope its not the after market ICE and bad wiring job. Need to see what the fire and police report says.

-Sajan
It can be but there are thousands and lacs of cars also has same thing done by local guys in there Jeeps, Sumos, Indicas & other cars. Then why this thing don't happen with them? Why its with branded car like VW only? I guess this 5th or 6th case i am hearing about VW.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 13:30   #258
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
While at that, do BHPians here feel that a diesel car safer than a petrol one? Cos, petrol needs just a spark to ignite, while getting diesel to start burning is not that easy.
Many a time fire starts because of electric shortcuts and spreads due to flammable materials like carpets, seats, NVH insulation materials, rubber, etc
In such cases fuel is not the significant factor.
Also fuel doesn't burn easily unless there is some leak or damage to the fuel tank, like in a accident.

Last edited by Daewood : 2nd August 2012 at 13:39.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 13:40   #259
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
It can be but there are thousands and lacs of cars also has same thing done by local guys in there Jeeps, Sumos, Indicas & other cars. Then why this thing don't happen with them? Why its with branded car like VW only? I guess this 5th or 6th case i am hearing about VW.
Thats because cars like Sumos, Indicas, Altos etc have (relatively) lesser electronics inside. So lesser chances of anything going wrong as well.

VW very categorically maintain that electrical warranties would be void if any changes are done but still people do changes. Then people have to take the blame themselves for taking their chances. One can blame VW for any defects only if it is proven that the car in flames was totally stock. By the way voiding warranties for any aftermarket installations is not just VW exclusive thing. Many carmakers follow this - even for very small and insignificant things.

I have read 2 reports on this very Forum of new Honda Citys that developed problems because of aftermarket installations (even when the installations in both cases were done at the dealerships only!) Even when dealerships can make mistakes in installation - what can you say about outside run-of-the-mill shops?
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Old 2nd August 2012, 13:42   #260
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
It can be but there are thousands and lacs of cars also has same thing done by local guys in there Jeeps, Sumos, Indicas & other cars. Then why this thing don't happen with them? Why its with branded car like VW only?
In no way do I stand for VW, but maybe one of the earlier posts on the same thread answers some questions partially if not wholly. I've quoted it below here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Again I repeat, not all local garage guys are experts.

VW cars are known to have complex electricals and I have seen many experienced local guys not ready to work on VW cars. What I am trying to say is that there might be other possibilities also.
Last but not the least, I have seen owners put in 100W bulbs without changing holder and without relay. High power Bulbs are not plug and play, not atlest in India where things are generally on threshold.

But somehow, I feel that old school engineering was the best. The best example is cars of 1995-2000 era. You take the original Zen, do many mods, add elecrticals but the still the car would work. People have added fans in cars like Eeco, Omni, even Tavera and Innova, but no incidents of fire.

The modern day lean engineering has brought things to such a state that any change has to be monitored carefully.
Hoping that VW would now actually come forward and help in investigations.
I pretty much stand by what <aaggoswami> states above BUT, I do agree that it's high time VW INDIA provides an explanation for this series of untoward incidents.

Maybe an after-market electrical consultant appointed by VW at every a.s.s. who inspects all wirings after installation to ensure nothing is a hazard??
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Old 2nd August 2012, 13:49   #261
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
Thats because cars like Sumos, Indicas, Altos etc have (relatively) lesser electronics inside. So lesser chances of anything going wrong as well.
That's really not an excuse that a global automaker can claim. "Well, the others drove around in bullock carts, so no chance of catching fire. We loaded our bullock cart with hay and so it caught fire".

But the VW electrical gremlins have built quite a history atleast from around year 2000 when some of my friends bough VWs in the US. Not the "bursting into flame" kind of problems. But glitches, bugs and everything else. One of my friends even exclaimed once "I'd rather leave this POS (Passat) right here in the seedy part of downtown just hoping some fellow will steal it.."

Yes, in the larger sense, its less than 0.1% of the vehicles catching fire. But its still unacceptable that a global automaker, and German at that, is having quality issues. Whether an aftermarket fitment is made or not, I'd still believe that there should not be ANY cause of fire.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 14:06   #262
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Both petrol and diesel will ignite in case of spark, though in theory petrol is more flammable. The principal behind spark ignition and compression ignition engine is a bit different
Incorrect .

If I remember correctly this diesel is less volatile and so does not readily form an air-fuel mixture to ignite.Diesel catches fire ONLY under high pressure where it is atomized . Petrol is highly flammable.


You can throw a burning match into a can on diesel it will just fizzle out.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 15:01   #263
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
Incorrect .

If I remember correctly this diesel is less volatile and so does not readily form an air-fuel mixture to ignite.Diesel catches fire ONLY under high pressure where it is atomized . Petrol is highly flammable.


You can throw a burning match into a can on diesel it will just fizzle out.
A burning substance will burn well in diesel or petrol. Thats why i said theoretically both are different, (petrol has lower flash point) but in practical conditions of fire, both will catch fire or I should say aid fire. To say that diesel catches fire only under high pressure is incorrect. Under high pressure, actually diesel ignites earlier than petrol

Here in this Polo case, the cause of fire must have been some short circuit and the fire might have spread. Under such circumstances, it does not matter whether it is petrol or diesel
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Old 2nd August 2012, 15:28   #264
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
Whether an aftermarket fitment is made or not, I'd still believe that there should not be ANY cause of fire.
I totally agree to what you've written here and I would love nothing more than a carmaker giving a 100% guarantee that whatever may, as you say, there will NOT be a fire!

Sadly, thats not the case. This thread itself is a living proof that all sorts of cars have seen fires - be it your Tatas or Marutis or Hyundais or Hondas or VWs or even Mercs.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 15:34   #265
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Assuming he did not do any modifications to the speaker setup or an HU change or any kind of amp setups. The stock setup is a lot to desired for.
leaves a lot to desire...?

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Although my post would look like I'm defending VW, but I'd rather get the facts out before I start suspecting my Vento to burst into fire everyday! And if there is a problem, let's make it as public as we can.
While I agree with this, I also call upon all VW owners to be alert to any and every small thing that happens around the engine area. I am not trying to induce panic, only saying that it would be helpful to stay alert at all times.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 15:56   #266
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

We have a car catching fire at Verna, Goa (place name and not Hyundai Verna), news in today's paper but the so called Goan newspaper (Navhind Times) has not mentioned the car make due to advertising revenue. That Newspaper as a routine never mentions the name or cars, factories, restaurants, hotels and business establishments so as to safeguard his revenue, even after good number of people are killed.

Last edited by carwatcher : 2nd August 2012 at 16:00.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 16:02   #267
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

Any fire would need 3 things to start and grow -
1) Ignition to start
2) Fuel for burning (not necessarily petrol or diesel)
3) Oxygen for the fuel to burn

Ignition - The sources of ignition can be many in a car and definitely includes the electrical circuits and overheating of engine parts or fuel lines or exhaust systems. But one must not forget the possibility of external sources as well - for example a cigarette, a lighter or a incense stick (yes a lot of people use incense stick in a car). Another possible cause of ingition is the airbag detonator.

Fuel - The largest amount of inflamable material available in a car is definitely the car's fuel. However there are many other sources which are euqally dangerous - the seat foams, the internal lining, the ceiling lining, the rubber hoses and belts, the steering cover, the plastics used inside the car, the AC gas and compressor fluids, the various oils in the car etc. The seat covers - artificial leather or cloth are a major source of imflamable material in a car - with the vast expanse of available surface area, poor quality imflamable seat covers can easily catch fire from a cigarette or the cigarette lighter and spread very fast to engulf the whole car.

Oxygen - Despite Ozone layer depletion and global waming the Oxygen level in our atmosphere is still too high to be fire free ;-). One has no control over this.

The manufacturers always try (or are forced by regulation) to reduce the amount of inflamable materials low and use fire retardant material. But in a country like India where "kitna deti hai" is the biggest question of most car buyers, and quality is a word reserved for the earstwhile ice cream brand, manufacturers (more often the suppliers) tend to ignore the "safety" factor. We as individuals, often ignorant about safety end up doing things that cause harm not only to oursevles but also to others as well. How many times have you seen a guy riding a motor cycle with a full face ISI marked state of the art helmet while the "love of his life" poor wife wearing just a puny plastic "skull cover" or a baby being carried on the front seat of a car on its mother's lap? How many of us smoke while we drive?

For those of you who had the energy to read through the above and is still reading, you might have started wondering what is this post about and is this the correct thread I am posting in. Well you are right, I have not written anything about the Polo or the Vento or any other car that caught fire recently and injured or killed its passengers or not. My intent has been and is to try and educate us (including myself) on the possible causes and best practices that we as users can follow to save our cars from "bursting into flames" or save ourselves from getting barbequed.

But what if my car catches fire?
- Keep your head cool
- Stop the car immediately - pull over to a side
- Don't panic - if the driver panics the passengers will panic more and cause more damage to everyone
- Get yourself and the other passengers freed from the seat belt.
- Open all the doors and jump out (make sure you don't jump out and get hit by oncoming traffic)
- Get away from the burning car as far as you possibly can
- Call the police and fire brigade (you are in luck if you stay in a place which has a unified emergency number - you need to make only 1 phone call)
- Arrange immediate medical care for any injured passenger including yourself
- Call up your immediate family / In Case of Emergency (ICE) friends and inform about the incident and your exact location (now don't start calling up all your family members and neighbours, a single call is enough to let people know where they can find you)

And yes, if you are fit enough, use your mobile phone's video camera to capture your very first home video of a burning car. The video may become be a good source of input for the investigating agencies at a later date to find out possible causes of the fire - it may even earn you a place in the "Worlds Funniest Home Videos".

Cheers
Anirban
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Old 2nd August 2012, 16:12   #268
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Default Re: Accidents : Vehicles catching fire in India

I am not sure if I had read this somewhere else but in the case of Vento/Polo fires, some of the VW service stations by mistake had been using a high pressure water wash in the engine bay which was diagnosed to be the problem. This is a strict no-no from VW but I may be totally off base here.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 16:27   #269
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

I find it amusing that we expect the company to guarantee performance and safety for aftermarket fitments. For a nation fed on its daily diet of jugad cheap solutions, we think that its a sacrilege that companies expects us to stick to their specs. Why can't we get this simple thing into our head - if one can't afford it, don't buy it - if you buy cheap , please be ready for the consequences too

Quote:
Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
This thread itself is a living proof that all sorts of cars have seen fires - be it your Tatas or Marutis or Hyundais or Hondas or VWs or even Mercs.
If people vow not to sit inside a car which has ever reported incidents of fire then that will be the best solution to all our traffic problems, global warming , etc, etc . Cycle sales should get a leg up
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Old 2nd August 2012, 17:03   #270
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Default Re: Polo Catches fire

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Originally Posted by souravc View Post
I find it amusing that we expect the company to guarantee performance and safety for aftermarket fitments. For a nation fed on its daily diet of jugad cheap solutions, we think that its a sacrilege that companies expects us to stick to their specs. Why can't we get this simple thing into our head - if one can't afford it, don't buy it - if you buy cheap , please be ready for the consequences too
I guess one big reason could be that the after-market installers have not kept up very well with the technological advancements in cars that are getting more and more complex electronics with each iteration.

As I wrote earlier, I came across two threads on Honda Citys that reported snags because of HU installations (and both had them done at the dealerships only). Now if company dealerships themselves are not able to do it fool-proof what confidence does that give to our road-side installers who have even lesser knowledge and probably worse tools? People should understand that any modifications (especially the ones not approved by the company) are at their own risk.

Meanwhile I would be interested if any cars in stock form have seen fires. That would make for a stronger case against the manufacturers. But they can hardly be held responsible if people are intent on playing with their cars. Of course one thing that can be investigated is, whether they have put enough failsafes in the system. At least VW should answer that, for the burnt Ventos/Polos I think.
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