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Old 22nd June 2010, 20:19   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravindra M View Post
I think most likely cause of short-circuits the the new cars is the shoddy cabling done while installing aftermarket accessories.
Nice post. I'd like to add two more:

- RATS! They can create a royal mess of the wiring under the hood

- Shoddy labour at after-market garages. I'm willing to bet that this car's unfortunate fire was caused by an evaporator replacement (either this, or after-market accessories). The W203 C Class needs a new evaporator every 2 - 3 years. And each time, one has to completely rip apart the dashboard. You'll faint on seeing the complex wiring circuit behind the dash. Serious! Throw in a couple of unorganised "pappus" entrusted with the job, that's a recipe for disaster right there.

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Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
Wasnt there a similar problem reported with BMW getting charred down (i also remember in that case, everyone inside the car was also charred to dearth).
That car first met with an accident, then charred down to nothing. Link to thread (BMW Burned To Ashes In Minutes!!!!)

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This is interesting to note: The Merc C-Class is one of the few cars that comes with a fire extinguisher as part of the standard equipment.
While the currently sold generation does, I don't believe that the W203 was ever equipped with one (my car doesn't have it)
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Old 22nd June 2010, 20:26   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The W203 C Class needs a new evaporator every 2 - 3 years. And each time, one has to completely rip apart the dashboard. You'll faint on seeing the complex wiring circuit behind the dash. Serious! Throw in a couple of unorganised "pappus" entrusted with the job, that's a recipe for disaster right there.
A part that requires frequent replacement should have been engineered/re-engineered to that it is easily accessible.

Also, I see nothing wrong with a fire extinguisher being standard equipment. The law mandates it in several countries.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 07:46   #18
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If everything boils down to the wiring, why dont manufacturers take an engineering class on the same. Surely a 30L + car would have gone through a series of engineering to get the wiring done properly or easily approachable at least. Do other car manufacturers have a lesson or two to learn from the incident? As a car owner what precautions need to be taken since we leave most of the car insides to the service workshop or "Ram bharose".
Getting a car equiped with a Fire Extinguisher would not solve the issue and even if there was a fire it all depends upon the reaction times of the owner/passengers to use the extinguisher. In the Merc case, I dont think the owner would have dared to reach for the extinguisher rather than saving his life by getting out of the car and moving to a safe location.
Personally IMO I feel that there should be mini Fire/heat sensors inside the bonnet which should send signals to the dashboard and make the owner switch off the engine before any fire happens.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 10:40   #19
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Reaction Time whats that!! I had accidentally shorted one of the wire under the hood while replacing the bulb under the hood. within a fraction of second the whole wire burnt with brilliant bright flame and there was smoke everywhere. Luckily it dint touch other parts which would have eventually caught fire.

So i can understand how the series would have occured when multiple wires/parts catch fire, and if the fuel line is involved then god only can save.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 11:00   #20
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Slightly off tangent here..will these cars that catch fire get insurance assuming they are insured for fire, even though this is fire of a different kind trigerred by either a manufacturing defect or bad workmanship at an accessories shop.
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Old 24th June 2010, 09:47   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrackedHead View Post
A part that requires frequent replacement should have been engineered/re-engineered to that it is easily accessible.
Merc should look back at its own history; the W123 / 124 / 126 are such easy cars to work on. And no, they didn't require an evap replacement every 2 years either.

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Originally Posted by jacobgeorge View Post
will these cars that catch fire get insurance assuming they are insured for fire, even though this is fire of a different kind trigerred by either a manufacturing defect or bad workmanship at an accessories shop.
As long as the owner has comprehensive insurance coverage (not third party) for the car, he will be reimbursed for damages (whether repair or total loss).

Also want to add that, with such major burn injuries, its hard for anyone to pinpoint what exactly caused the fire.
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Old 24th June 2010, 09:59   #22
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The Insurance companies will not take lightly to cars catching fire spontaneously. They will investigate the cause before they settle. But this whole car burning is kind of ridiculous unless the fuel caught fire.
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:09   #23
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Image from TOI

Name:  getimage1.jpg
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Last edited by prateek99 : 24th June 2010 at 10:10.
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:13   #24
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On a lighter note (pun not intended)

The Nano is now in company with the Merc !!!
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Old 24th June 2010, 12:42   #25
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I remember reading somewhere that a nano caught fire and the owner wanted a merc as damages. He should now read this!
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Old 24th June 2010, 16:52   #26
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Guys I dont understand these things hence this question, I fail to understand the statement " The car was charred in minutes" How do these big european monsters(the BMW incident as well) burn down so fast??. I can understand the car catches fire but getting burned down so fast is something I cant understand.Can anyone please explain?

Last edited by MihirC : 24th June 2010 at 16:57.
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Old 9th July 2010, 00:45   #27
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Fiat Palio joins the esteemed company as today's TOI reports of a Palio catching fire on the Expressway, because of a short-circuit.

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Old 9th July 2010, 01:03   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MihirC View Post
Guys I dont understand these things hence this question, I fail to understand the statement " The car was charred in minutes" How do these big european monsters(the BMW incident as well) burn down so fast??. I can understand the car catches fire but getting burned down so fast is something I cant understand.Can anyone please explain?
Burning can take place and high temperatures can be attained before we see major flames erupting from under the bonnet. Next, when the items more suseptable to ignition they reach their threashold temperature then they burn progressively in harmony with other components ready to burn.
In a nutshell there is quite of things happening before the actual flames and the rapid fire spreading engulfing the entire material, or in this case the car.

This was investigated during the London subway fires where the entire escalators burned down within no time and the flames reached unbelievable temperatures in very less time giving a feel like the flames were emitted through a blow torch or something.
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Old 9th July 2010, 08:51   #29
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A quote from website as to why the cars catch fire (be it on Pune e-way for Western e-way).

Vehicle Fire

Cars can catch fire for all sorts of reasons. Most of the time, it is because of accidents. If a car gets hit in its gas tank or the engine has taken a severe hit, a slight spark or electrical impulse, such as when batteries get ruptured, can cause a fire. Poorly maintained cars can catch fire too. Leaking gas lines, head gaskets, cracked blocks, cracked radiators, leaking fuel lines, and the list goes on, are all potential fire hazards. This is the reason why you change your fluids, especially oil every so many thousand miles. Doing so helps keeps your car's seals intact a long time. Pretty much all of a car's fluids including the car itself are flammable. Usually heat and electrical sparks plus a leaking automotive fluid (doesn't matter which one) is all it takes for a vehicle fire to start.

All the above reasons seem valid. How often do we check the engine oil, coolant, brake fluid levels during normal day to day running. We do it whenever a long trip is planned otherwise leave it to be checked during the servicing. I guess a monhtly check would not harm and goes a long way in saving the car's and one's own life.
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Old 7th January 2011, 01:29   #30
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Default Re: Merc catches fire on Mum-Pune Expressway

One more car catches fire, this time its a Cielo

The presence of mind and a keen sense of smell saved Dilip Wadhwa from a fiery demise. The IT engineer working with Wipro at Powai, was driving home to Kalyan in his Ceilo at around 11.30 pm on Wednesday night.

On the flyover near Cadbury, he heard a crackling sound and the interior of the car began to fill up with smoke.

He had just enough time to slow down and make it to the side lane on the flyover and get out, before the car burst into flames.

The entire car was engulfed in a matter of minutes, and by the time the fire brigade turned up, the fire had burnt itself out leaving behind a heap of smoldering metal.


Read more at: Wipro employee leaps to safety seconds before his car burst into flames
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