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Old 25th October 2019, 19:52   #1
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Default Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

Tesla driver burnt to death in car because futuristic doors wouldn’t open, prosecutors say


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That’s because the car’s retractable door handles, which are supposed to “auto-present” when they detect a key fob nearby, malfunctioned and first responders weren’t able to open the doors and save Mr Awan, alleges a wrongful-death lawsuit.
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Tesla, maker of electric vehicles, has also claimed that the Model S once achieved “the best safety rating of any car tested”.
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“These things, they just love to burn,” he said. “The car is so over-engineered. It’s so techy, it makes you want to buy a Chevy pickup truck.”

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Recently, Hyundai Kona also had caught fire in Canada.


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Last edited by khan_sultan : 4th November 2019 at 10:42. Reason: typo
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Old 25th October 2019, 20:21   #2
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Default re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

That is some scary news. I think totally blaming the company for the persons death is not reasonable, because there were certain factors that caused the incident in the first place (I'm pointing out at the crash).

But surely, I too had these imaginations when I was thinking about these "Electronic Door Handles". There are surely instances when one will need to open the doors, irrespective of the vehicle being drive-able or not. And electronics, how perfectly ever they are engineered, there is always that minute risk of failing.

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if only the police officer who arrived on scene could have opened the car’s doors.
I feel bad for that man and family since he had help arrived but his expensive investment didn't allow the help to access him.

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the car manufacturer has argued that high-speed crashes can result in fires whether the car is powered by gasoline or batteries.
I don't think the below thing will happen with gasoline cars.

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After the crash, and after firefighters extinguished the blaze, Mr Awan’s Tesla was transported to a tow yard. Once there, it reignited and burned again.
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Old 26th October 2019, 09:42   #3
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Default re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

This isn't the first time the auto door handles have been in the news. When Teslas first came on the road; there were multiple instances of people unable get in their cars because the handles didn't come out. I don't think there were major accidents then so a quick OTA update from the company subdued the news.
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Old 26th October 2019, 10:18   #4
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Default re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

I read the article and honestly wonder why the window wasn't broken to get the person out. What was hindering first responders from breaking open the window? In certain states in the US, there is some law that actually allows people to break open the windows in case they see a dog or child suffocating in the interior heat of the car and cannot easily locate the owner of the car. They don't say things like they couldn't open the door. (I might be wrong about this though, please let me know.)
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Old 26th October 2019, 11:05   #5
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Default re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
so a quick OTA update from the company subdued the news.
A quick software OTA update to what is basically, a simple mechanical latch releasing action by release of handle which would require no electrical/electronic intervention whatsoever.. I just want to drive a Premier Padmini from now on.

From an engineering puritan view, mechanical was the purest of them all and also the most reliable. Electrical and software, in descending order has done more destruction to the term engineering than anything else combined.

My guess is that they didn't break the glass because of fear, opening the door would mean the door would itself become a shield against fire, breaking the window would need them to jump in and pull him out from the top.. not easy.

I feel for the family's loss, even if it were a driver error, simple things shouldn't need electrical input. The driver truly suffered in his passing away.
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Old 26th October 2019, 11:25   #6
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Default re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

I think electric cars should also have a fire extinguisher to be provided mandatory like in the race track cars.
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Old 26th October 2019, 13:48   #7
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Default re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

This trend of doors having electronics and electrical power is a retrograde step. Every door has to have a default mechanical setting like the doors we have in aircraft which is a far more complex machine than a car. When all else fails an aircraft's door can be opened by mechanical energy of a human hand alone.
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Old 28th October 2019, 14:24   #8
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

I frankly don't understand why Tesla replaced a perfectly-working mechanical component with an electric one. I lived with the Model 3 for about 10 days and just hated those door handles. They aren't ergonomic or user-friendly at all. The single upside is a cleaner side profile look, but it comes at the cost of more complexity, usability and now, safety too.
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Old 28th October 2019, 15:51   #9
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

I read this thread and moved on to another, the 2nd gen XUV5OO and saw that it may come with these retractable door handles! So my question is, are the retractable door handles electric or can be mechanical too? Post

Now with this particular Tesla news, why wasn't the glass broken in first place like questioned by many others?
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Old 28th October 2019, 18:00   #10
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

Electronic door handles are a dumb idea. Its simply a case of trying to re invent the wheel just for the sake of it so they can do some show off. Mechanical door locks works, physical buttons for the climate control/infotainment works, normal indicator/wiper stalks works, normal P R N D gear selectors work. Innovation should be made where it actually makes a difference and makes the drivers life easier.
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Old 28th October 2019, 18:05   #11
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

In my opinion, two recent technologies i.e.. electric cars & retractable door handles, in its initial stages of deployment, produced this result.
Once I was driving my car and suddenly saw smoke coming out of a santro car in front of me. The driver switched off the car unlocked the doors and came out. This shows how a simple/non-tech equipment can actually help save lives in worst case scenarios.

As A.I. related technologies are becoming a part of our vehicles, such lawsuits will be more frequent as the sole responsibility of driving and saving lives inside the vehicle won't be with the driver alone. What will happen if the car's A.I. suddenly stops the vehicle and injures the passengers inside in order to save a life that was illegally present on the road? If it didn't brake, its still a problem.
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Old 2nd November 2019, 14:13   #12
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

Technology can never be completely avoided, in fact it the single most reason, for most of our comforts today. But, I feel since more and more technology and advanced AI features are getting introduced in automobiles, a complete safety audit should be done by safety rating agencies and standards should be set for cars, like emergency egress options. This will ensure that fancy technologies does not get in the way of life saving emergencies.
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Old 2nd November 2019, 16:47   #13
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

This happened earlier this year and I remember being freaked out about my own ebike's battery pack. According to the fire department, the person died immediately on impact and didn't suffer. Liion fire's risk is really underestimated in my opinion as the tech evangelists don't mention the risk when they push electric cars. My next ebike battery is going to be made up of LiFePo4 cells, at the cost of less range but less risk of me burning my building down.

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Originally Posted by nikhilthegunner View Post
I read the article and honestly wonder why the window wasn't broken to get the person out. What was hindering first responders from breaking open the window? In certain states in the US, there is some law that actually allows people to break open the windows in case they see a dog or child suffocating in the interior heat of the car and cannot easily locate the owner of the car. They don't say things like they couldn't open the door. (I might be wrong about this though, please let me know.)
According to an eyewitness on twitter: "We were in the S bound lane & saw a huge cloud of dirt in the air & debris from the car fly across our lanes. He used his weight lifting belt to smack the back glass with the buckle. It shattered but wouldn’t break apart. It’s all he had in his truck." I am guessing the owner tinted his windows. The witness also says that they were 15 seconds away from the impact and the car was already on fire, and that they only had a couple of minutes till the car was taken over by fire. I am guessing the car was already on fire when the first-responders arrived, and the people nearby couldn't affect a proper rescue before the fire got too big.

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Originally Posted by saisailendra View Post
I think electric cars should also have a fire extinguisher to be provided mandatory like in the race track cars.
According to Bloomberg: After an out-of-control Tesla Model S plowed into a stand of palm trees on a highway median outside Fort Lauderdale last month, police rushed to put out the ensuing blaze using a department-issued fire extinguisher. It was a wasted effort. The car kept on burning after the crash, which killed the driver.

The police may not have known lithium-ion batteries inside electric vehicles, once ignited, can’t be put out with chemicals from a conventional extinguisher. The battery fires are susceptible to a self-destructive chain reaction known as thermal runaway, causing a feedback loop of rising temperatures. The Tesla fire stumped a series of first responders in Florida. Firefighters eventually doused the flames with water, which seemed to work, but the wrecked car reignited twice more after being towed away. That prompted what a police report later termed “extraordinary measures,” including a call to Broward County’s hazmat unit for advice on stamping out the fire once and for all.

Tesla wanted door handles that sat flush with the body to impress the tech-hungry people who trawl the internet shouting at everyone that telsa is the best car ever made on the planet, inspite of the autopilot system driving into obstacles and killing people. All they needed to prevent this situation was to provide a mechanical fail-safe like on a Lexus LC 500 or an indentation under the handle so that one can get fingers under the handle like on a Porsche Taycan. Range Rover Velar also has these handles and I hope their electrics are better than Tesla's.

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Old 3rd November 2019, 11:04   #14
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

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Originally Posted by nikhilthegunner View Post
I read the article and honestly wonder why the window wasn't broken to get the person out. What was hindering first responders from breaking open the window? In certain states in the US, there is some law that actually allows people to break open the windows in case they see a dog or child suffocating in the interior heat of the car and cannot easily locate the owner of the car. They don't say things like they couldn't open the door. (I might be wrong about this though, please let me know.)
There are differences between Gasoline fires and Battery fires. In the case of former, you may still have a minute or two to respond. Whereas the latter spares only seconds. So much energy releases in a very short period of time.

Quoting victim's attorney
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These things, they just love to burn, The car is so overengineered. It’s so techy, it makes you want to buy a Chevy pickup truck.
I wish better sense prevails and Tesla doesn't need to reinvent coach bulding. Also there should be some sort of regulation for EV, some kind of measure/metric that controls the rate of energy release from batteries in case of fire so that occupant have adequate time to escape.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 3rd November 2019 at 11:08.
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Old 3rd November 2019, 12:15   #15
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Default Re: Lawsuit against Tesla after malfunctioning door handles left driver trapped in a burning car

I think the same kind of door handles are present on the Velar too. I think we're going in the wrong direction for just aesthetic pleasure.
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