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Old 26th January 2020, 12:32   #151
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

A bit of armchair forensics from myself - I could be wrong but as a security professional, I would like to point out some things.



1: Why the hurry to close the investigation and make the owner issue a "non-conclusive, non-definitive" statement? Note use of the word "could" and "probable"!


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The above does not really state a cause, merely a theory. The Hector is so fully loaded that there are no official accessories to add under the hood - unless a tuner has been there - highly likely . All accessories offered are cosmetic except for the dash cam and the fridge.

"Independent External Agency Under the Government"

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Why was the entity not named and why is the conclusion not definitive ?

Again, the cause was not definitive, the claim was a "foreign object" but this has to clearly established. You cannot conclude like this. It is very wishy washy, more time should have been given to establish this.

Coming to the fire location. It is clearly the passenger side

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As MG correctly stated, the high temperature areas are located there

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The exhaust manifold is to the right as it gets very hot, true but no flames happen unless there is a leaky inlet which is on the drivers side which is not the source of the fire.

Turbos generate heat, not sparks or flames happen unless there is a fuel leak or the innards disintegrate and create sparking.

So what could spark?

The only thing to spark would be ECU or battery connections on the right side.

What could burn?

- Perhaps the "foreign" object?
- Perhaps the engine insulation? Plenty of pics over here (MG Hector : Official Review). The insulation was mentioned for the diesel , perhaps it is applicable for the petrol

- Perhaps the lack of any under protection allowed a "foreign body" to enter?

- Perhaps, the gubbins behind the big touch screen?

Now lets look at the usage of the car prior to the fire. I have no information but the fancy MG App might!

The fire took part in a busy area with traffic. Turbo's only really heat up after a long high speed drive or aggressive stop-start driving. I could be wrong or I could be right but we have no information on how the car was used before the fire but it is worthy of consideration.

Personally, I am not convinced about the cleaning cloth theory unless it was soaked in petrol.

I rest my case but more investigation is needed and more conclusive evidence is required.

Last edited by ajmat : 26th January 2020 at 13:44.
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Old 26th January 2020, 12:56   #152
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

@ajmat

This is exactly what I was trying to say earlier in a much shorter form. You nailed it.

There are a lot of ifs and buts. An investigation will never conclude like this!! I mean, look at it. They have not found anything in particular. For this they don't need to investigate anything. And that mention about "external agency under the government"... CLASSIC !
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Old 26th January 2020, 13:24   #153
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

Well, let's leave the question of cause of the fire and who is really at fault for a moment.

But this fire incident raises another very important question, does the car have flame-retardant materials in the required areas or not, or did they use non-flame-retardant materials, or lesser grade retardant materials to come out with an attractive price?

And by the way, government agency acting so swiftly?

Almost all the media houses didn't report the issues initially and they just ignored it, those who reported it pulled it off immediately, but we see them reporting now swiftly after company's official statement release in an absolving tone and titles?

And various prominent automotive websites which work 24*7 to dig various exclusive scoops etc, which publish every possible information for the sake of viewership and advertisement revenue, are choosing to remain silent about the whole issue?

Last edited by wheelguy : 26th January 2020 at 13:39.
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Old 26th January 2020, 14:28   #154
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

Well, another one here, IndiaToday published the article on 24th January and pulled it off later on:

The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire-screenshot_20200126-story-has-expired.png

The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire-screenshot_20200126-mg-hector-fire-google-search.png

https://www.indiatoday.in/auto/lates...792-2020-01-24

Official statements on one side, and pulling down articles wherever possible on the other side? Doesn't it arise any doubts?

Note: Request moderators to merge with above post as I couldn't do the same.

Last edited by wheelguy : 26th January 2020 at 14:30.
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Old 26th January 2020, 15:05   #155
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post

Coming to the fire location. It is clearly the passenger side

The exhaust manifold is to the right as it gets very hot, true but no flames happen unless there is a leaky inlet which is on the drivers side which is not the source of the fire.
Interesting that the MG Hector 1.5L petrol engine bay is slightly unconventional.

Usually the air box, ECU, battery and fuse box is on the passenger side and the belts and aircon and fluids is on driver side.
In the Hector the airbox is on driver side but the ECU and battery is still on passenger side.

And also with the engine bay of Hector being covered completely and hardly anything visible, how did a cleaning cloth get inside?

The theory seems very weak from MG and I am getting some doubt now on the story.

For a new brand with so much apprehensions in public mind they should be completely transparent to allay fears rather than literally add more fuel to the fire.

They are literally raising more questions in people's mind rather than answering them removing doubt from buyers and customers.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 26th January 2020 at 15:08.
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Old 26th January 2020, 19:39   #156
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

Vehicles catching fire - not at all new. Has happened to even the most exotic brands which command a huge price premium.

If one reads all the comments in this thread, apart from the ping-pong debate about the ethics and competency of the chinese manufacturing industry, majority of the criticism in rest of the posts is more about the cover-up/story-squashing in the media, rather than about cause of fire or bad engineering.

A new company in india, launching a new brand, building a new plant, newly hired workforce, new supply chain, new local vendors (even if the platform is already proven in other countries) - there are bound to be issues cropping up in the real world (no matter how many million kms of testing is done before product launch) - typical birthing pains for a new product. Very understandable.

However, rather than being transparent (long term positives to be gained), aggressive information squashing is what pissed people off. Customers will do foolish things and make unrealistic demands because they have spent close to 20 lacs on a car - that is to be expected, especially in a country like ours. But that doesn't mean the company should show the same lack of maturity.

MG ended up providing a new car to the customer (going by their most recently released statement) anyway. They could have done the same, with just a simple - "we are investigating, our technical team is on it. Rest assured we will root cause" statement ; and completely avoided these three things which they did in a hurry -
a) concocted statement where customer expresses possibility of aftermarket mod being root cause and genuflects/prostrates in front of MG god.
b) referring to 'govt agency' - which is that govt agency ? what will happen by naming that agency ? afterall it doesn't stand to gain/lose if it's name comes out. It's not like india has a separate forensic agency for road accidents (or does something like that exist ? never heard)
c) the latest statement has intentionally obfuscated the root cause, by mentioning a 'possible left over cloth'. If they are unsure/inconclusive, what is the need to release any detail about their investigation when it is in progress, just mentioning 'we are investigating' would be enough.

As Chetan_Rao mentioned in this thread, MG's PR team looks unprofessional ; ended up irking a lot of existing and prospective customers. Events a) b) c) either means there is indeed something fishy or the knee-jerk mode is still on.

Last edited by venkyhere : 26th January 2020 at 19:46.
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Old 26th January 2020, 19:42   #157
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

In all these years, I have never asked my cleaning guy to clean the engine bay.

Yes, had the car gone for service, there is a possibility of a a cloth been left.

Thanks to MG, I now know that something as trivial as a piece of cloth can set my car on fire. I shall check my engine bay after every service.

But, questions should be raised on how the enquiry and investigation of a charred vehicle was done in a matter of four days. That too, of a government agency. It appears rushed.

They have made an assumption that it could be the cloth. I would call that inconclusive.

Also, they have steered clear of the other case of fire. And the cases of smoke coming out of two other Hectors. Is it the same arsonist cloth? Media wouldn't ask such questions. In the times of Twitter journalism, they would just copy and paste the press release, report over.

Coverup or not, MG has been excellent in containing the issue. Other manufacturers should take notes.
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Old 27th January 2020, 08:23   #158
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

MG Motor releases a statement on the fire incident

Full Press release

Four days ago, we were apprised by one of our esteemed customers about fire in his MG Hector in Delhi. This was unfortunate and the first case of its kind for us. The customer and the driver were completely safe.

We immediately started two sets of investigations. One team comprised of our internal team of expert engineers especially trained on such issues at MG Motor. At the same time, we contacted an independent external agency under Government to investigate the details and determine the root cause.

Both investigations concluded that the electrical connections as well as oil and fuel line of this car were completely intact. It further reveals the presence of foreign material and its debris in complete charred condition in engine bay near very high temperature zone - exhaust manifold and ABS module line. The debris of the material could be suggestive of the presence of foreign material such as cleaning cloth or something similar which could have been the cause of fire under contact with high temperature parts of the exhaust system.

We would like to apprise you that the customer and his family are very satisfied with out response and handling of the issue. They are happily driving another Hector.

The MG Hector has been tested for over 1 million kilometres in India before its launch and it is built in line with global standards. Consumer safety is a key priority for us at MG Motor India and a core part of our internal value systems.

We would also like to reiterate our commitment towards complete transparency and providing our customers with quick response to all their queries and issues.

We are determined to build our brand through the strength and quality of our products and by delivery great customer satisfaction.

Link to the Team-BHP News

Last edited by blackwasp : 27th January 2020 at 08:24.
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Old 27th January 2020, 08:36   #159
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

It looks nothing but a damage control to me.

Come on MG, if there is an issue, please investigate thoroughly as of where the root cause of the fire is. Just indirectly blaming the poor customer for the fire is atrocious.

I haven't come across any one who keeps cleaning cloth inside the engine bay. What gives more suspicion is the customer statement which deliberately tries to document that the fire was because of aftermarket accessories that he had fitted.

Whatever, I for one, am not convinced.
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Old 27th January 2020, 09:19   #160
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

"we contacted an independent external agency under Government to investigate the details and determine the root cause"

Which agency is MG referring to here- a government, independent, external agency? Is it just some management-speak, or is it supposed to actually mean something?
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Old 27th January 2020, 09:40   #161
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

I think that MG should be given benefit of doubt. It may be something which happened due to customer's negligence. What we may be looking for is a mechanical/electrical fault which may not be the root cause. But we can only speculate unless there are more cases reported.
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Old 27th January 2020, 09:47   #162
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
MG Motor releases a statement on the fire incident

Full Press release

Link to the Team-BHP News
Their every press release was published in their website under the press releases section, but for this press release they chose to release it via Twitter etc wherein it gets buried over time. They might as well delete it from there also after few months after the dust settles down, and there wont be any press release in their website too.
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Old 27th January 2020, 11:04   #163
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

I am not sure but this looks like a bad cover up operation. Person buying a luxury car keeps cleaning cloth inside Engine bay? That is a first for me at least. And this is just the one car incident that they apparently investigated. I am not sure if everyone had cleaning cloth in the engine bay.

Just hoping that this is an odd incident and not an underlying problem which catches some MG owner unaware resulting in catastrophe.
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Old 27th January 2020, 11:07   #164
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

These chumps at MG can at least hire someone to proof read their press releases.

The press release has so many grammatical errors it seems like the Chinese HQ is in charge of writing up these statements as well.
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Old 27th January 2020, 11:09   #165
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Default Re: The curious case of MG Hectors catching fire

What i find troubling is to believe that in both the cases, some poor cloth lead to the fire.

Mathematically, i cant understand their explanation due to following reason:-

Chances of owner forgetting cloth or something in engine bay are extremely low. On the other hand, MG says both accident happened due to same reason!

This takes chances/probability to even extremely low.

What i think is chances of both the owners forgetting something inside engine bay & both the cars catching fire is 1 in billion

Utterly dissatisfied with MG

NOTE: This is my personal opinion. I always like to work with the data. Everything in nature has some pattern behind it. So i always want to go behind data.

Thanks!
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