Another Auto-Immolation

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Pity the fool who buys a Tesla. It could be the last car he ever owns

Omar Awan, a 48-year-old anesthesiologist, was driving his leased Tesla in February when he lost control on a south Florida parkway and the car slammed into a palm tree, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in state court in Broward County.

Would-rescuers couldn’t open the doors to extract Awan because the handles were retracted; bystanders watched helplessly as the car filled with smoke and flames, according to the complaint – which alleges the fire originated with the car’s battery.

The door handles on the Model S are flush with the car and pop out — “auto-present” in the words of Tesla – when they detect that the key fob is nearby.

But when the power goes off, the doors can’t be opened.

“Fire engulfed the car and burned Dr. Awan beyond recognition – all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and an unreasonably dangerous fire risk,” according to the Oct. 10 suit. The complaint lists the cause of death as smoke inhalation and states that Awan had sustained no internal injuries or broken bones in the crash.

Awan’s Tesla continued to burn for hours, reigniting several times even after firefighters had extinguished the flames and the car had been towed, according to the complaint.

But Teslians don’t care; the car can do no wrong – even when it kills.

. . .

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62 COMMENTS

    • As any vehicle can become under the appropriate conditions.
      That said, such a fire doesn’t get hot enough to cremate anymore than it would cause a World Trade Center tower to collapse.

  1. Oh most wise and gracious Elon, why do the heathen rage? Let not the blasphemies uttered here stir thy righteous anger! Send not thy flames of lithium down to consume the eco-infidels! Though it is just that thou shouldst do so, in thy great mercy, remember that even among heretics such as these, a loyal and adoring follower may emerge, worthy to offer to thee oblations of Federal Reserve Notes.

    Oh Elon, we confess as well that we, your people, have trespassed and fallen short of your glory. Be merciful to us as well! Look not on our carbon emissions! Despise not our plastic straws! Rememberst thou our contributions to the Hillary campaign and the Sierra Club, our gender-neutral language, and our reusable shopping bags. Considerest thou our struggles against the evil Orange One, and our stomping of MAGA hats. And forgettest not our faithful tithing to thy great Corporation.

    Subsides without end,
    Amen

    • Did you know that Elon is mentioned in the Bible? No, I don’t mean Elon The Hittite in Gen. 26:34.

      I mean 2 Peter 2:16(KJV) : “…behold the dumb ass speaking….”

      • LOL. If only he’d become dumb again!

        BTW, what kind of accent does he have? It’s slight, but it’s also odd. Or maybe it’s just a glitch in the matrix.

  2. Is the window glass in a Tesla impossible to break?
    I keep a seatbelt cutter on my turn signal and a 6-cell Maglite on the left side of my driver’s seat pedestal. Given those, the absence of electrical power would have been academic, as it usually is following a front end collision in a normal IC car. Crushed lead-acid batteries won’t power electrical accessories.

  3. While not exactly a significant threat to life and safety as are the Tesla’s idiotic “go-go-gadget” door handles, the “keyless” solenoid actuated trunk lock on some of the older luxo-barges that roamed the landscape during the Brougham Epoch had the same fatal flaw. (Full size Broncos and Blazer/Jimmy/Suburban with the electric rear window also had a similar issue).

    I remember my aunt having a giant barge with a dead battery, and there being no way in hell to get the jumper cables out other than pulling the seatback out and stuffing the nearest convenient 8 year old (me) into the trunk to extract them. The seat never fit right in there again either.

    As for breaking a window, it isn’t always that easy. You also run the risk of detonating the oh-so-safe airbags and creating a new potential for injury. If you really want to develop a new hatred for Saint Elon’s glorified RC car, take a gander at their own “emergency response manual”

    https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/downloads/2016_Model_S_Emergency_Response_Guide_en.pdf

    Most urban/suburban fire departments aren’t going to have a 3000+ gallon tender available to go out on the freeway (where there are no hydrants), and the average triple combination “urban” pumper will have a 500-750 gallon booster tank. Normal car fires MIGHT take 200-300 gallons of water at the upper end. I can keep picking these little deathtraps apart from their own words, but I’ll just let Tesla do the talking. I’m just a former firefighter that has run on hundreds of car fires in the past, so I probably know far less than Elon – but I’ll be happy to relay how things work in the real world.

  4. Actually this is just evolution in action. People with diseased brains who make stupid decisions eventually get weeded out one way or the other.

  5. After fire crew extinguished the initial battery fire, it re ignited on the wrecker. They again put it out. Then in the wrecking yard it re- ignited burning up a dozen cars and causing a 3 alarm fire. In Germany they have a special carrier and crane that lifts the wreck into a pool of water on the tow truck.
    VW has a car that gets 800 miles on a fill-up. Only a fool would buy an electric car. Real Men drive Mopars anyway!

  6. While a Tesla is the dumbest smart car on the road and more like a jail, maybe one of the windows could have been smashed. Then again, maybe they are bullet proof or something. Eventually, too much safety is gonna bite you in the butt. Unfortunately, as in this case, safety went horribly wrong. The control freaks are true idiots and they don’t give a hoot if they either control your life or extinguish it…same thing for them.

  7. This incident is a horrible reminder of the search for more lucre.
    Keep making our contraptions more automatic, user friendly and safe, and soon they will become our coffins. I have long thought that Harley-Davidson made a giant mistake introducing the electric starter. This allowed weak knee Cucks and Women to ride, and destroyed the sport.
    Good for revenue, bad for the activity. Sort of like NASCAR now.
    But the key observation I have is that the TESLA door handles, to get out, perfectly mirror our current social contract called MARRIAGE. Does anybody see the same spirit, albeit expressed in court in one instance, and in a flaming EV in another reality ?
    This is NOT coincidental, but it is prophetic..
    1988 Citroën 2CV
    2005 VW Passat TDI

  8. Two black Tesla’s sitting in a parking lot next to each other:

    Tesla 1: “Yo Mama’s a ho!”
    Tesla 2: “Oooo, BURNnnn!”
    (Tesla 1 bursts into flames)

    • So basically, the first Tesla somehow got “burnt” from “roasting” the second one? But then again, since they’re both already black (in color, that is), I guess they wouldn’t look any different either way. lol

  9. Do Teslas have a handle on the inside? My Focus has a door handle on the inside; not only that, it unlocks the door too. IOW, if I have to get out of the car, all I have to do is pull the handle, open the door, and GTFO. If Tesla doesn’t have that in their cars to enable emergency egress, how is it they pass muster with the NHTSA or other gov’t agencies? Wouldn’t the inability to exit a vehicle in an emergency be considered unsafe?

    • I don’t remember about TM products but most of these fancy new cars have latch by wire inside door handles. You have to find the hidden or somewhat hidden mechanical back up to get out if the battery dies or the electric latch doesn’t work. Some people have died hot car wise because of this.

    • Form over function. Who the heck needs retractable door handles?
      Elon Musk thinks he is the next Steve Jobs, but his products don’t hold a candle to Apple when it comes to thoughtful design.

      • Steve Jobs never made any money from government subsidies or reselling low-interest government loans to himself at higher interest, as Musk has done.
        I once owned a 64GB iPod for 9 days. After having burned a $50 giftcard by buying tracks from iTunes, and having to enter my password for every single MP3, I returned the iPod for lack of thoughtful security plan design.
        Apples marks up phones that cost $25 to make more than anyone else. What is thoughtful about such greed?

  10. This is one of the ways that “Uncle” plans on exterminating us; by transforming one of our last bastions of freedom into mobile crematories.

  11. Reminds me a bit of the gull-wing doors. Look great unless the car flips over, then you have the entire weight of the car on both doors. Mercedes addressed the problem with explosive bolts in the door hinges. Perhaps a small explosive is needed on every EV door to allow the occupants to escape the inferno their car becomes after a crash – or I bet Rube Goldberg could’ve come up with something the government would mandate.

    • Well, that’s kind of what happens when you’re a full line automaker who used to thinking – who HAS to think – these kinds of things through BEFORE something bad happens.

      Tesla, on the other hand, can do anything they want and build any kind of poorly-engineered, barely-thought-out, slapped-together schlock they feel like and no one bats an eye, because they’re useful for pushing the Narrative.

    • Exceot that it is MIGHTY CHALLENGING to flip a 300 SEL Gullwing. I cannnot imagine what that would take. Perhaps travelling at the high speed of which they are capable, then hitting someting that would get one side airborne next to a drop off of some sort, and doing a barrel roll but only halfway round.

      We all thought it was impossible to roll one of the original BMC Minis…. until my friend Bob mnaged to slide his sideways on wet macadam, catch the two right side wheels on a low kerb on the outside of the curve, and yes, it gently laid itself over on the right side. Off with the key, Bob abd his three passengers made it out through the offside door, walked round to what was normally the bottom side of the car, lifted in unison, and plopped her back on her feet. No fluids leaking, no glass broken, checked the pil in the sump, no petrol spilt, as the fill is on the “up” side, so off they went. The right side door even worked, though it was a bit tweaked. Total delay for the unplanned event was about three minutes. No bobbies happened by, so the whole thing was deemed a non-event.

      But, yes, it IS possible to roll a Mini.

  12. I have one, simple question: why didn’t someone try to BREAK the door’s window? There are these ancient tools called rocks, you know…

  13. What an ignorantly written article, even if the handles were normal, when a car is locked, guess what you can’t open the doors… the writer has the IQ of a 3rd grader. Clover

    There are over 150 car fires a day in the US, and over 345 deaths a year…. at least try to do 20 seconds of research before you write!

    • Hi Anon,

      I’m ignorant… why? For reporting the facts? Or are you upset because I dared to point out a flaw with St. Elon the Anointed’s products?

      Yes, there are car fires every day. But only Tesla cars have power retracting door pulls that no longer operate when there is no power….

      Poor ol’ Clover!

      • The reason I believe only TM products have handles like that is because TM doesn’t do or disregards FMEAs. Automakers don’t have door handles that disturb the lines of a car because they are ‘cheap’ but because they are necessary. If they could hide them and not cause a problem they would do so. They learned their lessons way back when. Decades and decades ago when they tried to fix the disruption handles cause to the styling. Of course by the 1960s and 70s the media said it was because the automakers wanted to kill their customers by pushing styling over safety. But with Elon it’s different.

        • Exactly!!
          The car can receive software and firmware updates remotely, but these basic safety and design principles are overlooked.
          I have a few friends who own these, and they get furious if I say anything against Musk the Magnificent.

          • It’s a cult. Unfortunately a friend of mine joined it recently and worships the ground that Saint Musk walks on. You can’t even have a rational discussion with him on the subject. It seems the guy’s got that ol’ time religion and has no tolerance for heresy.

        • The actual disruption to smooth air flow caused by friggin’ door handles is ever so slight, and only noticeable at speeds above 75 mph (note: anyone familiar with aerodynamics knows that drag losses increases to the CUBE of wind speed). I thought all those busybody libtards so concerned about s-a-a-a-a-f-t-e-e-e-e wanted us putting along no faster than 55 mph anyway!

              • it doesn’t. Energy is force. Force equals Mass times Acceleration. Acceleration is Distande per Unit of time per Unit of time, a square function. ot cube.
                Volume of a space or body does increase as the CUBE of the dimensions… A cube shape two inches on a side has 8 cubic inches, 2 x 2 x 2. Double the length on a side, it now has 4 inches per side, 4 x 4 x 4 is 64 CI. That is 8 times the volume not four.

        • The venerable and wonderful MGA (1956 through 1963) had NO outside door handles. At least the Roadster models. One reached in through the side curtain’s lower flap and found the cable that stretched fore and aft just inside the generous inner door pocket. The forward end was fixed, the after end connected to a small lever which, when pulled, released the door catch. If the cable ever broke (I had one car which cable was broken when I got it, easy fix) just reach in toward the trailing edge of the door and find the lever.
          I remember one of the English cars of that era that also had no outside door latch or handle. The door skin was perfectly flat an smooth as it ran rearward, but just below the apex of the curve of the door’s outer skin, but on the door pillar itself, there was in indent in the coachwork. One reached a finger or two into that depression, curved the fingers, and pulled outward on the latch itself, which was cleverly ensconced close to the outer skin of the door, but on the door. That catch released the door latch. The entire depression in the coachwork was maybe two or two and half inches top to bottom, and aobut three inches fore and aft. Barely noticeable to most. Yet very accessible, funcitonal, stylish,unique….. might have been one of the Lodus models, can’t remember precisely.

          But, being all mechanical, it could still functioni witha depleted or non-functional electrical system.

      • Eric,
        What good is a non-retracting handle if the door is locked?
        I’m not sure that having such a preoccupation with one company’s products isn’t harmful to one’s entire thought process.
        I guess I’m just lucky that I never bought a vehicle for other reasons for transportation and housing.

    • When a car is unlocked and the handles are not usable the doors still can’t be opened.
      When there is airbag deployment or when the car otherwise determines a crash has occurred why would it not automatically unlock the doors once the vehicle has come to rest?

    • First, gasoline fires and lithium battery fires are very different things. Gasoline is actually less dangerous than lithium batteries as far as fire goes. It spreads more slowly, and is easier to extinguish. Second, Teslas catch fire at HIGHER RATES than most cars. For example, per 100,000 vehicles, there have been more fatal Tesla fires than fatal Ford Pinto fires. The Ford Pinto debacle nearly bankrupted Ford, and was a huge media stink. Teslas are actually MORE likely to immolate their drivers than Pintos. Why does Tesla get a pass?

      • Because Mother Jones, the libard rag that came out with the “hit piece” on the Pinto, is owned by several Jewish trial lawyers. Not hard to figure out the connection!

        Elon, however, is one of “theirs”, and by all means must be protected, even from any measure of accountability. I hope the departed doctor’s family sue his ass into oblivion.

    • Eric’s article points out an OBVIOUS flaw in the Tesla’s design that, in this case, contributed to the doctor’s fiery demise. Sorry you can’t handle the TRUTH, “Clover”! Of course, the lamestream media won’t report that these electric vehicles, contrary to what’s commonly supposed (i.e., you’d think dispensing with a gasoline engine would eliminate the fire hazards of a fuel tank and lines), seem to pose a fire hazard well outsized to their actual numbers on the road.

      • We can only guess how many lives Tesla’s car might have saved if it stopped a doctor who might have, through his apparently gross ignorance, had continued to practice.
        After all, anesthesiologists are the most dangerous person in an operating room.

  14. In Norway where these things have become quite popular (not because of any economic rational but because of giant subsidies) fire departments actually have a huge tub to soak them in after they crash and store them for a while incase they re-ignite !

  15. So I’m concluding that the Tesla death traps made for the highway are exempt from the safety regulations imposed on other auto makers that have IC engines? Talk about buying “uncles” favor with our money! BULL$H!T to that !!

    • The safety regs don’t actually keep us safe. At most they cause one problem for another. Big pillars that block vision in exchange for rollover roof strength.

      Back in the 1960s FMVSS was created by copying and pasting (or in the 1960s retyping) the then current SAE standards. There is nothing that I know of that TM’s retracting door handles violate. However mainline automakers still follow their own internal design requirements and do Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. It is often because of these things that the wiz-bang stuff like retracting door handles that might be seen on a show car never make it to the production model. They simply don’t pass internal requirements for safety.

      Time and time again it becomes clear that TM does not do FMEAs or simply disregards them. Because what if the car crashes should be part of the FMEA on these door handles.

      • Big pillars that block vision in exchange for rollover roof strength.

        Anyone else remembe the backk cover of the Natioinal Geographic magazines from the late 1960’s and into the 70’s? It always had an amazing advert. It was a real unadulterated photograph ofa stack of ELEVEN Volvo 140 series cars, each one resting squarely upon the roof of the one below it. And ALL of the doors on ALL of the cars still freely opened and closed
        I was in a junkuard in East County San Diego fetching up a part for some project car I had going, the yard guy and I walked down a long row of smashed up cars, always amusing to study. We came to a light grey VOlvo 144, a 1968 or 9, it had serious scratch marks on every surface of it, separating out the “sets” that ran at different angles, I surmised it had rolled end over end at leas three times, and side over side at least five, with a few scrapes at random angles in between the sets. Not one panel was free of serious damage. I commented ‘I wonder how many died in THAT wreck”. He immediately answered NONE. I drove the wrecker out on that call. Four guys from COronado (Navy base) had been out driking one Friday night, shut down the bar, and were driving home on Highway 15 southbound. Driver nidded off when they were cruising at about 85 (I know they can cruise comfortably at that speed all day long.. feels like about 35) and it rolled…. yo are just about spot on, three end over end rolls, and at least five side to side. The car landed on its feet. All four guys, wide awake by then, unclipped their seatbelts, each one opened their own door, they got out.. a bit bruisde but unhurt. I checked, yes, all four doors opened, closed, and properly latched, and the door latches all worked. Some of the side lights had broken out, a couple were yet intact. The back glass was gone, durned to rock salt. I got the car, a cab got them.

        Volvo knew how to build STRONG cars that were VERY lightweight (I seem to recall the kerb weight of the 144 was about 2600 pounds, the earlier 122 was 2400.

        In those days, Mercedes and BMW, along with Citroën, were the clear leaders in body design for strong, safe, yet lightweight coachwork.

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