Are Tesla Electric Cars Actually Safe?

It's no secret that electric cars are potentially at risk of catching fire. There have been many reports over the years of such incidents taking place. Of course, thanks to being filled with flammable liquid, and having a boat load of electrics themselves, normal combustable engine cars are not immune from catching fire either. It's a regular occurrence.

tesla-car-at-charging_point


No vehicle is 100% safe, regardless of what power source it has. But for a car brand that claims to have the "safest cars in the world", with such low numbers of Tesla cars on the road in comparison to normal cars, and with the manner in which Tesla cars seem to be catching fire, sudden and mostly unpredictable, this is very concerning. And very dangerous.

Seems like if a Tesla does catch fire, its not long before the car is turned into a fireball. There are some serious safety issues and design flaws with the batteries and other aspects of Tesla cars that really need to be addressed before more lives are lost.

Self Driving



In the past year in America alone, there have been 273 known crashes involving self driving Tesla cars. If you want to read some figures, take a look at some of the known Tesla Fire records and a record of some known Tesla accidents resulting in death [fault and not at fault].

Door Handles



The door handles of a Tesla retract into the body of the door when the car is in operation. In the event of an emergency, such as an accident, these handles are meant to pop out automatically, but there have been cases where that did not happen. Needless to say, if such an error occurs, fleeing the vehicle is made much harder, and anyone attempting to rescue people from the car from the outside can not do so in an effective amount of time.


There was one such case where this exact situation happened to named Omar Awan, a doctor who lived in the USA. He was killed in the crash. Basically burned to death. It was discovered that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol, and many people found it hard to sympathise once this was revealed. No one likes a driver who's putting innocent lives at risk.



However, this doesn't remove the serious issue of the door handles not operating as they should in an emergency. If they did Omar Awan may have been saved. There were bystanders [conflicting reports of either bystanders or fire men] outside the car who tried to open the doors from the outside, but were apparently unable to find the handles which had not popped out.

Tesla said it themselves. The handles won't operate if the power is suddenly cut in the vehicle. This means if there is a total loss of power nothing works anymore as the vehicle is entirely electric. This is a huge design flaw and extremely dangerous in the event of an emergency situation.

Laminated / hard to break windows



In the same crash the bystanders also tried to break the windows, but could not do so because the windows are laminated and could not be broken. Sometimes even normal window glass can be hard to break, so laminated glass being fitted in such a potentially volatile environment, where everything is dependant on electric, and if that electric fails , or even worse catches fire, the occupants of that vehicle are sitting on top of Lithium batteries that burn at up to 2,000 degrees Celsius/3632 degrees Fahrenheit.



It doesn't seem like a good idea to fit disappearing door handles that may not pop out and toughened window glass into such a vehicle. I know that the doors can be released manually from inside the car, but for some models the door release lever is fairly well hidden and easily forgotten. And for the back seat passengers the location for the manual door release on most Telsa models would be extremely difficult to locate as its so well hidden.

There is little to no chance that someone would just happen to find it in an emergency if a person has not been told exactly where it was beforehand. Or had not spent time reading the relevant pages of the manual for that specific vehicle model. It gets worse. One model seems to not even have manual back door levers. Tesla's model 3 ERG states that there is no mechanical release for the rear doors.

Going back to the front seat occupants. What if the person inside the vehicle forgets the location, is unconscious, trapped / stuck, or in a state of extreme panic. What options does this leave a potential rescuer who can't open a door or smash a window. Given how fast these cars are swallowed by flames once a fire has started, seconds are vital.

Another incident that springs to mind, where luckily no one was seriously injured or worse. A man was driving his Tesla in Vancouver when it suddenly lost all power and caught fire, trapping the occupant inside. All the doors were locked on the vehicle and the car was filling up with smoke. He literally had to kick the laminated window out. You can watch the video here [embedding not allowed]. Imagine the panic of getting trapped like that, and just think if this was an elderly or disabled person, a woman with kids in the back, or a man who didn't have the strength to kick the window out. This could have easily been another fatality.

Two comments on that video which I think should be quoted:

"If you crash in an EV, the count down for being burnt to death starts right away. You might not even notice it since the fire doesn't come from the engine room in the front like traditional vehicles. Just get out first if you crash. I personally won't buy EVs as long as they're carrying the lithium ion flame buster underneath."
"Wow, this is the most greenest car tech I ever saw for 2035 and beyond, The best way to increase the CO2 emissions along with lithium and other toxic hazardous waste to the environment, it also becomes an excellent death trap for any occupants inside and can act as a rolling coffin for the bonus of autopilot. There´s a real lesson for this, Better to stay with a proven technology of gas/diesel powered cars than sorry tech of electric vehicles, these are rolling failures for sure."

Overall this paints a scary picture. If I owned a Tesla, I would never buy one, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't be driving a Tesla with the window(s) fully up most of the time just incase the worst should happen and a sharp exit is needed.

After reading the data and seeing how many issues can arise that can be life threatening, one of those being how at least one of the lithium batteries can end up damaged from something as simple as driving over a speed bump a bit too quickly. Oh, but the driver shouldn't be speeding or driving fast over speed bumps I hear you say. Well, they might not have been intentionally.

You see, speeding may not be the fault of the driver at all due to the potential for sudden unintended acceleration with Tesla cars [there are many reports of this], and, if this happens going over a speed bump or hitting a pot hole, it may lead to the battery becoming damaged and catching fire.

This one issue doesn't even scratch the surface to be honest. The overall safety of Tesla cars is just too controversial. Lots of data appears to have gone unrecorded / unreported, and there are also suspicions of coverups and bogus claims. But from what is reported, there are too many cars malfunctioning, catching fire and, more worryingly, way too many deaths associated with Tesla cars.

Take a look at this interesting report: Tesla driver fatality rate is more than triple that of other luxury cars. They are not worth all the hassle, and really should not have been available for sale to the public for at least another decade. Or, at least until many of the dangers have been addressed and eliminated. Also, the repair costs and insurance premiums are ridiculously high for a Tesla, and for full electric cars in general.

Furthermore, if an electric car does catch fire it takes much more water to put the fire out [4,500 - 8000 gallons] due to the high voltage lithium-ion batteries, which can stay extremely hot for a long period of time once they go into thermal runaway [out-of-control self-heating]. Compare that to under or around 1,000 gallons, which is what the average petrol powered car takes to extinguish. Kind of ironic given that Tesla's biggest market in America is California, where there is an apparent water shortage.

In my opinion, Tesla cars appear to have many similarities and characteristics to that of a bunch of prototype cars that shouldn't be anywhere near the public at this stage of their design. Sadly, many people have died as a result of fast tracking these prototypes to the market place when they clearly weren't and still aren't ready.

Most Reliable Scrap Your Car Site To Use?

Times are hard for a lot of people right now, not just me. But just my luck, at the worst possible time when money was at an all time low, I was the victim of Catalytic convertor theft. The thieves came twice. The first time they came I caught them jacking up my car in the day time and managed to chase them off with a chair leg.

I don't know if the same thieves came again, it could have been different people altogether for all I know. Because the second time around I never seen or heard a thing. So I presume they came like the true rats that they are, scurrying around in the middle of the night.

Toyota_Yaris_2000_Car_Silver_Scrap_UK

The old, super reliable low mileage Yaris. Sadly, this car no longer exists.


The first I knew that my Catalytic convertor had been stolen from my older model Yaris (can't even own an X reg Yaris these days) was when I went out to it one night to run a quick errand. I started the car and instantly knew the CAT was gone. It sounded like a tractor. I got out and looked underneath to confirm and my heart sank.

Like I said, my money was extremely low, and this theft actually resulted in me having to give up driving after 16 years on the road. Thanks lads. I couldn't afford to get the Catalytic convertor replaced. And if I borrowed the money from someone, what's to say it wouldn't be robbed again in a few months.

I mean, same car, same parking space. They've already tried twice, succeeded once. All It would take for the thief would be a quick look underneath the car to see if the part had been replaced, and if I never seen them it would be taken again. It literally takes 2 minutes to steal.

And I certianly didn't have the money to buy another car. So either way, off to the scrapman it was. I tried all the UK websites that offer the instant quotes / prices etc. Some of the prices were extremely low. A few were acceptable and I did accept some of them, filled out all my details etc, but they either never got back to me, or gave me the run around. They ended up being a waste of time.

So I went and had a look on TrustPilot and found a few that had very good review scores. I made contact with them all, and thought to myself -the best price and the quickest response will get the car. That ended up being removemycar.co.uk.

Yaris_GS_Low_Mileage

This company did not mess around. The price they offered was much higher than everyone elses, and as soon as I accepted their offer they had me booked in with a date and time that the recovery truck would be coming round to collect the car.

Like other companies that provide this service, I believe removemycar.co.uk use certain scrap / salvage dealers depending on where you are located in the UK. So for me they used a salvage company that operates in the Wolverhampton, Birmingham and surrounding areas.

For me that ended up being the Alexander Brothers. And they were excellent. I'd read many horror story reviews online that people had left for other dealers, mostly on TrustPilot, so was a bit concerned. 

Things like, the dealer agrees a price but then starts haggling to a ridiculously low price when they arrive if they see a flaw with the car that they can exploit. Even when the flaw was declared before a deal was reached online. That was a common complaint. Or they don't arrive at the time specified, if at all.

Well, thankfully that didn't happen to me. The Alexander Brothers were stand up guys. I'd already told removemycar that my car had no Catalytic convertor due to it being stolen, and the quote price was based on that part being missing.

And when the recovery truck driver from Alexander Brothers came to pick up the car he was bang on the time agreed. He was a good guy very helpful and there was no haggling with the price at all. After the car was loaded on the recovery truck we sorted out the paper work (V5) / bank details for payment etc, and within 15 minutes the money was in my account.

If you're in the Birmingham / Wolverhampton area and want to scrap your car, even if you don't want to use the middle man company (removemycar.co.uk) I'd give these guys a call first and see what they will offer. They literally paid me more than double the price of what all the other scrappers were willing to pay.

I'm not sure if there prices may be a bit lower now than they were a few months ago, as scrap prices are always changing. For all I know they might be higher right now. And the other good thing about these guys other than them paying the best price is they are professional. They don't mess about. At least not in my experience with them.

If you want to get a quote directly from the Alexander Bros Metal Recycling Ltd, you can do so by phoning them on: 01902 608354. They are based in Willenhall (WV13 1EJ).

1970's Lime Green Vauxhall Viva

Picture sent in by a visitor. Old school 70's Green Vauxhall Viva spotted in Castle Vale / Minworth, Birmingham. Obviously a project, which by the look of it still needs a few bits and pieces. Would be great to see this car actually out on the road. Don't see many of these old classic Viva's around anymore.

1970s_Lime_Green_Vauxhall_Viva_Classic_Car

 

Car Insurance: Get A Cheaper Renewal Price

If you're new to driving, have been involved in a few crashes (at fault or not), or have points on your licence for whatever reason, chances are your car insurance isn't going to be cheap. At least, not as cheap as it could be. But there is still hope. When it comes to discounts, car insurance can be summed up in one common phrase: If you don't ask, you don't get.

If your car insurance is due for renewal, and the price is either higher or almost the same as the previous year, making you feel that the price isn't fair, absolutely never just let cooling-off period come and go and start a new year without phoning your insurance company first. You could always get a new quotation online from one of the many websites offering such a service (confused.com, comparethemarket.com etc), but if you don't want all the hassle of changing insurers it can be a smart move to ask your current insurer if they can negotiate on the renewal price.

Car-Insurance-Get-A-Cheaper-Auto_Renewal-Price-UK

Practically every year without fail, I have phoned up my insurance company and managed to get a discount of several hundred pounds, simply by telling them that I'm not happy with the renewal price. They don't want you to leave, so most of the time they are willing to bring the premium down to keep you as a customer.

You may have to explain yourself a bit and point out why you think your premium should be cheaper. Things like - I only drive a small engine car (if you do), I have x amount of years of no claim's bonus, been a loyal customer for quite a few years, it's more than it was last year etc. And also let them know that you are considering leaving them, but if the price is lowered you would rather stay.

Basically, say whatever you feel fits your situation, that's truthful, which you can leverage to your advantage to make a case of why it should be cheaper.

Has anything changed that could naturally lower the price of your premium. Such as, safer overnight parking, driving fewer miles annually, working fewer hours at your job., or even working from home.

For many people, due to the situation at the moment, they genuinely are driving less and are either working from home or doing fewer hours at work. So these are great things to mention that will definitely affect how much you pay, or in our case, get discounted. Furthermore, car insurance companies know many people are struggling right now and will lower the price of your premium on that aspect alone. All you have to do is mention that you are short of cash due to the current situation and this should help in getting the price down.

If you mention all these things, and they still won't budge on the price (not likely), ask to speak to someone higher up the chain. Explain yourself, mentioning all the points that you feel should help in lowering your insurance. I have done this exact procedure year after year, and I always get my insurance lowered. For example: This year (2020) my renewal came through and was a few pounds higher than last year.

I rang my up my insurance company, mentioning the current situation and how times are hard, working hours are less, I'm driving less etc, and I managed to literally get £250 off my renewal price. Needless to say, I thought that was fair, so I accepted the new premium.

Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to phone up your auto insurance company and do exactly what this article talks about to get a cheaper premium. Especially now. They are expecting calls such as this, and are ready to negotiate and drop the price.

If they don't budge on the price whatsoever, or the discount is ridiculously small, I would recommend either changing insurers, or, at the very least, shopping around by doing some quotes online. Then, if you get some good quotes, but don't really want to change insurers, ring your current insurer again and let them know about the low quotes you have received and ask them to match it.

A quick heads up: If you tell your insurance company that you have done some new quotes online, I believe they may have access to that information and be able to see the data that you have entered into the quotation form. If that doesn't match the information that you have on file with them they will most probably want to know why. If your answers do not satisfy your current insurers concerns, this could lead to the cancellation of your current insurance policy.

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