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Musk: fire issue overblown, stock is a good deal right now

Musk: fire issue overblown, stock is a good deal right now

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/11/12/elon-musk-talking-at-ny-...

Also, when they were live blogging this, the reporter wrote that Musk said there would no recall but for some reason that is not in the story.

Docrob | November 12, 2013

Musk can't make that guarantee, I agree that a recall is unlikely however if the NHTSA initiates one then it is mandatory regardless of Musk's wishes.

WayneH | November 12, 2013

I do not believe the fire issue is overblown. I was about to buy a S85 but after the fires I have changed my mind. I would consider buying one if changes are made to reinforce the underbelly to reduce future chances. If more fires occur the value of a new or used Model S will drop significantly. If there is a recall the company may not be able to handle the financial obligations. To me, at this time, this is a certain amount of risk I am not willing to undertake. If the underbelly is reinforced and a few months go by without a fire, I will reconsider purchasing.

bryanjaf | November 12, 2013

@ WayneH, there has to be more to it than that. Maybe you just don't have the risk profile to be an early adopter. And that is okay, but there is a risk of any car having a catastrophic failure. Tesla's are just front page news currently.

I don't plan on running over any large debris but if I did, I would rather it be in a battery operated car than an ICE that is most likely to subject me to even greater risk. It would be something else if S85 were spontaneously combusting. There are, on average, 152,300 car fires annually (17 per hour), but that does not stop people from buying cars. The ratio of an ICE fire to miles driven is 1:20 million miles versus 1:100 million miles for Tesla. Last year, 750 people were hurt in vehicle fires. No one has been hurt in any of the Tesla incidents.

I get the fear, but the facts do not support your rationale in isolation.

dlake | November 12, 2013

Docrob: Perhaps Musk has already spoken with NHTSA? Musk would look pretty foolish if the NHTSA decided a recall was necessary.

WayneH: I am almost ready to purchase and the fire has NOT changed my mind. Model S is still an extraordinarily safe vehicle. As I've stated on other posts, my only worry is that occasional punctures in some cars would always lead to a fire that totals the car. Insurance companies will not like this.

Fordy | November 12, 2013

The other story...We need strong legislation for idiots that don't secure their load (not kode). Why is nobody asking why this sh!t is laying in the road? Let's factor in some statistics for accidents that involve unsecured loads....including trailer hitches....Those are the liable parties....not Tesla.

ausdma | November 12, 2013

dlake, I was thinking the same thing. I'll bet there has been a lot of communication already.

AmpedRealtor | November 12, 2013

I am sure that Tesla would proactively and voluntarily recall the Model S if it felt there was a problem with the current design. It says a lot that Musk is standing by the vehicle, and certainly he has more facts at his disposal than any of us. I have no issue with the car's design whatsoever. I've never in my life hit any such road debris and don't remember the last time I saw a trailer hitch or similar piece of metal debris. This is not a common occurrence.

ausdma | November 12, 2013

Found the link to the video of the interview. Lots of good stuff here including electric airplanes.

dlake | November 12, 2013

Fordy- Great idea, but probably not enforceable.

ausdma | November 12, 2013
Suturecabre | November 12, 2013

WayneH, you were about to buy but then the fire changed your mind? Are you aware that there hasn't been a single fatality or serious injury in the history of Tesla? That's 5 years since the Roadster came out.

Bighorn | November 12, 2013

Wayne's the one who became histrionic over the chain of custody of the metal debris in the first accident in WA. He's operating on a whole 'nother level. Nevermind that there were 100 million fire-free miles before the first incident.

gill_sans | November 12, 2013

+1 @AmpedRealtor

Since the two trailer hitch incidents, I've been hyper-vigilant about not running over metal-looking crap in the road and I've noticed two things in my drives around the SF Bay Area mainly on 101, 280, 17 and 1: (1) Most road crap is squishy like plastic bags, animals, and food. (2) There isn't much crap on the roads around here. Can't speak for Tennessee roads, but at the risk of bringing down the wrath of the asphalt and concrete gods it would surprise me if this type of event happens often. And so I bought more TSLA stock at $141 a share.

ausdma | November 12, 2013

In the video Musk talks about supersonic vertical take off and landing electric airplanes, flying cars, adaptive cruise control, 787 vs 747, and the hyper loop among other things. Pretty cool stuff.

GoodReason | November 12, 2013

Okay, here's something that's bugging me: News articles are saying "There have been three fires in six weeks" or whatever. But that's kind of an arbitrary starting point. Why don't they say "three fires in a year", or however long the car's been out?

ausdma | November 12, 2013

I see you're trying to apply "GoodReason" here. Best of luck with that.

Kleist | November 12, 2013

For me the most valuble parts in a car are the occupants. If a car lets the occupants walk away after a crash is only what matters.

Car t man | November 12, 2013

Well, in capitalism, news companies are just that. Companies. They don't report the news. They sell them and they need to manufacture them.
Just like a model S, a good "product" only sells if it attracts
interest. Headlines and sensationalism sell. If it didn't they
wouldn't manufacture it.

Most here buy it on some level or other also. Human nature...
Flawed and often unflattering but its the software we have
installed...

Jamon | November 12, 2013

@ausdma - this is a great video. Thanks for sharing. I would recommend that you edit your original post to add the video link in there (so people don't have to scroll thru all the replies to find it).

azure1979 | November 13, 2013

The most important point is that the model s has weakness from road debris as compared with other cars, because the battery size of undercarriage is larger than other EVs or ICE fuel tank. we know that, but no one talk about the issue. Eventually undercarriage protection ability of modes s must be improved from road debris.

azure1979 | November 13, 2013

I'm a investor of Tesla. I don't worry about recall, but fourth fire scare me. Many investors are afraid of the fourth fire, because it will be huge catastrophe to Tesla. I think Elon is gambling now. I hope he changes his mind.

2050project | November 13, 2013

I like the way Elon put things into perspective, good video/interview.

Most media sensationalize this without providing proper context. Elon seems really clear that no one is taking the proper approach to reporting this with some perspective. However, I've read some excellent articles from Motor Authority which seem to put things into a broader perspective, worth checking out this writer:

http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1087408_surprise-cars-sometimes-catch...

http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1088270_third-tesla-model-s-fire-stil...

Luclyluciano | November 13, 2013

Ultimately, it will be interesting to see if the 3rd fire and eventually a 4th affects new orders.

aigo1250 | November 13, 2013

I have the same concern as WayneH. I shopped around a while between P85 and Panamera GTS, and finally decided to buy P85 last week. But the 3rd fire made me change my mind. I don't want to spend $100K to buy a car knowing it come with fire risk though the probability is probably under 1%. You never know what will happen on the highway and dark roads at night. I'll wait for a few months, if no recall to reinforce the underbelly, I'll buy Panamera GTS instead.

Kleist | November 13, 2013

@algo1250 - a Panamera just burned the other day... did you consider that?

skymaster | November 13, 2013

@algo1250- The model S will be 10 times safer than the Panamera GTS!!! But if you can't understand or believe this, buy the Pamamera.

ausdma | November 13, 2013

@Jamon - the website will not allow me to edit my original post saying it has already been edited by another user. Not sure what that's about. I'll just start a new thread.

AmpedRealtor | November 13, 2013

2011 and 2012 Panamera recalled due to fire risk: http://www.burnetti.com/blog/view/porsche-recalls-cayenne-panamera-vehic...

Porsche Panamera recalled due to turbocharger fire risk: http://www.recalluk.com/recalls/cars/porsche-panamera-turbo-fire-recall-...

Safer? Yah right...

cfOH | November 13, 2013

Panamera on fire (apparently just sitting in a parking lot?): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1iMvtUNCZo

Porsche recalls Panameras for spontaneous fire risk
http://www.burnetti.com/blog/view/porsche-recalls-cayenne-panamera-vehic...

Panamera turbo failure engulfs engine in flames
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/this-is-how-you-review-a-porsch...

Heck, they even sell a fire extinguisher and bracket specially for the Panamera.

If given a choice, I'd prefer to buy a car that requires a high-speed collision in order to catch fire.

NomoDinos | November 13, 2013

... and gently tells you to pull over and exit the car in a safe manner. Oh, and have a nice day.

mathiasc | November 13, 2013

Its not about safe or not... Its about how the market will react. The value of a Tesla Model s will drop a lot if more fires and no fix. Meaning as a owner I loose the value of the car. That is my take on the increased risk. Not the risk when chrashing vs other card. In that area the Tesla sems brilliant. If Tesla go down the drain the cars will loose 80-90% of the value due to no service etc. Look at the karma... Dead car on the second hand market...

Aleksandyr | November 13, 2013

Elon Musk has pretty much guarenteed the value of the car. He put his money where his mouth is on that one. I wouldn't worry about the value dropping due to fires. I don't think simple reinforcement will necessarily fix the problem. The amount of force created by a tow hitch at highway speeds may exceed any practical armor. Not sure of the physics here. I still can't believe this is common place, I have never seen a hitch in the road. Hope I never will!

Jamon | November 13, 2013

@Mathiasc - I would gladly give away 100% of the value of my car for the opportunity to drive it for a decade or more.

(and no I don't think these issues will affect resale value of the car in the long term)

Mel. | November 13, 2013

Automobile fire in Palm Bay, Florida. This fire is burning now, 50 acres are already burning,.. News media has not identified the vehicle, but you can be sure it is not a Tesla..

Brian H | November 13, 2013

azure;
Completely bogus thinking. The battery is a major protection for the occupants. If an ICE car takes a hit to a fuel line or the gas tank, the results are vastly worse.

aigo1250 | November 13, 2013

@cfOH- As a consumer, I'll appreciate the manufacturer to do their best to realize the problem and fix any issues. That's the ultimate way to win customer loyalty like what other brand names do. Porsche showed enough respect and responsibility to their clients to recall 2011/2012 panamera, and make the Panamera more reliable.

Kleist | November 13, 2013

@aigo1250 - but you realize that these are not accident related issues, but recalls caused by shoddy workmanship.

PorfirioR | November 13, 2013

My only problem with that interview is that someone should tell Elon Musk to stop talking about the stock price. There are class action lawsuit factories out there (e.g. Pomerantz Law) measuring his every word.

CEOs should make promises about the company and its products, not the stock.

EssDub | November 13, 2013

Really enjoyed that video. Thanks for posting.

As for the fire issue -- only question in my mind is weather a recall can be sufficiently expensive so as to prohibit or alter the company's future. My guess is no, but if it is possible the powers that be might take a run at it.

aigo1250 | November 13, 2013

@Kleist- It's incident. But what if other drivers including MS owners on this forum involved in the similar situation? Shall we let the fire on again though it's avoidable.

Kleist | November 13, 2013

@aigo1250 - I don't think Porsche will initiate a recall because of this incident ? Should they ?
http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/11/porsche-hits-140-mph-then-me...
If Tesla does shoddy work they have (bracket) and will initiate a recall like other honorable manufacturer.
When I was 18 three class mates burned to death in an ICE accident, I had to witness an car without accident catch fire and when it came to a stop it was an inferno and 5 perished, about 3 years ago the family of a coworker burned to death after a minor accident.
Car fires are all around you - tomorrow it might be you. The only important thing here is can you walk away.
Car fires have taken a huge blood toll over the last 100+ years of ICE refinement and the ICE industry still has not fixed it as of today... just to put it into perspective.
Don't get me wrong - if you feel personally more secure in a Porsche, Mercedes, Lexus or Hummer, please by all means follow your instincts. We have two cars - a Mercedes and a MS... after reading more into the matter in general I am now really scared of the Mercedes and feel much more secure in the MS. Maybe the MS will fry my rear end tomorrow - but that will be fine. If the Mercedes fries my rear end I would be mad... I should have known better.