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Old 04-12-2010, 01:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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These cars are not meant for even the average car owner here. They are meant for less than average car owner. Nano is arguably better than having to get BBQed on a two-wheeler on the hot roads in the blazing Indian summer, but if one has some spare money, about $5-6k can get them a nice cozy vehicle with AC, and about the same fuel economy as Nano. Why Nano was not built till now was that no one was ready to cut that many corners, where the entire effort becomes an exercise in diminishing returns.

If I were to buy my wife a new car (to let my clunker alone for my hypermiling) I would NOT go for a Nano. I think it will be a Tata car, a Vista Quadrajet Diesel. So let those who want to play with fire to play with it, for the sake of saving money, I would just about tolerate some door panel rattling for the sake of loads of space and good FE that Vista offers.

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Old 04-12-2010, 03:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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hummingbird: really appreciate your perspective on this story.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roflwaffle View Post
Good thing we don't have any of that crap in cars over here.
Don't forget the short circuiting Ford brake switches either...
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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hummingbird: really appreciate your perspective on this story.
Thanks, Darin!

I sense some strange feeding frenzy kind of thinking when it comes to comments on companies that suffer a quality setback, and those companies who in good faith recall and repair stuff get hit badly in the process. I just wanted to clarify that Tatas are no fly-by-night guys, they are just trying too hard.

I have the same feelings for the Toyota criticism I hear. Some of it may be legit, but to demonize these very companies that raised the standards of automobile safety to such great heights today seems very unfair to me.

By now you must have figured I am the sucker who always roots for the underdog!
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Oh Christ! (Not you, Topher)

One car has a fire and now all of them are deathtraps. One. Not even two. Just one. I don't think so.

Could happen to anything. This would be a story if there was some sort of systemic problem.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Frank -

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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Oh Christ! (Not you, Topher)

One car has a fire and now all of them are deathtraps. One. Not even two. Just one. I don't think so.

Could happen to anything. This would be a story if there was some sort of systemic problem.
I just want to know why it happened. My Dad-in-Law said it looked like a gas leak. This calls for an episode of Mumbai-CSI!

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Old 04-13-2010, 12:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My guess is low current capacity switches molded in cheap thermoplastic material, that was not sufficiently fire retardant. These things keep happening mostly in aftermarket power window switches or AC solenoid switch etc. Also could be accessory switch and wiring underspecified or not sufficiently QC'ed. But the material properties appear to be prime suspect.

When I worked for an electronics hardware company, we used to choose ABS plastic with good fire retarding properties for enclosures for the export market - but the supplier - Your dear GE plastics - charged so much that in the price conscious Indian market, we were forced to use _any_ material that met the price point, fire retardant properties be dammed. - such are the pressures of cost in a dog-eat-dog market, coupled with regulator apathy.

I have seen on other local forum a well documented 3000+ km journey in a Nano - mostly a publicity stunt, plus an attempt at finding suitability to Indian conditions done, and apart from a freak accident, nothing was found to be amiss.

(Disclaimer: I am a mod there, but I do not benefit in any way from the site, so feel free! )
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This calls for an episode of Mumbai-CSI!
...spit my lunch soda thru my nose as I read that (ha,ha)!!!
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Oh Christ! (Not you, Topher)

One car has a fire and now all of them are deathtraps. One. Not even two. Just one. I don't think so.

Could happen to anything. This would be a story if there was some sort of systemic problem.
Actually, there have been four:

"Tata Motors says that the first three incidents were the result of a faulty switch placed near the steering wheel, but that those problems have been fixed, and all cars on the road have been checked to ensure that they will not encounter this problem. Thus, the automaker will be launching an investigation into why this most recent Nano caught fire."

Tata orders probe into Nano fire — Autoblog
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Considering the car is so tiny, does this give a whole new meaning to the term "infant mortality"...?

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