Posts Tagged ‘fire’

San Francisco Chronicle Writer CW Nevius is So Wrong on So Many Things: Consider this Felony Graffiti Case in the Tenderloin

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

HERE IT IS: Court* may not paint tagging as a petty crime this time

“If there was ever a case that deeply annoyed Tenderloin residents, it was the graffiti bombing of the old Hibernia Bank last year.”

WELL, LET’S SEE. I THINK THIS CASE MIGHT HAVE ANNOYED:

THE NEVIUS HIMSELF;

SOME COPS;

THE OWNER(S) OF THE BANK, AND POSSIBLY;

TWITTERLOIN-AREA POVERTY PIMP RANDY SHAW

BUT NONE OF THESE PEOPLE ARE “TENDERLOIN RESIDENTS.” SO WHO WAS/IS SO “ANNOYED?” AND IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT A HIBERNIA BANK-RELATED “CASE” THAT BOTHERED TWITTERLOIN RESIDENTS, HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF THE FALLING BRICKS? (SEE PHOTO BELOW.) OH WHAT’S THAT, NEVIUS? THAT HAPPENED FIVE YEARS BACK SO IT WAS BEFORE THE TIME YOU MOVED TO TOWN? OK FINE. 

After all, the defense says, he is just a kid, never had any trouble before, and it was just a little spray paint. The charges routinely get knocked down to a misdemeanor and the perp ends up doing a little community service and is back on the street.

DID THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN THIS CASE SAY THESE THINGS? I DON’T KNOW. AND I DON’T KNOW HOW THINGS WORK IN THE EAST BAY, WHERE NEVIUS IS FROM, MORE OR LESS, WHERE HIS MENTALITY IS FROM, BUT COMPARE THIS TAGGER”S OFFENSE WITH THAT OF FORMER TENDERLOIN RESIDENT GURBAKSH CHAHAL, WHO STRUCK / KICKED A WOMAN 117 TIMES. ON VIDEO. “G” CHAHAL WAS “BACK ON THE STREET” IN NO TIME AT ALL – THAT”S YOUR BASELINE, RIGHT?

Part of the reason the anti-graffiti crowd is hopeful is that the district attorney’s office is now into its second year of “neighborhood prosecutors.” These are five attorneys in the office who each have responsibility for two neighborhood police districts. In theory, they know the players and bad actors and can make a strong case that the defendant has a history and pattern of bad behavior in the neighborhood.

THIS IS THE STANDARD BEAT-SWEETENER / SOURCE GREASER GRAF THAT OFTENTIMES APPEARS IN THE WRITINGS OF THE NEVIUS, WHO OWES HIS ALLEGIANCE TO THE RIGHT-OF-CENTER FACTION RUNNING SFGOV THE PAST COUPLE DECADES, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD OF TO HIS READERS. AND I’LL NOTE THAT THIS VIEW OF HISTORY IS A BIT INSULTING TO THE SFDA PROSECUTORS WHO WORKED ON SIMILAR CASES BEFORE THIS “NEIGHBORHOOD PROSECUTORS” PET PROJECT KICKED OFF. THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM NOW AND IN THE PAST IS THE WORLD-FAMOUS SAN FRANCISCO JURY POOL, WHICH FACTORS IN TO ANY PROSECUTION / PLEA BARGAIN CONSIDERATION, RIGHT?

Neighborhood prosecutor Karen Catalona is handing this case and will be attempting to keep the felony charges in place against Nelson, the alleged tagger.

IT’S HARD FOR ME TO USE THE FEEL-GOOD TERM “NEIGHBORHOOD PROSECUTOR” EVEN IN QUOTE MARKS, BUT I’LL TELL YOU, NEIGHBORHOOD PROSECUTOR KAREN CATALONA WOULD TOTALLY WANT ME TO BE A MEMBER OF THE JURY IN ABOUT 95% OF HER CASES,** BUT I DON’T KNOW IF SHE’D GET A FELONY CONVICTION TO STICK IN THIS CASE IF I HAD ANY SAY-SO IN THESE MATTERS.

For instance, most of us tend to think of graffiti taggers as bored teenage kids, out on a lark.

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE IF NEVIUS IS CONSIDERING “US” TO BE SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS, MOST OF WHOM HAVE LIVED HERE LONGER THAN CW NEVIUS HISSELF. SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, NEVIUS, NOT “US.”

First, Ferreira says, you can learn to recognize what gang tags look like.

WHY SHOULD WE CONCERN OURSELVES WITH THIS? AND AREN’T THE GANGS THEMSELVES “SCARY,” YOU KNOW, AS OPPOSED TO THEIR GRAFFITI?

However, Ferreira says before you freak out, you should understand that “the overwhelming majority of graffiti in San Francisco is tagger graffiti.”

OH OK, WELL, TOO LATE, I’M TYPING THIS FROM MY PANIC ROOM, BUT NOW YOU’RE TELLING ME TO _NOT_ FREAK OUT, SO WHEW!

SUFFER THE NEVIUS, HANGING OUT AT BARS WAITING FOR THE NEXT SAN FRANCISCO LIEUTENANT OR CAPTAIN OR COMMANDER OR CHIEF  OR PROSECUTOR OR ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR OR PROPERTY OWNER TO SPOON-FEED HIM HIS NEXT STORY…

*I’D SAY “JURY” INSTEAD OF COURT, BUT ANYWAY.

**IF I WERE PART OF A JURY IN A CASE LIKE THAT DEVELOPMENTALLY-DISABLED DUDE WHO TURNED IN A HANDGUN BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE SFPD TOLD PEOPLE TO DO AND THEN WAS PUT UP ON CHARGES OF ILLEGAL FIREARMS POSSESSION, I WOULD PERSONALLY LEAD A JURY REVOLT THAT WOULD HANG THE JURY OR, MORE LIKELY, HAVE IT COMING BACK WITH A NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES. AND THAT WOULD GO FOR RECENT CASES FROM SAN FRANCISCO PROSECUTORS INVOLVING STOLEN “BAIT” CARS THAT WERE LEFT IDLING UNLOCKED ON DIVISADERO (IN PART FOR THE BENEFIT OF A FUCKING REALITY TV SHOW) AND “BAIT” BIKES LEFT UNLOCKED NEAR SAFEWAYS FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE TO TAKE. BUT OTHERWISE, PROSECUTORS WOULD GENERALLY REALLY REALLY WANT ME ON THEIR JURIES.

That Geico Banner Dropped on Fremont – Was That from “Ad-Viation,” the Outfit That Dropped a Banner on SoMA Last Year?

Friday, July 25th, 2014

All right, work with me here, people – this one’s going to take a while to pay off and my theory may be incorrect, but anyway.

Here’s a post from earlier this year:

Hey Look, That Plane That Caused a Blackout in SoMA Last Year is Back in Business – The Dangers of Towed Banner Ads

“Well, here it is, a rare 1947 Sintson 108-2 over Golden Gate Park towing a banner, so that means it’s the very aircraft that dropped a different banner on SoMA last year, causing a blackout.

Ah memories:

“The aircraft, a Stinson 108, operating as a banner tow, experienced a release of the banner for reasons unknown. The banner displaying “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” fell onto power lines at Fifth & Brannan Streets in San Francisco, California, causing a brief interruption of local power.  Note: Ad-Viation has registered two Stinson 108′s, N331C and N6053M, possibly out of Hayward Executive – KHWD.”

Well let’s hope this doesn’t happen again….”

And this was the feedback I got from “Ad-Viation Inc” of San Ramon just a month ago:

Ad-viation says:
June 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

The pilot that was towing the banner that cased the power out SoMA had over 10,000 of flight time & 7,000 plus hours of banner time without accident or incident. The banner release was do to what the pilot reported as the most sever wind shear he had ever encountered. The system that is designed to release the banner in the event that it is caught on something that could bring the plane down was activated by the wind shear. Wind shear has downed more that just “$8.99 HAIRCUT SALE ENDS TODAY…” Let’s be thankful it was not another DC 10.”

Now this is what just occurred down in Fremont a week ago per Hamed Aleaziz of SFGate.com / The San Francisco Chronicle:

Geico banner plunges from sky onto Fremont home

And here’s a Fremont Fire Department selfie to prove it: 

Now here’s what I saw just yesterday down in San Mateo County – it’s a Stinson / Piper 108 / Voyager towing a different GEICO banner:

So now I’m thinking, gee, is this the same outfit what dropped a banner on power lines in San Francisco last year dropping a different banner on power lines in Fremont this year?  

Isn’t it ironic, don’tcha think? I mean it’s like rain on your wedding day/ It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid.

So I don’t know. I don’t have a pilot name or an N-number to go on, so I don’t know who dropped that banner on Fremont and I don’t know if somebody / the bay area / PG&E / FAA / NTSB has an advertising-banners-keep-dropping-on-our-power-lines problem…

Questioning the Wisdom of Adding “Pedestrian Islands” to the Middle of the Street, as Here on McAllister in The Projects

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

See this pedestrian island smack dab in the middle of McAllister at what remains of Octavia?

It didn’t used to be there. Oh, here we go:

Pedestrian islands provide a raised refuge area in the middle of the street for crossing pedestrians.”

Click to expand

So what this does is bottleneck McAllister traffic by not letting bikes and vehicles easily pass through the Octavia “intersection” at the same time.

I cry foul. IMO, this isn’t good design for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers or firetruck drivers.

So what is this island good for – satisfying the ideological requirements of the sainted SFMTA?

Apparently.

But be my guest, go out there and take a look and see how traffic flows at this particular intersection, say around 5 PM during the evening drive.

Be my guest.

Orange is the New Firefighting Outfit – Department of Correction Prisoners On The Job Along I-80

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Sort of looks like a chain gang, huh?

All the deets:

Grass fires along I-80 keep firefighters busy

Click to expand

An Arson Attack at Northern California’s Capital of Military Espionage, the Chinese Consulate at Geary and Laguna

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Here’s the damage at the front entrance on Laguna:

Via Sarah G. McBride

Here’s how things looked about six years ago after a similar attack:

This was on the Geary side:

I’d say both incidents were the work of Team Tibet:

You know, these people:

This consulate has more than its fair share of incidents, of course. Let’s look back some more.

It’s U.C. Davis grad / protest artist Nyendak Wangden hanging off the side of the gosh darn building. It’s supposed to look like she was hung by her pretty white  neck, but she was safe under the robes in her climbing harness. Safe until somebody on the roof hacked at the red rope causing her to fall.

Source unknown

How long a fall to the balcony would you say that was? 15 feet or so? Note the absence of the flagpoles in this later photo – those poles got nubbed shortly after the rope cutting incident.

The mise-en-scene from before the rope thang. (NB: The next time you illegally suspend yourself from a building to make a political point, do it above a balcony – it can be a long way to the sidewalk otherwise:

And there’s this – “serial package throwerAaron Bassler made the news by repeatedly throwing items containing wacky stuff (documents concerning the “Martian military”) over the fence of the consulate. These objects were treated as bombs by the SFPD. Thusly:

These kinds of crazy things don’t happen at other consulates and embassies, huh?

What will happen next at our star-crossed Chinese consulate?

 

280 Tableau: America’s Own Version of the Autobahn, San Mateo County – Luxury Cars Famous for Fires

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Ah yes, the 280. Spacious, fast and full of luxury cars.

To wit:

Click to expand

Ah yes, the famous Tesla Model S. Let’s compare it’s on-the-road-caught-on-fire rate with, I don’t know, that of the well-designed, all-electric Nissan Leaf and maybe, I don’t know, the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. Oh wait a sec, Nissan Leaves and Chevy Voltses NEVER CATCH ON FIRE.* Well gee, why is that, Elon Musk? What’s wrong with your cars and/or your customers?

And the jelly-bean Lexus RX / Toyota Harrier. I suppose this “Tall Camry” / “Tall Lexus ES” is a luxury car. It doesn’t catch on fire, all that much.

And the Mercedes Benz GL. It does catch on fire. Sometimes. And for no good reason.

Taken via Google Glass** from my Toyota, which was paid off twelve years ago, and which is 40% of the way through its working life.

*And these are more established cars with more time and more passenger miles on the road than the Model S

**Or not!

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues Former Supervisor Michael Yaki for More Than 70 Violations of City’s Lobbyist Ordinance

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Well, I suppose I can’t oppose enforcement of the Lobbyist Ordinance.

[And I'll mention that the "Yaki Compromise" would have had numerous salutary effects and would have saved lives lost due to the horrible Octavia Boulevard project.]

Herrera sues former Supervisor Yaki for more than 70 violations of City’s lobbyist ordinance

Lobbying for Rescue Air Systems, Inc. in the legislative process involving Fire Code revisions, Yaki ‘brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar’

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 4, 2013) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against former Supervisor Michael Yaki for more than 70 violations of the city’s lobbyist ordinance during the time Yaki was paid to advocate for the interests of his client, Rescue Air Systems, Inc., in the legislative process that revised San Francisco’s Fire Code earlier this year.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, “Yaki flouted the lobbyist ordinance in every way” by failing to register as a lobbyist, failing to disclose the amounts and sources of payments for lobbying, and failing to report his lobbying contacts.  The complaint, which was filed with 15 accompanying declarations from Board members, legislative aides, fire commissioners and S.F. Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, alleges that Yaki misrepresented his identity as a paid lobbyist when trying to set up meetings with five Supervisors.  

The city’s lobbyist ordinance provides for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, or three times the amount of compensation scofflaw lobbyists fail to report — whichever is greater.  Yaki himself voted to support the ordinance in 2000 while a member of the Board of Supervisors.

“San Francisco’s Lobbyist Ordinance is a good government cornerstone that brings needed transparency to our local legislative process,” said Herrera.  “It imposes a simple requirement on lobbyists to disclose the nature and extent of work they do for their clients, and other paid advocates have managed to comply with it thousands of times.  Unfortunately, in the case we’ve filed today, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Yaki brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar.  Our lobbyist ordinance fulfills a very important function in our local government, and its aggressive enforcement is essential to the legitimacy of the law itself.” 

San Carlos, Calif.-based Rescue Air Systems, Inc. manufactures a patented “firefighter air replenishment system,” or FARS, which San Francisco’s Fire Code has required since 2004 for new buildings with a height of 75 feet or more.  When city policymakers undertook their periodic revision to the local Fire Code beginning last year, Fire Chief Hayes-White was among numerous city officials to oppose extending the FARS requirement because the San Francisco Fire Department had never used or trained on the system, and because firefighters “do not have confidence that the air coming from the FARS pipes is safe and breathable, or that the system has been checked and maintained on regular basis,” according to Hayes-White’s declaration.  

Yaki engaged in extensive lobbying efforts over a period of more than a year on Rescue Air Systems’ behalf to retain the FARS requirement.  According to the city’s complaint and supporting declarations, the former supervisor lobbied fire commissioners, S.F. Fire Department officials, staff in the Mayor’s Office, and members of the Board of Supervisors and legislative aides to extend the legal requirement for an air replenishment system that only one company — Yaki’s client — manufactured.  The City Attorney’s Office’s investigation secured evidence of at least 70 lobbying contacts, including more than 10 lobbying meetings with Supervisors and their legislative aides and more than 50 emails to city officials on behalf of Rescue Air Systems’ interests in the Fire Code revision process.  

Yaki’s lobbying efforts ultimately proved largely unsuccessful.  San Francisco’s Fire Commission passed a motion recommending that the FARS requirement be altered to offer developers a choice of whether to install FARS or a firefighter service elevator to facilitate oxygen delivery.  That recommendation was adopted as part of the San Francisco Fire Code amendments unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in September, which Mayor Ed Lee approved on Oct. 3, 2013.  

The case is: Dennis Herrera in his Official Capacity as San Francisco City Attorney v. Michael Yaki, San Francisco Superior Court, filed Dec. 4, 2013.  Due to the large file size of the 468-page court filing, the complete presskit with accompanying declarations is not being emailed but is available for download on the City Attorney’s website at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=570.”

Uh Oh, Is Elon Musk Going to be In Trouble with the SEC? Should He have Disclosed Fires Investigation News?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Hey, what do you call this – would you call it the start of a federal investigation of the recent Tesla Model S fires, or at least the ones that occurred in America?

Hey, when did certain people at Tesla learn about it?

Hey, when did certain people at Tesla disclose it?

Is this time gap relevant to the people at the Securities and Exchange Commission?

See what the people at Seeking Alpha think about this situation here.

It would be interesting to hear from somebody from Tesla about all this, non?

“ODI RESUME
Investigation: PE 13-037 Open Resume Page 1 of 1
Investigation: PE 13-037
Date Opened: 11/15/2013
Investigator: Will Godfrey Reviewer: Scott Yon
Approver: Frank Borris
Subject: Fire – Propulsion Battery – Road Debris
MANUFACTURER & PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Tesla Motors, Inc
Products: 2013 Tesla Model S
Population: 13,108 (Estimated)
Problem Description: Deformation/intrusion into the propulsion battery by roadway debris may result in a
thermal reaction and fire.
FAILURE REPORT SUMMARY
ODI Manufacturer Total
Complaints: 0 TBD TBD
Crashes/Fires: 2 TBD TBD
Injury Incidents: 0 TBD TBD
Number of Injuries: 0 TBD TBD
Fatality Incidents: 0 TBD TBD
Number of Fatalities: 0 TBD TBD
ACTION / SUMMARY INFORMATION
Action: A Preliminary Evaluation (PE) has been opened
Summary:
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is aware of two incidents occurring on US public highways in which the
subject vehicles caught fire after an undercarriage strike with metallic roadway debris. The resulting impact damage
to the propulsion battery tray (baseplate) initiated thermal runaway. In each incident, the vehicle’s battery monitoring
system provided escalating visible and audible warnings, allowing the driver to execute a controlled stop and exit the
vehicle before the battery emitted smoke and fire.
Based on these incidents, NHTSA is opening this preliminary evaluation to examine the potential risks associated with
undercarriage strikes on model year 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles.

Tesla CEO Explains His Recent Change of Course Regarding the Recent Spate of Fires – Calls for NHSTA Investigation

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

November 18, 2013
The Mission of Tesla
By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO

Our goal when we created Tesla a decade ago was the same as it is today: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible. If we could have done that with our first product, we would have, but that was simply impossible to achieve for a startup company that had never built a car and that had one technology iteration and no economies of scale. Our first product was going to be expensive no matter what it looked like, so we decided to build a sports car, as that seemed like it had the best chance of being competitive with its gasoline alternatives.

FAIR ENOUGH, ELON.

I suspected that this could be misinterpreted as Tesla believing that there was a shortage of sports cars for rich people, so I described the three step “master plan” for getting to compelling and affordable electric vehicles in my first blog piece about our company. This was unfortunately almost entirely ignored.

AW, POOR ELON! NOBODY PAID ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU SAID? ACTUALLY, YOUR MASTER PLAN IS TO HAVE GLORY FALL UPON … ONE ELON MUSK, RIGHT? YOU’VE CONSISTENTLY OVERPROMISED AND UNDERDELIVERED, RIGHT? YOU’VE RELIED UPON GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES AND YOU’VE STILL FAILED AT YOUR PROMISES OF AFFORDABILITY.

In order to get to that end goal, big leaps in technology are required, which naturally invites a high level of scrutiny. That is fair, as new technology should be held to a higher standard than what has come before. However, there should also be some reasonable limit to how high such a standard should be, and we believe that this has been vastly exceeded in recent media coverage.

FIRST OF ALL, ELON, WHO IS “WE?” SECOND OF ALL, ARE YOU PROPOSING A CHANGE TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT? SEEMS THAT WAY.

How Does the Tesla Model S Fire Risk Compare to Gasoline Cars?

THIS IS THE WRONG QUESTION, ELON. THIS IS LIKE SAYING THAT THE BOEING 787 IS PERFECT BECAUSE ITS NEW-SCHOOL BATTERIES HAVEN’T KILLED ANYBODY YET. THIS IS LIKE BOEING ASKING, “HOW DOES THE BOEING 787 FIRE RISK COMPARE TO AIRCRAFT WITH OLD-SCHOOL BATTERIES,” RIGHT? WELL ACTUALLY, BY THIS STANDARD, THE 787 HAS A PERFECT SAFETY RECORD. YOU SEE WHAT I’M SAYING HERE, ELON?

Since the Model S went into production last year, there have been more than a quarter million gasoline car fires in the United States alone, resulting in over 400 deaths and approximately 1,200 serious injuries (extrapolating 2012 NFPA data). However, the three Model S fires, which only occurred after very high-speed collisions and caused no serious injuries or deaths, received more national headlines than all 250,000+ gasoline fires combined. The media coverage of Model S fires vs. gasoline car fires is disproportionate by several orders of magnitude, despite the latter actually being far more deadly.

ALL THESE FACTS ARE IN RESPONSE TO THE WRONG QUESTION. ALSO, WHY DON’T YOU COMPARE YOUR NEW MODEL S CARS TO NEW GASOLINE CARS OF SIMILAR TYPE? LIKE, HOW MANY BRAND-NEW PORSCHE PANAMERAS CATCH FIRE AFTER RUNNING OVER TRAILER HITCHES? THAT WOULD BE USEFUL INFO COMPARED TO ALL YOUR BLATHER.

Reading the headlines, it is therefore easy to assume that the Tesla Model S and perhaps electric cars in general have a greater propensity to catch fire than gasoline cars when nothing could be further from the truth.

IT’S TOO EARLY TO MAKE THIS CALL, ELON. AND DO YOU THINK YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE STUPID, YOU KNOW, TO BE SO EASILY MISLED?

Journalists with a deep knowledge of the car industry, such as the news editor of Automotive News, understand and attempt to rebut this notion, but they have been drowned out by an onslaught of popular and financial media seeking to make a sensation out of something that a simple Google search would reveal to be false. I would also like to express appreciation for the investigative journalists who took the time to research and write an accurate article.

SO, PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH YOU ARE JOURNALISTS WITH DEEP KNOWLEDGE AND THOSE WHO DON’T ARE THE HATED “MEDIA,” REALLY? AND WHAT’S REVEALED TO BE FALSE? YOUR CARS CAUGHT ON FIRE, RIGHT? THE FEDS ARE LOOKING INTO THIS SITUATION, RIGHT?

The degree to which this is outrageous is described well in the above-mentioned Automotive News article. There are now substantially more than the 19,000 Model S vehicles on the road that were reported in our Q3 shareholder letter for an average of one fire per at least 6,333 cars, compared to the rate for gasoline vehicles of one fire per 1,350 cars. By this metric, you are more than four and a half times more likely to experience a fire in a gasoline car than a Model S! Considering the odds in the absolute, you are more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime than experience even a non-injurious fire in a Tesla.

WELL THIS IS YOUR LINE, ELON, BUT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE HOW THINGS SHAKE OUT, RIGHT?

Those metrics tell only part of the story. The far more deadly nature of a gasoline car fire deserves to be re-emphasized. Since the Model S went into production mid last year, there have been over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries in the United States alone due to gasoline car fires, compared to zero deaths and zero injuries due to Tesla fires anywhere in the world.

AND YET, YOUR MODEL S DESIGN HAS ISSUES, RIGHT? THERE’S STUFF YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER, RIGHT?

There is a real, physical reason for this: a gasoline tank has 10 times more combustion energy than our battery pack. Moreover, the Model S battery pack also has internal firewalls between the 16 modules and a firewall between the battery pack and passenger compartment. This effectively limits the fire energy to a few percent that of a gasoline car and is the reason why Dr. Shibayama was able to retrieve his pens and papers from the glove compartment completely untouched after the recent fire (caused by a high speed impact with a tow hitch). It is also why arsonists tend to favor gasoline. Trying to set the side of a building on fire with a battery pack is far less effective.

IS THAT A BAD THING, ELON, THAT GASOLINE HAS SUCH A HIGH ENERGY DENSITY? AND HEY, ELON, IF YOU’RE SO CONCERNED ABOUT SAFETY, WHY NOT VOLUNTARILY LIMIT THE SPEED AND ACCELERATION OF THE MODEL S? HOW ABOUT 0-60 MPH IN 8 SECONDS AND A TOP SPEED OF 80 MPH? ‘CAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE YOUR PRODUCTS AND YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE A BAD MIX, RIGHT? DRIVING AROUND SO FAST AND ALL. WHY ARE THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS SUBSIDIZING YOUR COMPANY – SO IT CAN BUILD FAST CARS? WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BUILD REGULAR OLD “AFFORDABLE” SLOW CARS? NEVER?

What About Safety Overall?

Our primary concern is not for the safety of the vehicle, which can easily be replaced, but for the safety of our customers and the families they entrust to our cars. Based on the Model S track record so far, you have a zero percent chance of being hurt in an accident resulting in a battery fire, but what about other types of accidents? Despite multiple high-speed accidents, there have been no deaths or serious injuries in a Model S of any kind ever. Of course, at some point, the law of large numbers dictates that this, too, will change, but the record is long enough already for us to be extremely proud of this achievement. This is why the Model S achieved the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the US government. The probability of injury is the most accurate statistical figure of merit, showing clearly that the Model S is safer in an accident than any other vehicle without exception. It is literally impossible for another car to have a better safety track record, as it would have to possess mystical powers of healing.

CALL US WHEN THE SHUTTLE LANDS, ELON. DOES THE NHSTA APPROVE OF THE WAY YOU CROW ABOUT MODEL S SAFETY? NO IT DOES NOT? WHY IS THAT, ELON?

Further Actions

While we believe the evidence is clear that there is no safer car on the road than the Model S, we are taking three specific actions.

WELL, THAT’S REFRESHING! AFTER ALL THIS JIBBER JABBER, YOU’RE GOING TO CHANGE COURSE? LET”S TAKE A LOOK!

First, we have rolled out an over-the-air update to the air suspension that will result in greater ground clearance at highway speeds. To be clear, this is about reducing the chances of underbody impact damage, not improving safety. The theoretical probability of a fire injury is already vanishingly small and the actual number to date is zero. Another software update expected in January will give the driver direct control of the air suspension ride height transitions.

BUT WON’T THIS MOVE, WHICH “THE MEDIA” HAS BEEN CALLING FOR FOR A WHILE NOW, IMPROVE SAFETY? I THINK IT MIGHT. ANYWAY, IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR ALUMINUM “ARMOR PLATING” SCHEME DIDN’T WORK OUT AT THE RIDE HEIGHT YOU ORIGINALLY DESIGNED FOR. THIS IS CALLED A MISTAKE ELON. YES ELON, SOMETIMES YOU, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ, MAKE MISTAKES.

Second, we have requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conduct a full investigation as soon as possible into the fire incidents. While we think it is highly unlikely, if something is discovered that would result in a material improvement in occupant fire safety, we will immediately apply that change to new cars and offer it as a free retrofit to all existing cars. Given that the incidence of fires in the Model S is far lower than combustion cars and that there have been no resulting injuries, this did not at first seem like a good use of NHTSA’s time compared to the hundreds of gasoline fire deaths per year that warrant their attention. However, there is a larger issue at stake: if a false perception about the safety of electric cars is allowed to linger, it will delay the advent of sustainable transport and increase the risk of global climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences worldwide. That cannot be allowed to happen.

[UPDATE: WELL, IT TURNS OUT THAT THE NHSTA ALREADY DISPUTES WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, ELON.] DID OJ SIMPSON CALL FOR THE LAPD TO INVESTIGATE THE DEATH OF HIS EX-WIFE AND THAT WAITER GUY? MAYBE HE DID. TRUTH BE TOLD, THE NHTSA WAS GOING TO INVESTIGATE YOUR DESIGN ANYWHO. SO YOUR REQUEST IS WORTHLESS. YOU’RE NOW BATTING .500 ELON. AND IF THE MODEL S GETS RECALLED YOU WILL COMPLY AND NOT CHARGE YOUR CUSTOMERS ANY MONEY? WELL THAT’S WHAT A RECALL IS, RIGHT ELON?

Third, to reinforce how strongly we feel about the low risk of fire in our cars, we will be amending our warranty policy to cover damage due to a fire, even if due to driver error. Unless a Model S owner actively tries to destroy the car, they are covered. Our goal here is to eliminate any concern about the cost of such an event and ensure that over time the Model S has the lowest insurance cost of any car at our price point. Either our belief in the safety of our car is correct and this is a minor cost or we are wrong, in which case the right thing is for Tesla to bear the cost rather than the car buyer.

FAIR ENOUGH, ELON. HEY WHAT ABOUT CHANGING THE DESIGN OF YOUR ARMOR (HEH) PLATING? OH, THAT WOULD COST TOO MUCH AND BE TOO EMBARRASSING? WELL, WE’LL SEE HOW THINGS GO. CERTAINLY OFFERING A FIRE WARRANTY IS CHEAPER THAN A REDESIGN, THAT’S FOR SURE.

All of these actions are taken in order to make clear the confidence we have in our product and to eliminate any misperceptions regarding the integrity of our technology and the safety of our cars.

WELL, ELON, IF I WERE YOU, I’D LOOK INTO REDESIGNING THE THIN SHEET OF ALUMINUM YOU’VE GOT BETWIXT THE ROAD AND YOUR THERMAL RUNAWAY DEVICE. I, FOR ONE, DON’T BUY YOUR BS. WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE FEDS COME UP WITH.

BUT PARTIAL DENIAL IS BETTER THAN FULL DENIAL, SO YOU’RE MAKING PROGRESS, ELON.

BABY STEPS, ELON. BABY STEPS.