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Nano on Fire- how serious can this be?

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tatanano-fire200 Will you risk your life for a technology that comes cheap? I guess NO. Well, if you actually see the picture above you will be petrified and terrified before buying even an ‘Audi’ if it comes for 2 lacs. Right? But I wonder why news of ‘Nanos’ catching fire is not propagating that effectively. One reason may be this-

“One of the neighbours phoned some Tata Motors officials about the fire,” the watchman said. “Company personnel arrived soon after and put out the fire. The car was then immediately moved from the place by the owner.” Despite much effort by journalists, the identity of the car’s owner could not be established. When the mediapersons requested that they be allowed inside the bungalow to talk to the car owner, their request was denied. The owner had apparently left instructions that no media-person should be allowed to enter the bungalow premises. [Last year’s incident from Ahmedabad]

‘Nano’ has been a very ambitious project for Tata and has got extensive international exposure. Such type of news if exposed may very well put immense pressure on Tatas, which is already finding it hard to bail out “Jaguar” and “Land Rover”. But what if there is a mishap? As I learned in today’s news the owner and his family of the Brand new Nano were ‘just’ saved when they were informed by a motorist about the engine of the Car which caught fire. Since the engine of Nano is at back its almost impossible to notice the same.

I’m still surprised with the calm response from Nano- “we believe it was a one-off stray incident”, TATA spokesperson Debasis said. Tata has offered the owner a replacement or refund! WTF? Is it that simple?

As we know Tata’s great innovation was made possible not only because of Tata but because of hundreds of other vendors who joined hands to contribute towards cost savings. But I’m sure the quality parameters must have been reduced by at least 0.1% or so and if there are hundred vendors than that means a combined quality reduction of 10%. I’m not an automobile expert but this seems to be quite obvious. Moreover considering that Car is one of the most complex mechanical systems, 10% quality reduction means 100’s of other possible known/unknown issues. Since Nano project faced various other issues like ‘Singur’ it must have been difficult to run proper quality tests before getting the product in market. There was also pressure on Tata to release the product at the earliest as it was already running behind its scheduled launch date.

But even after considering all the above factors, I must reiterate that a Car catching fire is not a common issue. TATA could have been sued for millions in US for such a mishap or worse their license itself could have been cancelled. It’s a pity that life gets least priority in this politically driven country.

What’s your thought on this?

  1. […] Congress chief Mamta Banerjee-led Singur row or the small car getting drubbed by a couple of unfortunate fire incidents when it actually hit the […]

  2. Rohan says

    The TATA group will ‘work closely’ with the Govt. to avoid any “issues”. And we can still be proud of the TATAs and that Nano is the world “cheapest” car.

  3. Vamsee says

    What a load of rubbish. Full of conjectures, dodgy math and speculation. I’m no great fan of Nano the car, nor do I think it’s that big a deal that people make it out to be (I even drove it quite a few times) – but still, this is an awful piece of writing. You don’t have to put out multiple articles per day. Just make sure it’s quality writing even if you publish once or twice a week.

    1. rabi gupta says

      Hey Vamsee, if 3-4 cars of a single brand catch fire in a time-frame of 8 months, then that can’t be called a mere speculation. My math is a speculation and I have mentioned clearly that its just what I think. If you can present your analysis then it would be great. Apart from my maths there isn’t a single thing which can be termed as conjecture.
      If you didn’t read news of several Nano’s catching fire or emitting smoke then this post is to inform people like you about the same :).

      1. Vamsee says

        I agree that Tata has to be more forthright about the fires. I guess these kind of quality issues are new to Indian car makers. But still, there can be many reasons why this must’ve happened. You do not point out to any other manufacturer’s comparative data that points the difference between their safety/fire accident records. There is no way people can derive whether such accidents are truly one off, or an unusual occurance.

        The tone of the article is more sensationalistic rather than analytic. Also, you don’t take into account the media bias that comes in when it comes to a new/prestigious launch like Tata Nano. It’s simply news because it’s about the Nano. I’m just saying we shouldn’t jump to conclusions without proper data/information about the accidents itself – which in this case, seems to be rather little.

        1. Arun Prabhudesai says

          Vamsee,
          You are actually right, the tone is more sensationalist rather than analytic. But it is Nano, and anything related to Nano is a sensation :) wouldnt you agree? It is the same with everything that is more popular than others, and NANO certainly qualifies for that..aint it :) (note: this comment is in lighter vein, dont read too much into it :))

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