You Hear That? That's the Sound of a Million Laughing Pinto Ghosts

source: Inside EV’s

Third Tesla Model S Fire In Past 5 Weeks Breaks Out After Accident (Updated – Collision With Tow Hitch)

18 hours ago by Jay Cole 101
3rd Tesla Fire In Just Over A Month Happened Wednesday, November 6th Near Nashville, TN
Having recently gone through two “fire incidents” after an accident in the past 5 weeks, a third fire Model S has caught fire under potentially a similar condition.
And while the first two fires happened after the Tesla plug-in sedan had taken some serious damage, this Model S looks to have suffered less damage before the occurrence – although we would stress patience in jumping to any conclusions before an official investigation report has been released as this is BREAKING NEWS - that we will update as new information becomes available.
UPDATE (Nov 7th 10:39 EST):  The Tesla Model S in question reportedly struck a tow hitch on the road, and ”hit the undercarriage of the vehicle causing an electrical fire.”

Nikola Tesla is turning in his grave from this four wheeled fiasco that bears his name, Henry Ford II’s skeletal remains are wearing a grin,  as the last of the negative comments about the Edsel fade away, and the ghosts of millions of Ford Pintos are laughing.

Remember the Ford Pinto debacle?  A few Pintos blew up from rear end collisions, a bunch of money grubbing lawyers bilked Ford for millions and millions, and in the process, forever labeled the Pinto as a “death trap”.

Now it’s time for logical people to look at all of this with a clear mind. First of all, if the production time span and the number of units sold, for the Pinto was identical to that of the Tesla, how many fire related deaths involving Ford Pintos, do you think you would have heard about?
None. That’s right none.

The Pinto had a production run of ten years and sold over three million units.  Tesla has been selling about 1700 cars a month, and even the most optimistic predictions have sales figures for  2014, pegged at 40,000 units.  Perhaps, a more realistic prediction would be about half of that.  Especially, if the associated fires have as negative impact on sales, as they did for the Pinto or Pontiac Fiero.

Either way, Tesla sales will never approach Ford Pinto sales.  If they’re lucky, their total vehicle sales for their entire production run, might approach the number of Pintos sold in any given year in the early ‘70’s.

Why?  Because the Pinto was a better car than the Tesla in almost every way. First of all you have a safety issue.  The Pinto so far has proven to be a much safer car.  When you consider the total amount of deaths and injuries that could be blamed on the Pinto’s design, and divide that by the total number of miles covered by all Pinto’s produced, you get a number that is so infinitesimally small, you might wonder how Ford ever lost those lawsuits.  It is unlikely that enough Teslas will ever be sold and thus, miles covered to make a statistically significant comparison.  That being said, several have gone up in flames, even though the number on the road remains only in the tens of thousands.  Even with air bags, anti lock brakes, and the like, statistically speaking, the Ford Pinto so far, has proven to be a safer car, at least in terms of miles driven per newsworthy incident. I would not be at all surprised if there were still more Pintos than Teslas on the road today.

Over three million Pintos were sold and the government didn’t have to bribe people to buy a Pinto.  The only way Ford could have ever reached those sales figures, was if they were offering a car that the public wanted, and a large percentage of those sales were from repeat buyers.  A government subsidy, in and of itself, proves that the Tesla is not a car that the public wants, and with a $17 trillion national debt, that subsidy is in jeopardy.  If the subsidy dies, so will the Tesla.

The Pinto was a better value.  In 1971, a new Pinto cost about $2000.  In today’s dollars that would be about $11,500.  A new Tesla cost between $60 and $100 thousand, depending on whether you get the base or “performance” sedan.  Performance?  Starting at $60K, they should all be “performance”.  Just what do they mean by “performance” anyway?  You give me a Pinto and $10,000, and I can build a car that can easily beat a Tesla in the quarter mile or any other type of race.  Better yet, if we took a Tesla and a bone stock Pinto, and drove both to a dragstrip 300 miles away, allowed any reasonable amount of time that most people would expect for typical refueling, and raced, the Pinto would win.  That is, assuming that the Tesla could even make it there, which leads us to the next point, reliability.

If you were to ask people the definition of reliability, many would say that it is freedom from malfunction, but reliability is more accurately defined, as being able to be used at any given time, at a moment’s notice.  The Pinto, like all other normal cars, could be fired up and used at any time, regardless of how much it had been driven the previous twelve hours.  After a day of driving, a Tesla has to sit and charge over night, so even a brand new Tesla, that is used for long, daily commutes, is essentially “broke down” one third of each day, every day.  

Now imagine that you own a Tesla, and you just returned home from a long trip.  Suddenly your child falls ill, gets injured, or you have any other type of personal emergency that requires that you leave the house and drive somewhere.  You better either have a friend nearby, that will let you borrow his car at a moment’s notice, or you could have a Pinto for a second car.  You can fire up the Pinto and go.  

Soon you will realize that maybe, the Pinto should be your first car.  Did you ever see someone on the side of the road that has ran out of gas?  Sucks to be them, but at least all they need to rectify their problem is a gas can and a ride.  You run out of charge on the highway in a Tesla, and it’s an entirely different matter.  A good Samaritan with a gas can, will be of no value to you.

Tesla envisions numerous quick charge stations scattered across the country in the future, that may reduce charge time to as little as twenty minutes.  Big deal.  Can you imagine it taking twenty minutes to put gas in your car?  Ask the owner of a diesel vehicle what’s their biggest inconvenience, and they will probably mention the lack of fuel availability relative to gas.  Take that problem and multiply it by what? ten billion? and you begin to understand just one of the items that all by themselves, are deal breakers in widespread use of electric vehicles.

Now let’s assume that someone has a Tesla, their driving schedule never interferes with its range and charge time limitations, and it doesn’t burst into flames.  A Tesla is very complex.  Who’s going to service or repair it.  Just take it to the nearest Tesla dealer right?  What if the nearest Tesla dealer is over 300 miles away? (A reality in many parts of the country.) How are you going to get it there?  I doubt that there is any mechanical problem that a Pinto could have, that I could not fix myself, and all the parts that I would ever need are either in stock at the local auto parts store, or can be ordered and received in days.  Teslas, and all other electric cars, will never be able to approach the real world reliability of the Pinto.

Pinto’s held their value better than Teslas.  A clean Ford Pinto will currently fetch more than it’s original retail price, but of course, much of that is due to inflation.  A new ‘71 Pinto cost just over $10,000 in today’s dollars.  How much could you lose?  An article that attempts to say that Telas hold their value well, states that a five year old Tesla roadster has lost between $50 and $90 thousand from it’s original selling price.  Even when painting the rosiest picture possible, a Tesla roadster, loses the original Pinto’s selling price worth of value, every month.

Last of all the Pinto was much more environmentally friendly that the Tesla or any other electric car will ever be.  Electric cars ultimate source of fuel is coal.  Not the most environmentally friendly fuel out there, and their true fuel economy is no where near as high as you might expect.  

For reasons that we have already discussed, there will never be enough Teslas or other electric vehicles sold to produce any measurable impact on saving fuel or the environment.  On the other hand three million Pintos replaced cars that were often lucky to have fuel economy in the double digits.  Teslas and all other electric cars will never come close to saving the billions of gallons of gasoline saved by all those Pintos.

The Tesla is “new”.  The Tesla is “different”, but so was another car introduced by the Ford Motor Company in the late fifties.  When one considers public acceptance, maybe it should have been called the Edsel II.

Oh yeah, it has been well documented and proven that a Pinto can withstand an attack from Cujo.  Whether or not a Tesla could, remains to be seen.


  1. Remember also the Chevrolet Corvair, almost the exact same story; a talentless hack name of Ralph Nader translated a few rollover accidents caused by inattention ad a lead foot into a 'book' (Unsafe at any Speed) and a political career

    1. Oh, I wish you wouldn't have brought that bastard's name up. Every time I even hear his name, my blood boils.

  2. Neil, I have no idea about IP and timestamps. That's just my bs. But I have been in contact with BC and I am convinced our young Republican did this. I knew I didn't like him. Had a gut feeling from the start.

  3. I knew it, I knew it! I may be stupid, but I have instincts. SPIDER-SENSE!

  4. I have given BC a heads up about our little young liberal. Pisses me off. I had a feeling he was a troll implant. All he does is post liberal ideas wrapped up in a conservative package.

    1. Sneaky, very sneaky. He does a pretty good job of it though. I admire your diligence. Hey what do you think about this Tesla post? Pretty awesome huh?

    2. Oh yeah, What do you think is gonna happen to him?

    3. I recently started reading your blog from a link on Hiswiserangels blog.
      You are a great writer, and I appreciate your logic and sense of humor!
      Thanks for your efforts.

    4. Thank you. Angel has been a big inspiration for me. She was one of the first to link to the Geese and has been a big influence on me and my blog.