You can’t please every consumer 100% of the time, and that is certainly the case when it comes to product design. No matter how carefully something is developed or packaged, no matter how many times its designers test and retest it, there often is some flawed design element in the product that only rears its ugly head with prolonged consumer use.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable idiosyncrasies -- some annoying, some potentially deadly -- in product design and packaging over the years. Click on the Apple iPhone 5 connector below to view our list. Then add the products you think we missed in the comments section below.
Anyone who’s gone through a few mobile devices over the past 10 years or so probably also has a collection of now-useless power cords sitting somewhere in their basement. While there are certainly proprietary reasons for creating separate cords for devices from different manufacturers, it’s really no fun for the consumer. Just ask Apple enthusiasts who were nothing less than enraged when the company changed the iPhone connector with the iPhone 5 model (pictured here), rendering any previous Apple device power cords (which also up until then worked with iPods and iPads) or accessories obsolete with the new devices. (Source: Apple)
P.S. NHTSA also couldn't get the Tesla to roll without cheating on its rollover test. Yet there have been dozens of unstable or marginally stable models on the market, mostly SUVs, and millions of these have been sold for decades by virtually every carmaker (other than Tesla). Have Jim5437532 and Elizabeth called those vehicles out for being unsafe and fatally flawed? Thousands have died in them. That is what constitutes an epic flaw in design.
You haven't responding to any of my questions or points; you just keep widening your anti-Tesla rant. The OP was about the Tesla's battery having a "fatal flaw." You had a couple of valid points in your opinion that the Tesla battery design lacked safety due to its design, but you've done nothing but go off the rails since. Apparently if there is a fatality due to, say, a Camry rear-ending another car, it would be no reflection on the Camry. Only if the speeding car is a Tesla do you blame the car's design, and you look to any part the of the car to blame. Is it speed that you are blaming? Are Teslas just dangerously fast? Oh, and obviously no non-Tesla has ever separated into two pieces after striking a utility pole at over 100 MPH. Another Tesla fatal design flaw, apparently, this time structural. Forget that NHTSA's roof-strength testing machine broke while trying to crush a Tesla. LOL indeed!
I'm not here to defend each and every point of the Tesla's design, and I'm certainly not going to keep debating a crank. People like you cannot be reasoned with. My only point is to push back on the absurd claim that the Tesla battery constitutes a fatal flaw. That is patently ridiculous and unsubstantiated by fact.
For consistency sake I hope you want to ban all guns because they have the fatal flaw of having the nasty habit of killing people and are thus inherently unsafe. I'm willing to state here, though, that I'm guessing you have a completely different mindset on product safety when it comes to gun violence. Will you state that guns kill people as freely as you state that Teslas kill people?
Despite the accolades; the facts prove that Tesla is unsafe. You can't accept or handle that.
Teslas have injured people, killed people, caught fire, exploded, known for brake failures, known to dangerously shut down and leave people stranded in heavy traffic, etc. yet Tesla fan boys call it safe. lol
In the Palmdale crash three people were killed by a Tesla and its driver and it set their car on fire, yet Tesla fan boys are spamming the Tesla is safe.
Tesla's designs may have contributed to the crash. Tesla's are known for having braking problems. Tesla using the accelerator for regenerative braking, is causing safety problems. Some Tesla drivers have become so accustomed to using the accelerator to brake, that they forget to use the friction brakes in an emergency stop. Many Tesla customers have become so unaccustomed to using friction brakes, that they often forget to use them, don't have the skill, or coronation to use them properly. Some Tesla drivers complain that the pedals are poorly located.
Also since regenerative braking is so efficient, and since Tesla seemingly doesn't incorporate preventative measures, Tesla brakes have a tendency to buildup moisture so they often don't work properly. Wet brakes don't work well and tend to corrode. Allegedly there has been one or more accidents blamed on these Tesla design problems.
Allegedly Tesla has secret service bulletins about its brakes. So apparently Tesla is yet again trying to cover-up its problems. It's pretty bad when there is allegedly is service bulletins about safety modifications like brakes, that are not listed by NHTSA and don't seem to be readily publicly available.
Allegedly there is a splash guard/dust guard and different rotors and brake pads that are sometimes being issued to Tesla customers that complain about poor and unreliable wet braking. It seems there are secret service bulletins on problems like these. If safety really was a top priority for Tesla, then it would be transparent.
Also the layout of the Tesla cockpit controls and displays can contribute to driver inattention related crashes.
In the West Hollywood Tesla crash, Inferno and explosions. Most modern metal traffic light pole are required to be breakaway. The Tesla broke in half after hitting light poles, this would suggest that the Tesla might have another structural vulnerability.
It is dishonest for you to try to limit my comments to batteries. The article is about epic flaws, it is not exclusively limited to batteries. You Tesla fan boys are whiny and seem to think you are dictators.
CharlesM "please point to any evidence where anyone has claimed the Tesla S to be indestructible. To your credit, you have usually prefaced your opinions as being merely such, but this is one example where you are making a sweeping accusation that cannot possibly be backed up. One would have to be nuts to claim any car is indestructible."
Simply Google it. Tesla shills (fan boys) often tout the Tesla to be indestructible. There is a plethora of nuts.
Jim5437532, please point to any evidence where anyone has claimed the Tesla S to be indestructible. To your credit, you have usually prefaced your opinions as being merely such, but this is one example where you are making a sweeping accusation that cannot possibly be backed up. One would have to be nuts to claim any car is indestructible. Pure and simple, though, the Tesla S has received more safety accolades from various neutral, third party safety entities than perhaps any other car in history. You just won't accept that. Are organizations like Consumer Reports merely "fan boys" or what else would account for their test conclusions?
In the recent Hollywood crash, please identify which models of cars would ensure survival of occupants being thrown from them after they've sheared in two from striking utility poles at over 100 MPH. One of the occupants of one of the other vehicles struck, a Honda, is also in critical condition. Does that mean that you think the Honda is as dangerous as a Tesla, or is even more dangerous since it was not traveling so fast? Or do you think the Tesla's battery is somehow responsible for that too? Where was the mystery Tesla S that killed Paul Walker, who was riding in a speeding Porsche (one that the official report states was traveling "only" 80-93 MPH)? Of course any of those insinuations would be absurd.
Please also explain to us how gasoline tanks, gasoline fuel lines and other such components, or internal combustion engine pieces "raining down" in such a collision would be safe. Or that burning gasoline or ICE car part fires do not spew dangerous toxic fumes.
Some of your initial points were fair and valid, but your reasoning has gone from intriguing to questionable to flawed, and is now venturing into the realm of irrational fear or hatred.
The remote disable issue has nothing to do with the battery safety characteristics we've been talking about.
It's not surprising to me that a Tesla allegedly caught fire and exploded after a high-speed crash. However it flies in the face of Tesla fan boys that dishonestly try to portray the Tesla as indestructible.
By some reports, the driver is in critical condition and might die.
In my opinion: It looks like the battery broke apart in the crash, and pieces of battery are scattered across the street burning, and there appears to be individual cells exploding. It looks like some of the exploding Tesla lithium battery cells are rocketing about 30 to 60 feet into the air raining down burning battery cells a great distance away.
No doubt that the burning and exploding Tesla battery is spewing dangerous toxic fumes.
The police chase might have been unnecessary. If it was enabled, Tesla Motors might have been able to track the car with data links & GPS to arrange an intercept.
Stolen Tesla Splits In Half And Explodes After Crashing In West Hollywood http://laist.com/2014/07/04/tesla_splits_in_half_and_explodes_a.php#photo-1
SEE IT: Stolen Tesla cut in two in fiery crash in West Hollywood (VIDEO) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/stolen-tesla-cut-fiery-crash-west-hollywood-video-article-1.1855333
Stolen Tesla Crash Splits in Half During Pursuit Chase / West Hollywood RAW FOOTAGE http://youtu.be/kE_u731EmYA
This crash might have been prevented with a remote disable feature. With modern technology, if a car like this is reported stolen and in a high-speed chase, law enforcement should be able to contact the manufacturer to shut down the drivetrain using onboard wireless technology. Unfortunately such technology will probably eventually be abused by hackers, corporations and government. Technology is a double-edged sword.
Telling the truth, speculating and expressing opinions is not libelous. Tesla has been slanderous. Your comments are bias, reckless and cavalier. The proof is on my side. You should judge yourself first, before casting stones about slander.
Jim5437532's comments amount to a lot of conjecture and possibly libelous speculation. When you accuse something of having a fatal flaw and call it as such, a resulting effect could be to unnecessarily scare buyers and cause financial losses for the manufacturer. Proof may be needed to back up such an accusation and that burden of proof falls on the accuser.
Jim5437532 even lets out his personal gripe in his first sentence. He accuses Elon Musk of lacking ethics. Similar accusations have been made about Steve Jobs. How has that turned out for those accusers? You, Elizabeth, even listed the Apple lightning connector as having a fatal flaw, without identifying what its flaw is other than a marketing gripe. A marketing gripe is not the same thing as a fatal flaw.
Time will tell whether there are safety flaws lurking within the Tesla S, but there's clearly no basis to now state that there are inherent or latent safety flaws with the Tesla S, let alone a fatal flaw. Jim5437532 is reckless and cavalier in making such accusations and doesn't offer credentials stating how he is qualified to put his accusations in print. UBM and its lawyers ought to know better than to allow such wording in these posts, however.
Meanwhile the Tesla S was just named by Strategic Vision, a research outfit in southern California, as having the highest score among any vehicle in its latest Total Quality Index:
Doesn't sound like they would award a "fatally flawed" product as having the highest quality score over all other vehicles. Anyone is entitled to their own opinion. When they assert them as facts, however, they are on much shakier ground. You both should have identified your accusations as opinions. Words have meaning and you have violated your words' meanings.
Thanks, Jim5437532 for explaining quite well what the design problem is with Tesla batteries. I couldn't go into great detail in the post, but you describe it quite well. I tend to agree with you, though of course we see other readers disagree. But this is why we have the comments section! I always appreciate a spirited debate.
I disagree. I think Tesla should be on this list for unsafe designs. I think some of Tesla's designs are epic fails.
Tesla located its poorly protected drive battery close to the ground. That's like putting nitroglycerin in a glass bottle then storing it on the back wall of a shooting gallery.
Lithium batteries are more likely to catch fire and explode when punctured than a gasoline tank.
Good engineers/designers hopefully learn from the previous failures of others, rather than repeating them for themselves. Hopefully most of the failures can be screened out with proper design and testing.
The Tesla battery fire issue might be worse than the Ford Pinto. How many Ford Pinto gas tanks had caught fire and/or exploded when they only manufactured 30,000 of them? Tesla already had three battery fires after only manufacturing about 30,000 cars.
Tesla UMC charge connectors, are like using 16 gauge plug and cord on a coffee pot. Tesla charge connections also seem to have some manufacturing and quality control issues, some of the crimp welds between the wires and terminals seem to be insufficient/faulty. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/31753-Melted-new-14-50-adapter-after-one-charge?p=670155&viewfull=1#post670155
I don't think the design problem is so much in the battery itself. Much like gasoline, lithium batteries can be flammable and explosive. I think it was a poor design to locate such a large flammable and explosive battery, that can easily catch fire and explode if punctured; so close to the ground and so lightly armored where it easily can be damaged by road debris.
Other electric car manufacturers don't seem to have as bad of a problem with their drive batteries catching fire and exploding; probably because they use safer battery chemistry, or/and mount their batteries in a safer position, or/and better armor their batteries.
I'm skeptical that the titanium "fix" (unofficial recall) is a true fix. It might significantly reduce the hazards from road debris, but I'm under the impression there is still a vulnerability on the underside. The fix mainly protects the front side of the battery, not so much the underneath. It's also possible that the "fix" might end up kicking up road debris into the less protected vulnerable underside.
If a lithium battery is punctured under normal circumstances it is more likely to catch fire and or explode than a gasoline tank.
Tesla and Elon Musk lack ethics. In some ways they are a greedy corporation that skimps on safety to manufacturer poorly designed defective products. Tesla and Tesla fanatics have often slandered people that dare to criticize some of Tesla's faulty and dangerous designs.
I think the way that Tesla has responded to its poor and dangerous designs; is much like how Ford responded to Ford Pinto gas tank risks, and how GM responded to ignition switch risks.
Tesla has been in denial, dragging its feet and making token gestures on its problems with charge connectors and battery fire hazards.
Customers had documented and complained a long time about charger fire hazards, yet Tesla mostly played games of denial, blame games, etc. Even when people got fed up with Tesla, and reported the problems to NHTSA and other investigative agencies; Tesla still played games of denial, blame games, etc. It wasn't until the media, NHTSA and other investigative agencies started to hold Tesla's feet to the fire, that Tesla made a token effort, by agreeing to a recall (that it denied was a recall). Regretfully only a token effort, but better than nothing.
Elon Musk claimed that new adapters would be mailed out in two weeks, it wasn't till months later that recall adapters started to be mailed out. Tesla and Elon Musk claimed the new adapters under the recall would have thermal fuses, allegedly the adapters been replaced under recall don't have thermal fuses. Allegedly the replacement adapters under the recall are made out of higher temperature plastics, than earlier versions of charger adapters. Though it seems so rate that charge connectors are overheating , melting and burning has reduced with the newer adapters; customers are still alleging that some of the charge connectors are still overheating and melting.
While the higher temperature plastics in the new adapters are an improvement, it still doesn't seem to address the underlying problems; that the connectors between the adapters and the UMC module seem to be too light-duty for the amount of current and duration.
Tesla issued a software update that it touted as a "fix" for the fire hazards. However the software did little if any to reduce the charger connectors from overheating. Allegedly the software update and or the underlining software had a glitch that contrary to what it was supposed to do, could increase the current and fire hazard when a fault is detected.
There is no doubt that some house wiring and wall outlets are bad; but it's wrong for Tesla to use those problems as a scapegoat to draw attention away from their own defective designs. The way Tesla designed its UMC charger system, puts an undue stress on wall outlets which can cause wall outlets and house wiring to fail.
Melted new 14-50 adapter after one charge http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/31753-Melted-new-14-50-adapter-after-one-charge
UMC very hot to the touch http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/32380-UMC-very-hot-to-the-touch
Most of Tesla's designs seem to be brilliant, regretfully there are a few that seem to have a reckless disregard for safety. To me what's worse than the few bad designs, is the cover-up of those bad designs and smear campaigns against whistleblowers.
I feel your comparison to ICE vehicles is a dubious comparison. ICE vehicles tend to be much older and have much more mileage.
I think this is a more fair comparison. Tesla seems to have a higher ratio of drive battery fires than other electric automotive manufactures.
I think the unethical business practices of Tesla Motors, has Nikola Tesla rolling in his grave.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
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