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The Tata Nano is a hot property in Mumbai, literally

LATEST UPDATE – Tata Motors have ordered a probe into this case. Read more about it here.

After the initial flurry of Nanos emitting smoke from the steering column (read about the funny case) we assumed things were fine in camp Tata.

But not for long.

Insurance agent Satish Sawant took delivery of his Tata Nano in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Since he cannot drive, the company organized a chauffeur to deliver the car home.

On his way back, a motorcyclist on the Eastern Express Highway while overtaking signaled something was wrong to the rear of his car. Sawant turned and noticed fire. He and the driver immediately jumped out of the car to safety.

Sawant had spent Rs 2.4 lakh on the silver Nano (MH03 AW 913). We assume this is the top-end Nano with Air-conditioning and power windows.

Satish Sawant –

I have no idea what happened. A motorcycle rider overtook me and told me that the vehicle was on fire. The engine was behind me and I did not realise that the car was on fire.

A fire tender arrived to the scene shortly thereafter and doused the flame. The Navghar police (Mulund E) have registered a case yesterday evening.

How reliable is the Nano is what we ask. The Nano is no doubt an engineering marvel, but wearing a price tag of the world’s cheapest car doesn’t mean it can compromise on passenger safety, which one takes for granted when buying a car. Should the Nano come with fire extinguishers as factory fitment? I mean, a brand new car that’s done almost no kilometers can’t burst into flames while moving, can it?

The biggest disadvantage of placing the engine at the rear is lack of proper cooling. Could this incident have happened due to the inefficient design of the cooling system? There is no reaction from Tata Motors. We expect something from them very soon.

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I'm Shrawan, an automobile engineer who began IAB in 2008, which today is rated as a Top 10 global automotive website by Technorati, and among the top 15,000 websites on the internet, according to Alexa.

  • paul

    Very true!!! The situation needs investigation. There has to be something beyond the Nano’s pricing and quality that caused this fire!!!

    The possibility of a rear engine cannot be the cause of the fire!!!! Globally renouned Ferraris, Porshes also have rear mounted engine set-ups. And they’re simply the best.

    See and btw, Tata is a very new car manufacturer. Much newer than the Toyota’s, Honda’s of the lott. Are you guy aware of what happended to vehicle they sold??????

  • lalit kumar

    It is really sad and unfortunate Nano is dragged into this needless controversy with utter disregard to propriety and whether all this is believable. Among the multiple roles played by media, the most important one is to enable readers make intelligent choices. Some is just making an attempt to tarnish the image of Tata who have created one of the largest conglomerates

  • Tim

    On the face of it this is an accidental incident that nearly cost the life of the driver and owner. Should we assume its real, surely we have to assume yes, should we be alarmed perhaps, lets wait for more detail from Tata. I dont want to suggest guilt by association but Toyota’s unfortunate experience suggests that being the least bit slow to assume customer problems are real can be quite a poor choice of action. (look at Jack Welch’s interview on Toyota’s woes recorded Tuesday 23rd Mar on CNBC)

    It may not be easy to accept the suggestion that Tata designed and manufactured a vehicle that caught fire when brand new and without warning. But please can we avoid denial and citicism of the journalist. A Tata on fire on the side of the road is news so it gets reported, the investigative journalism happens after that. If its real or not the consumer’s safety is involved so consumers have a right to know both the news and the investigation. Whether we like to imagine its real or not keeping it from consumers would be thoroughly irresponsible. What the consumer does with the news is up to them.

    Not only are many 1000’s of precious lives at stake but Tata’s Brand as an automotive manufacturer. In today’s world high consumers are fussy and word travels fast making high quality and dependable reliability a really big deal.

  • Pingback: Tata Nano up in flames, again | Car Advice | News | Reviews

  • Giselle

    crazy!!

  • Pingback: Tata reacts, orders probe for latest Nano fire case | Indian Autos blog

  • http://www.clockwheelblog.com/ xmizanx

    lucky they live….
    hope not will happen again

  • anirudh

    what are the chances?! insurance agent’s car catching fire…in all probability it is corporate conspiracy to give the nano and tatas bad publicity…not fair….

    i also allege biased blogging here….look how the post ends

    “The biggest disadvantage of placing the engine at the rear is lack of proper cooling. Could this incident have happened due to the inefficient design of the cooling system? “……….?????

    it is akin to this logic:
    Que: Why Do We See Lightning Before We Hear Thunder? Ans: Because the eyes is before the ears…..

    to the reporter:- please follow up on the cars that caught fire, do some investigative journalism, posting that a car caught fire is incomplete if you have’nt followed up on the investigation and the details as to why it caught fire….