Chevy Volt catches on fire.

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Zanrok, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Zanrok

    Zanrok Casual Prius Lover

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    176
    27
    0
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    II
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    19,871
    1,139
    9
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Damn, EV's do not need a black eye like this. Hopefully they find something non-Li battery related as the cause. But even if/when they do it may be too late to prevent the usual uninformed viral story to spread that EVs are dangerous.
     
  3. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,949
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I'll be interested in the root cause as well. Volt was involved in a garage fire before. After the fire was put out, Volt's battery pack rekindled. I am curious to know if they are related.
     
  4. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,508
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    As if gasoline cars never caught fire. :eek:
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Zanrok

    Zanrok Casual Prius Lover

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    176
    27
    0
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    II
    True, but gasoline cars dont usually catch on fire 3 weeks after a crash occurs. :eek:
     
  6. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    2,382
    1,300
    0
    Location:
    California, USA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Chevy Volt
    .... 3 weeks after the test car was totaled in the crash test. Subsequent crash tests did not recreate the fire. The normal post-crash safety protocols documented for the Volt were not followed as they would have been by a dealer after a real crash.
     
  7. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,949
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Here is the Emergency Response Guide for Volt.

    Which part was not followed that resulted in the fire? Pulling the MSD?
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    10,850
    4,618
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    But several gasoline car recalls for ignition and cruise control switch problems involved uncrashed vehicles catching fire after sitting cold and unused for hours or days.

    Concerning the latest incidents, at least there are multiple competing designs out in the market. That will make it harder for flaws confined to any one specific design to seriously taint the whole field.
     
  9. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    2,437
    514
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    GM Volt Fire Said to Prompt U.S. Probe of Lithium Batteries

    GM Volt Fire Said to Prompt U.S. Probe of Lithium Batteries - Businessweek

    "U.S. auto-safety regulators are scrutinizing the safety of lithium-ion batteries that power all plug-in electric vehicles after a General Motors Co. Chevrolet Volt caught fire, people familiar with the probe said. The regulators have asked automakers, including GM, Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co., that sell or have plans to sell vehicles with lithium-ion batteries about the batteries’ fire risk, four people familiar with the inquiry said. The Volt caught fire while parked at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing center in Wisconsin, three weeks after a side-impact crash test May 12, said an agency official. The official, as well as the three other people familiar with the inquiry, said they couldn’t be named because the investigation isn’t public."
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. MapOfTazifosho

    MapOfTazifosho Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    41
    6
    0
    Location:
    Midwest
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Are electric cars safe?

    While new technology easily captures headlines, safety is a relative concept. The vehicle you currently use to ferry your brats to soccer practice and back is likely powered by a highly-combustible, cancer-causing liquid stored in a thin plastic or metal tank just a few inches below or behind your children's seats. The alloys used in various components of that car contain lead, and you'll find kill-you-quickly acid just under the hood.


    One of the most popular family vehicles ever, the old jellybean Dodge Voyager/Chrysler Town & Country was rated one of the least-safe vehicles ever tested by Euro NCAP, yet millions of families still obliviously cruise down the highway in one. Speaking of the highway, since when was a large number of 4,000-lb. metal boxes driving at each other at high speeds, piloted by amateurs with virtually no training, considered safe? Throw in some batteries that may catch fire three weeks after being crash tested and left outside in the elements into the mix and the safety needle doesn't really budge.
    The NHTSA actually agrees, stating,
    "based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe the Volt or other electric vehicles are at a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. In fact, all vehicles — both electric and gasoline-powered — have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash. As manufacturers continue to develop vehicles of any kind — electric, gasoline, or diesel — it is critical that they take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of drivers and first responders both during and after a crash."
    But, the NHTSA's Volt fire and a few isolated cases of electric vehicles combusting after home charging mishaps is going to create media headlines. Fox will probably blame it on President Obama, President Obama will probably blame it on American business, and Rick Perry will forget what vehicle it was that caught on fire in his next debate.

    :cheer2:
     
  11. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    13,867
    4,488
    54
    Location:
    South OC So Cal & Nashville, TN
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    It's especially troublesome that Ford, Mitsu, Nissan, and Teslas (powered by lithium) are being investigated now, just because GM's battery has issues. Guilt by association.

    .
     
  12. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,949
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I guess Toyota and Fisker as well. I hope this doesn't turn into "Lithium witch hunt" because different chemistries have different safety properties.

    Source

    So the fire broke out in June? Why did it take 5 more months for the news to come out?
     
  13. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    985
    211
    0
    Location:
    Delaware
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Just remember, if you are involved in a side impact crash in an EV, exit the vehicle within the first three weeks.
     
    6 people like this.
  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    262
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Is bad PR mainly because it's on the news now. Really though it doesn't worry me.
     
  15. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    2,382
    1,300
    0
    Location:
    California, USA
    Vehicle:
    2011 Chevy Volt
    That document is for training emergency responders. The Volt service manual documents what should be done to inspect the high voltage systems following a collision in Volume 2, section 11, page 332. After a collision as severe as in the side-impact crash test, the battery pack should be removed from the vehicle.
     
  16. Zanrok

    Zanrok Casual Prius Lover

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    176
    27
    0
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    II
    :D
     
  17. kev12345

    kev12345 Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    68
    24
    1
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Damn. Looks like GM managed to kill the electric car again...
     
  18. kgall

    kgall Active Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    957
    129
    2
    Location:
    Ark
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Re: GM Volt Fire Said to Prompt U.S. Probe of Lithium Batteries

    Interesting.
    I remember an article in a magazine for fire departments a couple of years ago about how to protect first responders and accident victims where crashes involved hybrids. But I don't think that involved this particular fire issue.
    I hope it turns out Li-Ion batteries can be made safe (or are safe) in crashes. It's a useful technology.
    Ken
     
  19. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,058
    3,007
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Slow burning fire?

    :rolleyes:

    Tom
     
  20. J5A

    J5A Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    592
    83
    0
    Location:
    Severna Park, MD
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Awaiting the results of the review.
    Was the Volt under constant video surveillance leading up to the fire?
     
Loading...