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Prius caught on fire!

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Andy Mack, Feb 15, 2024.

  1. Andy Mack

    Andy Mack New Member

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    Hey everybody. I just signed up to see if anyone else has had the same problem I’ve recently had. I have a 2012 Prius. Recently I was driving along and smelled a little smoke coming from behind my back passenger side seat. I was luckily right next to my house. I pulled over and tried to figure out where it was coming from. By the time I did, there were actual flames coming up inside a plastic tank of some sort behind that seat. I ran inside and got a fire extinguisher. By the time it was put out, that tank and a bunch of wires were all burnt up. Now the car won’t start or do anything.

    It only has 60,000 miles on it, and it’s always been serviced regularly, so I was hoping there was a recall I didn’t know about. The dealership told me there wasn’t, and that it could have been a fluke caused by a mouse or something chewing through some wires (which I don’t believe). He wasn’t even able to tell me exactly what was wrong with it, and said I’d need to take it to their body shop department to take everything apart to find out the issue. So it’s sounding like the car may be totaled if there really is no recall (insurance wouldn’t cover it)

    Anybody else had this happen? If so, anything that can be done? If not, any recommendations on getting some sort of money out of it at least? Any help appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Please share a link to pictures so we can see what you're talking about. In general there's more Hybrid car fires than regular gas engine car fires and also more than EV car fires because a hybrid car has both systems, so more failure points. But still very rare.
     
  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    In terms of repair, find a junk yard with those parts and start swapping them out until car starts running normally again.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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    Trying to figure out what that might be. The hybrid vent system air inlet is at bottom of seat back there. No "tank" I can think of: some plastic ductwork heading to the hybrid battery fan.
     
  5. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Senior Member

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    Yes I want to see a picture of that back seat trunk area whatever the heck My name here at gmail.com and they'll be directly there can't wait to see
     
  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Yeah... The description makes no sense. And I bet they don't return to update us. That happens too often!
     
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  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Hybrid battery fan? Only thing I remember being right behind the passenger rear seat is the fan and HV battery assembly and the ducts/plastic covers. Or the HV battery voltage sensor module smoked where the sensor wires plug in. I don't see nearly the level of corrosion on the Gen 3 module pins as is normally seen on the Gen 2s tho.
     
    #7 TMR-JWAP, Feb 15, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2024
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    gosh that's a bit more fire-y than most old Prius stories!

    Glad you're okay! Do you have comprehensive coverage on the vehicle? That is probably the best route to a real claim. Good luck!
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    someone plant a tank of volatiles back there? any enemies?

    insurance won't cover a car fire?

    mice can be an issue
     
  10. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    I used to say that about corrosion in Gen3 too... But last Month I installed a Lithium pack in a 2011 Prius that was previously owned by a roof repair and gutter cleaning service and interior only dried out in the PNW in Summer months and new owner kept it parked outside and it had roof leaks at the seams.

    What's worse, Toyota won't sell brand new replacement voltage sensor wire harness for Gen3, you have to buy a brand new pack to get that. So I'm working with http://www.acenbay.com and we're testing prototypes of a batch of Gen2 voltage harnesses that he's selling for less than Toyota. He'll have 500 of them, which is minimum order. If all goes well, he'll eventually order 500 for Gen3 too.

    PXL_20240127_190712474.RAW-01.COVER.jpg
     
  11. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    They're right when they say it sounds like a mouse chewed up. The wiring. Sounds like is not a diagnosis and they're not making a diagnosis without inspecting it. But they are right. It does sound like a mouse chewed up wiring. That would be the first thing to think of when inspecting it
     
  12. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Well, the fuel tank and float sensor is under the rear seat, driver's side area.

    SM-G781V ?
     
  13. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    And is also under thick sheet metal that's designed as a firewall and is required to have a specific amount of burn time before it fails and is not inside the car at all, but on the outside.
     
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  14. Andy Mack

    Andy Mack New Member

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    I have returned and yes I will update. Having it towed back from the dealer and will post pics asap

    I’ll post pics as soon as I get it back from the dealer. Not having them do anything to it for now at least. Thanks for all the responses!
     
    #14 Andy Mack, Feb 21, 2024
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2024
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