November 27th, 2011, 05:20 AM #1
Chevy Volt Battery...Burn, Baby, Burn
Earlier this month, US officials said they had launched an investigation into electric vehicle safety after a damaged lithium battery in a Volt caught fire three weeks after a crash test.
Nobody was hurt in the May fire, which damaged property at a government testing facility in Wisconsin.
The NHTSA then sought to recreate the May test, carrying out three tests last week on Volt lithium-ion battery packs, intentionally damaging the battery compartment and breaking its coolant line.
In two of the tests, the batteries caught fire, it said.
"NHTSA is therefore opening a safety defect investigation of Chevy Volts, which could experience a battery-related fire following a crash," the safety watchdog said in a statement.
"Chevy Volt owners whose vehicles have not been in a serious crash do not have reason for concern," the statement stressed.
There has so far been no recall, and the NHTSA said it had no reports of real-life crashes that led to battery-related fires in Chevy Volts or other vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Still "the agency is concerned that damage to the Volt's batteries as part of three tests that are explicitly designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios have resulted in fire," it stressed.
"If NHTSA identifies an unreasonable risk to safety, the agency will take immediate action to notify consumers and ensure that GM communicates with current vehicle owners," the statement added.
GM insists the vehicle is "safe and does not present undue risk as part of normal operation or immediately after a severe crash," and said it supported further testing by the NHTSA.
"GM and the agency's focus and research continues to be on battery performance, handling, storage and disposal after a crash or other significant event, like a fire, to better serve first and secondary responders," said GM's chief engineer for electric vehicles, Jim Federico.
"There have been no reports of comparable incidents in the field."
The Bomb is ticking, IMO ......
Chevy Volt may be worth only $17,000 after 36 months
Report: Some dealers price gouging Chevy Volt up to $65K
Last edited by pickel; November 27th, 2011 at 05:57 AM.
November 27th, 2011, 03:51 PM #2
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Pickel, don't look now, but other cars run on...
(wait for it)
are you ready?
You aren't gonna believe it...
HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE LIQUID GASOLINE!!!!!
Gasoline explodes. Batteries catch fire. Hate to tell you, but it happens. Car companies recall cars all the time for fuel tank issues. The Ford Pinto ring a bell? How about the Crown Victoria? How about the Toyota gas pedal recall? Have you noticed that most technology companies like HP and Dell end up having to recall laptop batteries due to fire?
This is nothing new. And honestly, which would you rather be in: a car with a gas tank that can spontaneously catch fire because the guy next to you at the gas pump is on his cell phone, or a car with a battery that has the slight possibility of catching fire after a wreck (in which case, wouldn't you take it to a shop and have it looked over)?
Also, cars already have batteries in them, mostly lead-acid. Guess what? Those batteries can explode too!
Unless you want to go back to riding on the backs of asses, you must accept the risks that are inherent with modern technology. The fact of the matter is a gasoline powered car is much more likely to kill you compared to a battery powered car.Good job, friend-of-friends!
November 27th, 2011, 11:00 PM #3Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing
November 28th, 2011, 12:29 AM #4
I should have said over 16 million vehicles recalled since '99 with vehicle fires having contributed to several deaths and hundreds of instances of property damage:
On April 25, 1996, Ford Motor Company recalled 7.9 million vehicles for defective ignition switches that could short circuit and start fires in parked vehicles with the engine off because the switch circuit was hot or powered at all times. In a virtual replay on October 9, 2009, Ford Motor Company announced the last of its six recalls for defective Cruise Control Deactivation Switches that suffered from the same failure mode as the earlier ignition switch – an electrical switch in a continually powered, non-fused circuit. (In both cases, the suspect switch was made by Texas Instruments.) This latest recall in the series brought the total number of vehicles involved to 14.9 million. The switches, which run continuously even when the vehicle is not in operation, are prone to fail over time and cause electrical fires. One side of the switch is electrical and the other side is flammable hydraulic fluid, a combination conducive to fire. Fires in these vehicles have caused numerous house and garage fires, and resulted in deaths in several states.
Ford had knowledge of the cruise control switch defect for many years before 2009. The first recall related to these switches (99V-124) was announced by Ford on May 13, 1999, pursuant to NHTSA investigations PE98-055, upgraded to EA99-006. Ford agreed to recall 263,000 1992-93 Lincoln Town Cars built from November 4, 1991, through November 30, 1992, and the 1992-93 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis built from February 5, 1992, through November 30, 1992. More than 100 complaints were identified by Ford and NHTSA during the 1998-99 investigations, yet Ford continued to use the same switches in vehicles though model year 2004 vehiclesOne of those is a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Blake Washington, a 4-year-old girl who died in a house fire that started when the family's Ford caught on fire in an attached garage.
The suit, which is pending in federal court in Atlanta, alleges that the Jan. 1, 2004 fire was caused by a switch defect in the family's 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Chalos said the family was sleeping when the fire started in the garage of their split-level ranch. Blake's parents and two older children escaped, but Blake died in the fire.
Chalos said Ford has known of the problem with the switches since 1999, but was slow to recall all the affected vehicles.
"There have been many, many families that have lost their vehicles and lost their homes, and some have lost their loved ones," Chalos said. "A recall certainly doesn't solve the problem for these folks.
Ford needs to be accountable to the families that have been impacted by fires caused by Ford vehicles and they need to make it right by those families."
The case is expected to go to trial sometime next year.
'Not going to solve the problem'
Robert Ammons, a personal injury lawyer and head of The Ammons Law Firm in Houston, agreed that the latest recall wouldn't solve the problem.
"If they finally got around to recalling them all, then it should remediate the problem," Ammons said.
"You've not going to solve the problem, though, because once you put out millions of defective products, you can't get them all back, particularly with models that are older and have been through multiple owners.
"Locating the current owner is going to very difficult," he said. "You're never going to get notice to these people."
Ammons has represented families in two wrongful death suits involving Ford speed control switches.
One involved an older Arkansas man who died of a heart attack while trying to put out a fire in his Ford that was allegedly caused by a faulty switch; the other suit was filed on behalf of the family of Darhletta Mohlis, 74, an Iowa woman who died from injuries from a fire in her home in 2005.
The suit claimed her death was the result of the failure of a cruise control deactivation switch inside her 1996 F-150 truck.
Both suits were settled for confidential amounts.Since 1999, the Ford Motor Company has recalled over 10.4 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars, SUVs and pickup trucks due to faulty cruise control switches, which can corrode overtime and catch fire. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration's (NHTSA) has reported receiving 1,472 complaints connected to the defect, including 65 fires. The number of Ford fires reported to NHTSA is believed to be far less than the number that have occurred. The national law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, the sponsor of this website, has received over 325 complaints of fires in Ford vehicles linked to the speed control deactivation system.
And why, mad1... haven't you been wondering about that instead of jousting with shadows?
November 28th, 2011, 11:28 AM #5
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Lets put it this way I guess it is possible but rare. Battery fires I would suspect would be much less rapid than gasoline fires though. So I would bank on Batteries being safer.
November 29th, 2011, 02:35 AM #6
Now on the other hand, Chrysler/Dodge did have pedal recalls back in the 90s that was ruled a design error.
November 29th, 2011, 02:39 AM #7
Also, don't forget the whole Ferrari 458 catching on fire while driving down the road incidents. That was due to improper heat shielding, and nothing at all related to it being a gasoline or battery problem. There are thousands of ways for cars to catch fire.
November 29th, 2011, 02:48 AM #8
I guess GM will have a 'fire sale' on Chevy Dolts?
And Gomer wants to add one more unsafe vehicle to the mix...Obama: The rich have the Federal Reserve and the poor have Harry Reid... LOL. Life really is unfair!
November 29th, 2011, 09:52 AM #9
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Why is this more dangerous than gasoline cars? is the incident rate of fire hire than that of gas powered cars?
I know if you park on leaves you can set them on fire with the Catalytic converter.
Originally Posted by Yahoo answers
November 29th, 2011, 11:17 PM #10
November 30th, 2011, 12:35 AM #11
November 30th, 2011, 01:26 AM #12
Actually the Volt uses a Lithium Ion battery while the Prius uses a Nickel Metal Hydride battery.
Lithium Ion batteries are more susceptible to overheating and catching fire compared to NMH batteries. The reason Lithium Ion batteries are so expensive is because of the cost of all of the safety features required to prevent a LIB from catching on fire. NHM batteries are much cheaper and easier to prevent from catching on Fire.
The new Plug In Prius will have a Lithium Ion battery though.
November 30th, 2011, 11:43 AM #13
Most of the problems with gasoline come from external sources.
Lithium ion batteries, I understand catch fire with lithium is exposed to the moisture in the air.
Personally, I think we are at the limits of battery technology for awhile and the more exotic we get, the less forgiving the technology is.Obama: The rich have the Federal Reserve and the poor have Harry Reid... LOL. Life really is unfair!
November 30th, 2011, 06:50 PM #14
So moister in the air isn't an external source?
November 30th, 2011, 08:18 PM #15
November 30th, 2011, 09:59 PM #16
December 1st, 2011, 10:38 AM #17
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I accidentally spilled a bit of coffee on my laptop battery (LITHIUM!!!) yesterday. Should I call my insurance agent? Do I need to worry about my premiums going up?Good job, friend-of-friends!
December 1st, 2011, 04:33 PM #18GM willing to buy back Volts
NEW YORK (AP) - General Motors will buy Chevrolet Volts back from any owner who is afraid the electric cars will catch fire, the company's CEO said Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, CEO Dan Akerson insisted that the cars are safe, but said the company will purchase the Volts because it wants to keep customers happy. Three fires have broken out in Volts after side-impact crash tests done by the federal government.
Akerson said that if necessary, GM will recall the more than 6,000 Volts now on the road in the U.S. and repair them once the company and federal safety regulators figure out what caused the fires.Imagine a world where dogs took bad owners to the pound...
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