Concerns have been raised following a spate of recent reports of electric vehicles catching fire when left charging in garages.
According to the Washington Post, one family in San Ramon was asleep late last year when their Tesla Model S parked in the garage caught fire and consumed their home in the blaze.
This is an issue that is causing concern, with a number of electric vehicle makers warning owners not to leave their vehicles charging unattended in certain circumstances or sitting fully charged in garages.
Automakers including General Motors, Audi, and Hyundai have recalled electric vehicles over fire risks in recent years and have warned consumers about the associated dangers. Last year, Chevrolet advised owners not to charge their vehicles overnight or keep their fully charged vehicles in garages.
The automaker recalled more than 60,000 of its Bolt electric vehicles over concerns that they could spontaneously catch fire while parked with full batteries or while charging. Chevrolet had received reports of five fires without prior impact damage. Hyundai issued a recall in March for its Kona electric vehicles for fire dangers.
More Intense Fires
Safety experts note that when electric vehicles burn, the fires can burn with greater intensity and for much longer, which means the damage can be worse. According to Tesla’s website, battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish. Tesla owners have reported a number of fires involving older-model vehicles though not all under the same circumstances. The Washington Post has documented at least five fires involving the Model S, including the blaze on Dec. 30, 2020, which burned down the home in San Ramon.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating Tesla’s battery management system since 2019. The agency also opened an investigation into Chevy Bolt fires in October 2020 before the initial recall issued by the automaker.
It is indeed fortunate that these types of vehicle fires have not seriously injured or killed people. But automakers owe it to consumers to look into the types of batteries they use and the way these vehicles are designed as they try to push more electric vehicles into the market. Safety should always come first. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective vehicle, contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.