Exploding Kona Electric

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by apu, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. According to Data from the National fire protection association auto accidents only accounted for four percent of car fires. Fuel leaks and electrical failure represent most car fires, presumably some of these happen in garages.

    This is a pretty good video that discuss the matter in a reasonable manner.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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  2. brulaz

    brulaz Active Member

    Thanks, I wasn't aware of that 4% figure.
    More info:https://www.kelnerlaw.com/blog/2017/10/5-common-causes-of-car-fires.shtml
     
  3. engnrng

    engnrng New Member

    Remember that Canada version of Kona has a heat pump, US version does not. Just read that there is some controversy that the refrigerant, R1234YF, used in the Kona heat pump can be mildly flammable in high concentrations in closed spaces. This is a very small garage and if it was hot inside, it is possible the heat pump system could have vented over a relief valve because of the heat. Speculation on my part, but it appears that the explosion may have originated under the front hood. It is also likely that such an explosion could then ignite the battery materials, nearby plastic fascia, etc., which could explain the other observable burn marks. Just saying, the explosion might not have been caused by the battery pack, but it certainly looks like the batteries got involved at some point.
     
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  4. dborn

    dborn New Member

    A heat pump is just a reversible A/C so unless US versions don't have A/C, this same refrigerant should be present also for your models.
    This is an interesting theory because the firefighters seemed to "easily" put out the fire and my understanding is that Li-ion fires burn so intensely that you almost need to let them burn out.
    BTW, this happened about 1/2h away from where I am.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  5. engnrng

    engnrng New Member

    Yes, but the heat pump is actually a different system in the Canada cars than in the US cars. My understanding is that it is a separate system from the cabin A/C and therefore has its own seals, more hose connections, and its own container of refrigerant. Probably doubles the potential number of failure points with regards to the A/C. I agree with your thought that the same chemical is used, I am saying with a second system that is added for the cold weather package, there is more to possibly go wrong. And, great observation about the ease of putting out the fire. Hey, dborn, let us know what you find when you visit the site and talk with the owner! ;)

    dborn, do you have a Canada version Kona? Can you post a picture of the front compartment? Can you identify the Canada heat pump?
     
  6. I seriously doubt the Canadian Konas have a second compressor, evaporator, condenser and refrigerant just for heat production. Heat pumps are simply AC compressors can do both cooling and heating mainly with an addition of reversing valve and associated electronics, software.
     
  7. I would be interested to know if the car had been driven just before the fire. Perhaps with the hot garage, the TMS coolant heat exchange (rad) was not cooling enough to keep the battery from overheating.
     
  8. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that the car will be shipped to Hyundai for analysis and they will make a determination of what caused it. Based on similar incidents with Teslas, it's likely some kind of battery failure.. Lithium Batteries (a very very small percentage of them) have exploded before.. I had a Lithium Battery from a cell phone explode once as it was damaged.. (lost the phone while mowing the lawn with my riding mower and did not notice that it had fallen down and then I drove over the phone with my riding mower and it chopped it into pieces).. It shot the phone for about 20 feet and the battery came out and started smoking and shortly after, it blew up.. It was so hot after the explosion that it took hours before I was able to touch it..
    Especially if the batteries get damaged, they might blow up..
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  9. I agree I suspect this was a catastrophic battery failure, could have just been as simple as an internal short from a manufacturing defect, who knows. I gonna bet the car is now owned by an insurance company and will be passed along to whomever wants to pay the most for it. Hyundai will likely ignore it until there is a trend of failures. This is the typical modus operandi of car manufacturers.
     
  10. Depends what defines "trend"
    https://insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/exploding-ev.6316/#post-70625
    This would be the first (undocumented) so apparently we are up to 2 so far
    Will get Domenick to merge these 2 threads
     
  11. EnerG

    EnerG Active Member

  12. Yes 2 cars, one in Finland and one in Canada.
     
  13. EnerG

    EnerG Active Member

    Thanks, I had missed that post in the other thread.
    Now I will change my routine and on very hot days will park outside until the car has a chance to cool down for a while.

    It would be useful to have battery temperatures shown on the EV information screen.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that the car will be shipped to Hyundai for analysis and they will make a determination of what caused it. Based on similar incidents with Teslas, it's likely some kind of battery failure.. Lithium Batteries (a very very small percentage of them) has exploded before.. I had a Lithium Battery from a cell phone explode once as it was damaged.. (lost the phone while mowing the lawn with my riding mower and did not notice that it had fallen down and then I drove over the phone with my riding mower and it chopped it into pieces).. It shot the phone for about 20 feed and the battery came out and started smoking and shortly after, it blew up.. It was so hot after the explosion that it took hours before I was able to touch it..
    Especially if the batteries get damaged, they might blow up..
    I doubt that car temperature has anything to do with it. There are Kona Electrics in Nevada and no issues there despite 115+ degree temperatures..
     
  15. Hopefully Domenick will merge these threads to avoid duplicate threads.
    I strongly agree on the temp indication on the screen or as a gauge , although obviously wouldn't help in this situation if the problem caused by loose connection external to battery (somewhere else in the HV system).
    What would be a welcome addition to the gauge indication, is an alert sent to PC or phone to advise of an overheat issue via Bluelink to enable the owner to at least react before causing property damage or injury.
     
  16. dborn

    dborn New Member

    The poor guy probably has the media camping all over his front lawn so I'll probably cut him some slack and just wait for the official report (not that I wouldn't be tempted to drive by his house...

    No, I don't have a Kona (yet). I put a deposit on one at the end of June but I don't expect to receive it until March or April of 2020... But if there's alot of cancellations, I might move up the waiting list... ;) This is not reassuring though...
     
  17. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    According to this report, Hyundai is investigating the explosion as well as Transport Canada. Hopefully, they'll have some news before too long.

    I know it would seem that the battery is what exploded, but I've never heard of one creating this sort of force before. It's a bit of a head-scratcher for me. I've seen plenty of battery forced to burn or "explode," but nothing even close to this.

    As someone pointed out, it does seem as though the battery is involved because the rear tire if burned. The scorching of the driver's door indicates flames coming from below as well. Still, that doesn't explain the front end being destroyed the way it is or the hood being blown off hard enough to create a hole in the roof.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    In a closed garage it does not take much when a fire starts to heat the air and cause enough expansion to blow out a garage door. If it was the battery that caused this I can imagine a scenario similar to That Tesla in the parking garage in China a couple months ago (which was also unplugged at the time)
     
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  19. I'm glad someone is on it. I was thinking Transport Canada as well but its great to see acknowledgement from Hyundai also .
     
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