Exploding Kona Electric

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

  1. Been over a week, wonder whats taking so long with the investigation results?
  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Real life isn't a TV show, where every police or fire marshal investigation gets resolved in an hour.

    Kenny Poole, Frederick County fire marshal said, "Not everything is like it works on TV. You have the ones [investigations] that go for days, months, years."
    -- "Major fire investigations can take time to get answers"
    electriceddy likes this.
  3. Just hope it doesn't get buried like that one in Finland:
  4. dborn

    dborn New Member

  5. mikeselectricstuff

    mikeselectricstuff Active Member

    Way too early for anything to appear there - the latest is June - they need to establish the cause, and whether there was any defect.
    Bugblndr likes this.
  6. Don't anticipate anything before several months!

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
  7. TheLight75

    TheLight75 Active Member

    It seems unusual to have not heard any preliminary reports yet after the accident. Months? Hyundai's vested interest can't wait months - so many opportunities for competitors to use it to market against: "Hey, our EV's don't explode like a Kona!"

    Looking at the pictures again, it doesn't look like there's much front end fire damage. The charging port is unscathed which tells me the explosion didn't happen in the front compartment otherwise the charging port would have been blown apart. Perhaps the front was removed so the tow driver could better hook the frame to drag it onto the truck? The back looks like it was charred plenty and clearly the fire burned significantly back here. I don't think this was a battery fire since the article says nothing about how difficult it was to extinguish and that it burned for hours (30 men were able to put out the fire completely). Also, if it was a battery fire I would expect the doors to be heavily burned/scorched along the lines of where the battery is located.

    The inside of the Kona is clearly toasted and likely was the origin of the fire/explosion. What if Cosentino left a 20-lb propane cylinder in the back of his Kona for a couple hours? The article says it was hot that day and very hot in the garage. A 20-lb propane tank will vent a small amount of propane if the cylinder becomes over-pressurized due to heat. If the cylinder is in a car with all doors closed & windows shut, there will be a buildup of propane in the vehicle. Add a spark somewhere (either due to the car's electrical) or an ignition source in the garage and the Kona becomes a bomb.

    My money is on this scenario.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  8. Well, Tesla won't, given their past record. And not sure if the others dare, since they also use Li Ion batteries. Last thing they want is to reinforce the public image that they are dangerous.

    Not sure what Hyundai would say if it was indeed a defect. Unless there is a feasible fix, might just have to live with the reality that Li Ion batteries can catch fire. Car driving in general is still very dangerous (statistically), and biggest cause is (and will always) be the nut behind the wheel.
  9. dborn

    dborn New Member

    Yeah, I didn't consider this was a governmental agency ;) and they also probably want to let the "dust settle" first since anything to do with EVs has a tendency of being blown out of proportion (pun not intended). I suppose their only concern is if the public is at risk or not. I'll keep an eye on that link I posted previously, in case something eventually appears there.

    As much as I would also like to believe that the Kona is only an innocent victim here and that the fire was caused by external sources, I strongly doubt that scenario as I believe it would have been known already if this was a possibility and the firefighter's first impressions were that no other source was present in that garage that could have caused the fire.

    My impressions (pure speculation) are that a short-circuit somewhere in the engine bay or inside the car caused the fire, then the heat started affecting the traction battery which started venting explosive gases, this caused the explosion that blew a hole in the roof and sent the garage door across the street. The firemen were able to put out the fire as if it wasn't a li-Ion fire and this is why the bottom of the car doesn't look as damaged as other parts of the car?

    I just hope we eventually get the official cause and if anything needs to be corrected in the Kona, it will be done rapidly to new cars coming out :) and as a recall to existing ones on the road. Yes, accidents and fires/explosions will happen but was this a freak accident or does it have a strong potential of being a widespread problem given the right circumstances?? THAT's what I want to know.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  10. TheLight75

    TheLight75 Active Member

    The picture I attached shows the remnants of an ICE car that had a propane tank explode in the back on May 1st in Eugene, Oregon. This looks VERY similar to the Kona EV explosion. Similarly, the rear tires were consumed in flames while the fronts are still intact. I think the placement of a cylinder in the cargo area has a lot to do with why the rear tires caught fire but the fronts did not.

    Attached Files:

  11. Well, has there been a confirmed official explanation for the Tesla that burned in a Chinese parking garage? How long has that been? Maybe I just haven't heard the official statement?

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
  12. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

  13. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

  14. Wonder what the timeline was between the module venting and complete incineration ?
  15. This latest Tesla fire in Russia is not good.
    If this becomes more frequent, could see a backlash (media driven) against EVs and a govt crackdown with more regs (and expense).

    I am just waiting for some of my friends to hear about this, and warn me. I already heard from them about how EVs hurt the environment with their battery production (media driven). And some govts are just looking for an excuse to limit EV usage...
  16. Oh, you know this is coming. One of my best friends an electrical engineer already voiced his opinion on how EVs are potential rolling bombs, eluding to the significant potential energy stored in a relatively volatile chemistry. Its not that its untrue but seriously we have managed to overlook or deal with the explosive nature of ICE vehicles for decades, how is this any different? I think this comes back to people fearing new things and things they don't understand.
    Jolee and Esprit1st like this.
  17. Unfortunately also, the stories about cheap Chinese scooter types catching fire doesn't help with the public perception about Li Ion batteries. I also have 3 ebikes (conversions) so spent some time on those forums. And unfortunately a lot of fires there too, with cheap imports with inadequate BMS battery systems and chargers. There are some people that only charge their bike batteries inside old wood stoves.
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Good grief. This non-news is just one more indication that the media is obsessed with Tesla.

    It was an ordinary car fire, not a battery pack fire; a fire of the same sort that happens hundreds or thousands of times every single day.

    It's also entirely unclear whether or not the Tesla car was under the control of Autopilot, despite the headlines.

    The highly misleading and sensationalize description of the car "exploding" after this accident was things inside the car causing small explosions as they were engulfed in flames; things such as air bags. As others have pointed out, you can find plenty of videos of that same thing happening in car fires; this has nothing whatsoever to do with the car being an EV, and news reports do not describe such cars as "exploding".

    Once again we see Tesla singled out for unfair criticism as though what they are doing is somehow bad even though it's an industry standard.

    Well of course it's going to become more frequent, because more and more EVs are on the roads every year. Hopefully it won't be long until the media loses interest in EV fires, as they become more commonplace... just as the media has no interest at all in the far, far more frequent gasmobile fires. Even on an individual basis, gasmobiles are far more likely to catch fire following an accident than is an EV.

    The lesson which should be learned is that if you're worried about the danger of a car fire, then you should definitely buy and drive a BEV. Unfortunately, the sensationalism by the news media is sending exactly the opposite -- false -- message.

    eastpole and electriceddy like this.
  19. Sometimes small explosions are beneficial to cars:

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