Car battery explosions have the potential to cause severe injuries ranging from acid burns to death. There are many different reasons why a car battery can explode. Common causes include a manufacturing defect, design defect, or improper maintenance and handling of the battery. Victims who have been injured and families of those killed by an exploding car battery should contact a reputable product liability lawyer in Delaware as soon as possible. At McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the exact cause of the accident and hold all responsible parties accountable.
Electric Vehicle Battery Explosions
- A recent incident in Indianapolis involved a Tesla S battery pack that caught on fire when a speeding driver crashed her vehicle into a tree. The 27-year-old driver died on the scene and her 44-year-old male passenger was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Firefighters at the scene had trouble dealing with the fire because the Tesla battery pack is made of many hundreds of cells containing a flammable liquid electrolyte. In the event of a crash, the cells can break apart and burst into flames. Firefighters at the crash scene in Indianapolis had to put out multiple fires of burning lithium battery fragments spread over 150 yards.
- In 2012, GM voluntarily recalled 8,000 Chevy Volts to add additional protection against battery fires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported instances of the Volt battery catching fire many weeks after crash testing had been done on the car. The crash testing damaged the outer compartment of the battery and the coolant lines. More than three weeks later the battery started smoking and then caught fire.
Conventional Car Battery Explosions
Common reasons for car battery explosions include:
- Defects – A manufacturing defect such as a loose connection can cause an explosion if an electrical arc is formed that ignites the hydrogen inside the battery.
- Attaching jumper cables in the wrong order – Jumper cables must always be attached to the dead battery first and the live battery second or there is a risk of creating a dangerous electrical arc.
- Using tools to test batteries – Laying a screw driver across the battery terminals can produce an arc to show if the battery is still producing energy. This is extremely dangerous because the current sent through the screw driver can be high enough to produce an explosion.
- Crashes – A high speed car accident can damage the car battery to the point that it catches fire and explodes.
- Battery clamps – Clamps must be properly secured. A loose clamp can allow corrosion that leads to the possibility of an arc ignition source.
- Improper maintenance of electrolyte levels – A conductive bridge can form between two plates when electrolyte levels are low. If this is the case, and a high current demand is placed on the battery, as happens when using jumper cables, it can arc and ignite the hydrogen gas causing a violent explosion.
Delaware Product Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Injured Victims of Defective Car Batteries
A car battery explosion can leave victims permanently scarred and disfigured, unable to work or enjoy their favorite activities. Delaware product liability lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have decades of experience pursuing compensation for those injured by defective products. We work hard to obtain maximum compensation for injured victims and their families. Call 302-888-1221 today or contact us online to discuss your case for free. Our main offices are in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware serving clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.