Trouble Brewing For Electric Car Makers Over Fires, Accidents

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Automakers are spending billions of dollars on recalls and fixes for issues related to electric car models, CNBC has highlighted in a recent article. And while electronic vehicles (EVs) only make up about 2% to 3% of new vehicle sales in the U.S. annually, the article stated, the recent reports of fires as well as the increasing number of lawsuits involving EV makers are beginning to concern experts. 

Hopefully, automakers are learning from their mistakes and ensuring that their newer vehicles are safer for consumers. 

Recent Recalls Highlight Electric Car Risks

As we reported recently, General Motors has expanded its Chevy Bolt recall after learning that even the batteries in the newer Bolt models were prone to catching fire. But the American automaker isn’t the only one dealing with similar recall issues. 

In July, Porsche recalled its Taycan EVs over software issues that caused the vehicles to lose power while in motion. In April, Ford announced that a “small number” of early customers reported that the batteries in their Mustang Mach-E crossover EVs were not charging, which left them with inoperable vehicles. This came after a 2020 European recall of Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid crossovers tied to overheating battery packs.  

Earlier this year, Hyundai also recalled its Kona EVs following 15 auto fires. 

Even BMW and Volvo have also recalled EVs, including plug-in hybrids, over battery problems. 

Tesla Under Scrutiny Over Battery Woes

While many automakers have dealt with battery-related problems recently, Tesla is facing both litigation and federal investigations over the company’s high-voltage batteries. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Tesla for allegations regarding software updates reportedly meant to conceal potential fire-related defects. The same issue was behind a class-action complaint filed against Tesla in August 2019 that was later settled by the automaker. 

Tesla is also facing another class-action lawsuit in California over the company’s claims regarding its high-voltage batteries. 

To experts, the fact that auto fires are generally more common among conventional vehicles means that we should not worry about experiencing more auto fires as Americans start buying more electric vehicles. In any case, they also alert companies they should be more careful when it comes to selecting battery manufacturers. 

With issues as small as errant sparks potentially leading to fire incidents, EV manufacturers must ensure their battery suppliers understand the risks and act accordingly to avoid accidents.