The idea of an electric vehicle is appealing to a lot of people. If you owned an electric car, you could take advantage of a more sustainable option for the environment, the lowered amount of required maintenance, and the tax credits provided for such car owners. The possibilities are endless, but all that glitters is not gold. While having enthusiasm for modern technology isn't a bad thing, we should all remember that with new technology comes glitches in the system. For those of us with electric cars at home, it is necessary to keep in mind that no system is flawless. Unfortunately, this truth is playing out in the recent fire damage caused to homes because of electric car malfunctions.
Electric Cars Cause Recent Fire Damage to Homes
Last month, a San Francisco couple experienced a nightmare come to life when their Tesla Model S caught on fire. The couple proudly owned two electric cars and both cars were charging in the garage overnight. While they were asleep, they received an alert that the charging of one of the vehicles was interrupted. One of the cars caught on fire and it quickly spread to the other car as the garage itself was engulfed in flames. Within about 12 minutes, the fire extended to the home and woke up the homeowners in time to spare their lives.
Electric vehicle makers have warned against leaving cars charging unattended. They also seriously warn against leaving a fully charged car inside of a garage. As an alarming number of similar fires come to light, electric vehicle owners are urged to implement wise choices when it comes to the everyday handling of their cars.
The Washington Post reports:
Automakers including General Motors, Audi and Hyundai have recalled electric vehicles over fire risks in recent years and have warned of the associated dangers. Chevrolet last year advised owners not to charge their vehicles overnight or keep their fully charged vehicles in garages. It recalled more than 60,000 of its Bolt electric vehicles over concerns about the cars spontaneously combusting while parked with full batteries or charging, after reports of five fires without prior impact damage. The company issued another recall last month covering the same vehicles after two reports of battery fires in repaired vehicles.
USFA Provides Warning Tips for Electric Cars
The U.S. Fire Administration published a list of safety tips for electric vehicle owners and their charging habits. They include the following suggestions:
Before buying an EV, have a qualified electrician install:
- A new, dedicated circuit for your EV charging device. Older home wiring may not be suitable for use with EV supply equipment.
- Level II charging devices (if that is your preferred charging method).
- Follow manufacturer's guidelines when charging your vehicle. Check with your local dealer if you need additional information.
- Purchase a charging device that is certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- Plug Level I EV chargers directly into an outlet designed to handle the amperage of the charging device. Never use a multiplug adapter or extension cord.
- Install a residual current device with the charging unit. It will turn off the power if a fault is detected and help prevent a fire.
- Place all charging device components out of reach of children when not in use.
- Maintain the components of your charging station according to the manufacturer's maintenance guidelines. Signs of excessive wear may indicate a potential shock hazard. Never use an EV charger with obvious signs of damage.
- Cover the EV charging station outlet to stop water from entering. Check the manufacturer's guidelines to make sure it is safe to charge your EV in wet conditions.
Contact a Trusted Lawyer Today
Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh represents citizens throughout the State of Florida who have been injured or harmed as a result of the negligence or actions of others. If you have already been through the ringer with your fire experience because of an electric car malfunction, contact us today. Do not take on the task of going against the responsible party alone when you do not have to. Reach out today so that you can go into this process with good legal representation on your side. You should especially give us a call today if you are facing any complications while filing a claim, if your claim has been ignored, or if your claim has been denied. We will fight for your compensation whether your fire damage claim is new, pending, or denied. Our mission is to provide exceptional legal representation, and we are ready to thoroughly support your case and advocate for the rights of our clients. Schedule a free, no obligation strategy session today to see how we can help you and your family. Contact us now at (561) 295-5825.