NTSB Final Report of Electric Vehicle Crash and Fire

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The NTSB has completed its investigation of a fatal collision and post-crash fire of an electric vehicle that occurred in Fort Lauderdale, FL on May 8, 2018. The Board determined that the probable cause of this single-vehicle run-off-road crash was the driver’s loss of control as a result of excessive speed. Contributing to the severity of the injuries was the post-crash fire originating in the crash-damaged lithium-ion traction battery. No safety recommendations were issued.

From the report, when emergencies crews arrived at the scene, they found the car fully engulfed in flames, and they reported intense heat and electrical arcing. Responding firefighters estimated that they extinguished the car’s interior fire was in under a minute. The crash caused the lithium-ion battery components to separate from the vehicle. This debris reignited an additional three times as it was loaded and unloaded from tow trucks. Please see the final accident brief for additional details.

This investigation is one of several that NTSB is conducting regarding electric vehicle batteries. There should be more on this topic in 2020.

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