At 3:41 PM on January 7, a fire started at the Stavanger airport, in Norway, according to the Norwegian website NRK.no. The blaze spread and could have ruined something between 200 and 300 cars. In Bloomberg’s article about it, you read the “police said they were notified at about 3:30 p.m. that an electric car was on fire in the parking garage.” With a final remark: “Norway has the most electric vehicles on the road per capita in the world.” The problem with the usual suspect is that it was innocent. The fire started on a 2005 turbodiesel Opel Zafira, according to Elisabeth Vorland, intelligence and investigation manager at the Sandnes police station.
That is what you can read at NRK.no and more Norwegian websites, such as Dagsavisen.no. But it is Motor.no that sheds more light on what happened. According to the article, this fire may be related to a recall that affected more than 235,000 units of the minivan in the UK.
According to Stein Pettersen, PSA’s PR in Norway, the four recalls the Opel Zafira had in the UK related to this problem were restricted to the cars sold there. None of the more than 1,000 Zafira units sold in Norway in 2005 and 2006 had any similar issue. On the other hand, 300 minivans would have caught fire in the United Kingdom.
Gallery: An EV Caused Stavanger Airport Parking Lot Fire? No, It Was A Diesel
The five floors of the Stavanger airport parking lot guarded 1,611 vehicles when the fire broke out. Many of them were probably EVs. Due to the damages to the building, the fire department cannot enter the premises until engineers say there is no risk of collapse. Only then will they be able to get a precise assessment of what happened.
So far, the fire brigade only said the damages would have been much less if the Stavanger airport had sprinklers. The cause of the 2005 Opel Zafira blaze is yet to be determined, but there is apparently a good chance that it is related to this British recall. If there was any risk of other units being affected, Opel should have taken the precautions to prevent that.
Regarding the Bloomberg article, it still refers that the possible cause for the fire was an EV. That would be an easy recall to perform.
Sources: NRK.no, Bloomberg, Dagsavisen.no, and Motor.no