Nissan LEAF Fire In Flower Mound, Texas

SEP 4 2015 BY JAY COLE 42

A Nissan LEAF was caught on video this past Tuesday on fire near a yield sign in Flower Mound, Texas.

A Nissan LEAF Has A Bad Day In Texas

A Nissan LEAF Has A Bad Day In Texas

We still don’t have any specific cause for the blaze right now, and are in no way suggesting this has anything to do with the electrified components of the car.

As a point of reference, the Nissan LEAF battery cells are incredibly hardy, and near impossible to ignite (check below clip for more), so we highly doubt the cause (or the subsequent fire) was battery related at all.

In other words: “keep your pants on” wider media.

Some sparse clip details come by way of MyNissanLeaf community member board350:

“So a LEAF caught fire and burned up yesterday. My boss’s wife was driving by and got this video. I don’t know much more than that but I am very curious if anyone knows what caused it? …”

Details we know so far on the accident:

The incident itself happened at the intersection of FM 1171 and Kirkpatrick Lane, with the Fire Department on the scene in the morning.  The town Fire Chief updated that the was no injuries from a result of the incident, but the LEAF was pretty much toast by the time the firefighters arrived.

This intersection is right on top of a local police station, so there was a strong police presence at the scene immediately.

We will endeavour to follow-up and update the story as to the cause of the fire when more information is made available.

To get an idea of how difficult it is for a Nissan LEAF battery cell to ignite, have a look at the (below) video:

via MyNissanLEAF/board350, Hat tip to Dave S and Matt T!


Categories: Crashed EVs, Nissan


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42 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Fire In Flower Mound, Texas"

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Reminds me of the Fantastic Four Movie.

Which one? :p

The movie itself or the careers of those who starred in it?


I’d be surprised if the battery were burning. The flames are coming mostly out of the interior of the car and the battery cells have at least two layers of metal between them and the car’s interior. I’d be more suspect of something like a dropped cigarette catching seats on fire or something. But maybe we’ll find out eventually.

This is the first Leaf fire so I guess it’s about time… Out of 180,000 cars. I hope all is well with driver and others and that we get an answer to why it happened.

I don’t think it is the first. A few years ago we saw a photo of a burned-out leaf but never heard the story behind it. Some people were saying it was a victim of a forest fire, but I never heard for sure.

actually, the batterypack was the only thing that survived the fire intact!

Had to happen sooner or later. My guess is that all the EVs have a lower incidence of fires/vehicle mile than ICE vehicles. In fact I think we know this.

I’m not counting fires involving a vehicle. We’ve seen things like house fires which burned a vehicle. I’m referring to fires from an accident involving a vehicle.

I think our heads know this but what does our kainotophobic gut tell us?

And this is news because…? Let’s post the stats of how many ICE cars burst into flames hourly vs EV’s yearly.

Chances are, while you have been reading this thread and looking at the combustion, over the last 14 minutes, there have been, on average, 4 gasoline car fires in the United States. In fact, before this hour is up, on average, 17 automobile fires will have occured. …..A staggering 408 in the next 24 hours, 12,240 over a 30 day period and more then 152,000 every year. “[…]U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 152,300 automobile fires per year in 2006-2010. These fires caused an average of 209 civilian deaths, 764 civilian injuries, and $536 million in direct property damage. Facts and Figures •Automobile fires were involved in 10% of reported U.S. fires, 6% of U.S. fire deaths. •On average, 17 automobile fires were reported per hour. These fires killed an average of four people every week. •Mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in roughly two-thirds of the automobile fires. •Collisions and overturns were factors in only 4% of highway vehicle fires, but these incidents accounted for three of every five (60%) automobile fire deaths. •Only 2% of automobile fires began in fuel tanks or fuel lines, but these incidents caused 15% of the automobile fire… Read more »

Tom, Paul Walker, whose casual afternoon ride in a Porsche ended in tragedy less then two years ago.
Paul Walker was speeding it was not a casual drive.

Speeding caused the accident, sitting on a big tank of gasoline is probably what ultimately killed the occupants. Fires after a crash is a lot less likely to happen with batteries and if they do they tend to be slow starting, oxygen starved, contained fires. Had the furious driving been done in a Model S the occupants would probably still have been alive.

Because it’s #notatesla

“We still don’t have any specific cause for the blaze right now, and are in no way suggesting this has anything to do with the electrified components of the car.”

I don’t get it.
So why report on it here? IMO you’re doing the EV community a disservice. While I’m not one of the people who think there’s an active anti-EV conspiracy out there, why make it easy for a detractor someone to simply quote the headline and include the pic of the fiery wreck?
LEAFs are involved in there share of standard traffic accidents, speeding tickets etc.
Just you don’t report on every accident involving a LEAF, there’s no call for this story until and unless there’s an actual EV angle.

I recall seeing a video of someone piercing a Leaf battery a bunch of times. All it did was spark slightly and that was it.

This is a no biggie…..

We love our car-b-cue here in Texas.

Burning cells produce a white smoke so I would have expected a lot more white smoke from the fire if it were on the battery cells but we only have a few seconds. We can clearly see a lot of black smoke which makes sense considering there is a lot of plastic and foam inside the car.

Also, the amount of fire coming out of the right side is due to the winds blowing left to right. A typical car fire, could be anything.

Hmmmmm…. because gasoline isn’t flammable?

Or explosive. Or compressed to 10,000 PSI. 😉

Gasoline isn’t explosive? Well, that explains why gasmobiles never explode when they crash at high speed, then.

Oh, wait…

The “empty” portion of every gasmobile’s gas tank is filled with highly explosive gasoline vapor. In real life, gasmobiles don’t always burst into flames when they are driven off a cliff and crash, as happens in the movies. But they often do.

Q: Why are EV fires still news?

A: Because they’re so rare.

Meanwhile, hundreds of gasmobile fires occur in the USA every day; there were 164,000 total vehicle fires in 2013. But gasmobile fires are too commonplace to make the news unless something highly unusual happens, such as it being a celebrity’s car.

Here is another spin comparison. With EVs being 1% of the total fleet (less actually), if the EV were to claim to be as safe as the ICE, there should be 1,640 EV fires in 2013. Pretty sure there were not even 164 because we search for stories like this one and try to report it. Granted, a-fire-is-a-fire recorded for whatever reason, but the “lack” of fires in an EV is getting down right ridiculous.

If the ICE was released today side-by-side with the EV, it would be pulled from the highway due to safety issues particularly as they relate to fires.

Hope everthing ok with driver and driver can clarify what happened. Perhaps the driver smoke a cigarette with gasoline on pessenger seat.

Maybe carrying fuel for an old gas lawn mower. Nissan has been perfect so far. 1 out of 200K is pretty good.

Maybe it is a first generation battery. In Texas, the range may not get him out of his neighborhood by now. He might have burned it for the insurance, as the resale would less. 🙂

I wonder why cars (in general) do burn so well for what I see on such videos . I know for a fact that tires do burn very well, but for the rest… is it the foam from the seats ? All the plastic accessories ? Can’t these materials be made less flammable if this is a security issue ? Are there so many car fires ? I still need to see one in my thirty years of driving (and I do drive a lot).

PVH, I saw a Car Stereo light up a Dash Fire in a Car in front of me on the way home after work about a Decade back, I pulled over in front of them, and we had both called the fire department, but no one thought to open the hood, and disconnect the battery. Neither of us had a Fire Extinguisher of any size at all. In just 2 minutes it was very much a flame pouring out from the inside. In just 10 minutes the car was a mess! I know it was a Stereo fire from the owners conversation with me – they had just installed the stereo themselves that week, and even in traffic from behind them – I could see the fire flame from the Dash area! Bottom Line – Big Car Fires can be started from the 12V Lead Acid Battery Fire – in a Short, or with undersized wires overheating under high loads (likely his situation!). And – if we would have disconnected the Battery Cable(s) the Energy to continue the fire would have been removed, but as it was – the condition that started the fire continued until the Fire Department Hazmet… Read more »

Interesting, I wonder what percentage of ICE vehicle fires are the result of car batteries and their hot/live wires shorting out and heating up as opposed to the fumes from a leaking gasoline fuel tank igniting.

Electrical wiring (and battery) is the #2 cause. #1 is fuel lines. See above link.

PVH asked:

“I wonder why cars (in general) do burn so well for what I see on such videos . I know for a fact that tires do burn very well, but for the rest… is it the foam from the seats ? All the plastic accessories ? Can’t these materials be made less flammable if this is a security issue ?”

I’ve wondered that myself. As I understand it, what burns in a car’s interior is all the plastic and foam, such as the lining, the foam insulation, the car seat materials, the dashboard.

With car fires so commonplace — they’re more commonplace than apartment fires — I don’t understand why auto makers don’t use fire-retardant materials.

Is that a LEAF with “Heat resistant lizard” battery or the original battery?

That would be interesting to know…

I Think reporting on it would be a good idea. However posting a picture without any actual data is more like the Inquirer

It’s not quite fall yet. Little early to be burning the Leafs.

For air pollution reasons alone, we should work to make car interior smoke less toxic and to prevent all auto fires.

Don’t most commercial vehicles carry extinguishers to help in the early stages of fires seen?

I think the follow up story will be more interesting, the one that talks about the cause of the fire and how the battery pack was pretty much the only thing that didn’t burn.

I just found out about this posting. This was my 2013 Nissan Leaf and I have no idea what happened. I was driving to work in the morning and had just turned left onto Cross Timbers from Garden Ridge Boulevard. As I turned onto Cross Timbers I noticed a funny burning smell so I started to make my way from the far left lane to the right lane to find a place to pull over. Before I made it to the next light my car began gushing smoke from the front console just blow the dash. I then started to see actual fire coming through the plastic as I was trying to go to the curb for my safety and others on the road. I couldn’t even get the car to go into park and had to jump out as it was still rolling due to the flames flying out toward my legs. I jumped out and ran to the passenger side to grab some of my belongings (bag, wallet, etc) from the passenger seat, only had enough time to grab those things and then run from the car to call 911. I thankfully made it out without being hurt… Read more »