Nissan LEAF Fire In Flower Mound, Texas


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!


Category: Crashed EVs, Nissan


42 responses to "Nissan LEAF Fire In Flower Mound, Texas"
  1. taser54 says:

    Reminds me of the Fantastic Four Movie.

    1. bro1999 says:

      Which one? :p

    2. Tim says:

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

  2. David Murray says:

    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.

  3. carl-pedal says:

    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.

    1. David Murray says:

      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.

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

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

  4. DonC says:

    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.

    1. DonC says:

      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.

    2. philip d says:

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

  5. Gouldness says:

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

    1. Thomas J. Thias says:

      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 deaths.[…]”

      Link Goes The National Fire Prevension Association Safety Site-

      Many of us are still morning the loss of the great, Fast and Furiouse Star, Paul Walker, whose casual afternoon ride in a Porsche ended in tragedy less then two years ago, one of an estimated 152,000+ such events in the last 12 months.


      Thomas J. Thias



      1. miggy says:

        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.

        1. Chris O says:

          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.

    2. BraveLilToaster says:

      Because it’s #notatesla

  6. wavelet says:

    “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.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey wavelet,

      As far as we know, this is the only fire such as this to occur in a operating LEAF for any reason since the car was put into service. I think we made it very, very clear that we have little reason to suspect it has something/anything to do with the battery.

      That being said, all we cover is electric vehicles, of which the LEAF is the worldwide leader, so it is news.

      We obviously aren’t part of a conspiracy – your not suggesting that, but the disservice in our opinion is to NOT report on things because they might later be construed as unfavorable by other media…or to simply not report on anything that actually is negative.

      It can be a very slippery slope once you start that drawing line. I think IEV is what it is today because readers know they are going to find everything here…all the news, good or bad, presented objectively and as “in context” as we can, and then they are free to come to their own conclusions. Personally, I do sympathize with your emotion on the subject and respect your opinion…I just wants to clarify our position a bit.

      1. David Murray says:

        Agreed.. I’d rather see reporting on that done here so that if somebody does a google search for “Leaf fires” they’d wind up at this site where the story will be told factually than wind up at Reuters or Fox News and see an article that spins this in a negative way.

      2. M Hovis says:

        Hurumph to all of that! I really really wish Nissan, BMW, Chevy, Ford, Tesla, etc. would release some stats on fire incidents though. The overall safety of the EV is proving to be superior to the ICE by a small margin, while the safety of an EV as it relates to fires is off-the-charts. There is still people believing the statements in the early smear campaigns about the frequency of fires. Though chemistry and physics will still allow an EV battery to catch fire, the ratio to it happening has to be 1-to-20 or greater than that. We have five years, 300,000+ EVs and billions of miles with next to no fires. The last published data had 90 ICEs catching fire per billion miles with 30 from collisions. This is a worthy story if the data could be compiled.

  7. Anonymous says:

    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…..

  8. Aaron says:

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

  9. Martin B. says:

    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.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Hmmmmm…. because gasoline isn’t flammable?

    1. Anon says:

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

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        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.

  11. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    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.

    1. M Hovis says:

      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.

  12. Pete says:

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

  13. jim stack says:

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

  14. Warren says:

    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. 🙂

  15. PVH says:

    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).

    1. 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 Team busted open his hood and disconnected the Battery! (The Cabin was fully burnt, and the hood release became non-functional!)

      1. sven says:

        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.

        1. M Hovis says:

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

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      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.

  16. ModernMarvelFan says:

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

    That would be interesting to know…

  17. Tim says:

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

  18. Foo says:

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

  19. Nicholas says:

    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?

  20. Just_Chris says:

    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.

  21. Shawn says:

    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 and thankfully no one else was injured. I am not a smoker, was not transporting gasoline, or anything else that could have caused the fire. I’m a nurse who was just trying to get to work and had no idea what a terrible morning was awaiting me. I’m still so freaked out by the occurrence and Nissan seemed to offer little help or concern. I thankfully got a replacement vehicle a couple of weeks ago, went with a diesel as this experience has completely destroyed my faith in the EV!!! You would think Nissan would at least reach out in apology; yet all they did is have a person call for more details and he only seemed to want the information for research. Wish they would let me know what caused this as it really worries me since there are so many of this exact car on the road here. -Shawn