Garage fires are nothing new, and there will come a day when stories like this one won't make national news. For now, though, if a Chevy Volt is inside a garage that blazes up, people notice. This happened earlier this year in Connecticut – in a fire that was later ruled to not be caused by the Volt – and it just happened again, this time in Mooresville, NC.
Well, we think a Volt was involved, given that representatives from GM are talking to fire investigators in the wake of a massive fire that caused about $800,000 worth of damage on October 30. According to the local news, which doesn't mention the Volt by name, a possible suspect is the Level 2 charger made by Siemens (exact unit not specified, so the picture here is just for general reference). The official statement from the fire marshal is that, "The charging station was in the known area of origin, but the cause of the fire has not been officially determined," and a Siemens rep told WSOC that there is, "No indication the electric car charger was the cause." The fire marshal will meet with representatives from GM and Siemens at the site of the fire today to try and determine what happened. Duke Energy and the DOT are also involved because the charger was part of a plug-in vehicle test program. Duke is even warning people who have a similar charger installed not use it until more details are available. You can watch the WSOC report here.


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  • 42 Comments
      Timo
      • 4 Months Ago
      It's possible that the charger itself is not cause of the fire, but the lousy electric job done to hook it in the wall is. There are a lot of unqualified self-made "electricians" out there doing jobs like that. If the wiring job is a bad one it can cause fire when load is applied. Same thing obviously can happen with electric oven just as well, that just doesn't get to the news.
        Timo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Timo
        I see that job has been done by licensed electrician (few messages down, in reply to David Silva - SVX pearlie). So that's probably not the cause. It still might be the cause, but it just turned a lot less likely.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 4 Months Ago
      Let's all wait for the investigators to do their jobs, please, before making uninformed speculations...
      Smith Jim
      • 4 Months Ago
      It just dawned on me. They said, "Chevy Volt possibly involved in SECOND garage fire". The article then says the Volt was not in any way the cause in any previous fire. If there was never any FIRST fire caused by the Volt how could there even possibly be a SECOND Volt-caused fire? I'm really tired of the thinly-veiled anti-Volt prejudice of ABG. This is the last straw. Goodbye ABG.
        Awjvail
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        Well, to be fair - the Volt WAS involved in the fire. There is a difference between being "involved" in something and being the cause of something. If they had said "Chevy Volt possibly causes second garage fire", then that'd be a lie. But yes - they're trolling for pageviews.
      JP
      • 4 Months Ago
      Get ready for the FUD fest.
      Ladson
      • 4 Months Ago
      I am confused, what's new?, But, are they talking about the charger in the car? Or, are they talking about the EVSE, which is not a charger?
      EZEE
      • 4 Months Ago
      Calm down... Even if it was the car or charger, the systems are brand new...remember, ICE cars were around for 75 - 90 years when the Corvair started flipping, and the Pinto exploded... Stuff happens...
        • 4 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        Hey, don't knock the Corvair, it was my favorite car (monza convertable). It you keep this up Ralph N. will be saying electric cars are unsafe at any speed.
      Ryan
      • 4 Months Ago
      Maybe these chargers need to be mounted on a concrete wall board? I would think that they would have temperature sensors built in. I guess it is a really good idea to install a smoke detector in the garage.
        EVnerdGene
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        new app for i-phones err, sorry to interrupt - your garage is on fire
        SVX pearlie
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        Most of the time, the garage is unoccupied and/or unattended, so a smoke detector won't do any good. If there were a smoke detector, and it went off, unless the owner was in an adjacent room, it's likely nobody would hear it go off. Sprinklers, OTOH, would make good sense for the garage, along with a working firewall... And yes, thermal cut-off in the charger / EVSE would be good. Thing is, if it's the cord overheating due to being undergauge or damaged, the charger / EVSE might not detect the temperature increase.
          poorboywrx
          • 4 Months Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          sprinklers in an electrical fire...
      Pete K
      • 4 Months Ago
      This feels eerily familiar... http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/03/news/companies/dot_toyota_lahood/
      Grendal
      • 4 Months Ago
      I like how they told everyone to stop using their charger - just in case. Even during the Pinto fiasco I don't remember anyone saying "Please park your car immediately - and please don't drive it until we have determined if there is truly a problem." On the bright side, you can still drive the Volt in range extended mode forever.
      nitrostreet
      • 4 Months Ago
      Someone needs collect some data on ALL the garage fires, not just ones that had electric cars in them, and then we can do some comparing........
      Marco Polo
      • 4 Months Ago
      "Chevy Volt possibly involved in second garage fire, this time in North Carolina!" Great headline! Sensationalist, and inaccurate all in one! Right up there with, POPE IN SEX AND DRUGS SCANDAL!, the subsequent article reveals that an Reginald Andrew Pope, (39) of ..... Shouldn't the headline accurately read, 'Siemens Charger possibly involved in a garage fire in North Carolina'. ?
        EZEE
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Wow, the pope, from the Vatican, head of the catholic church? Wow! I stopped reading after the headline because I am convinced now! :D
      Michael Walsh
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm just glad that it wasn't a LEAF involved. Or an AV EVSE either, for that matter.
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