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Prius Safety & Crash Test Ratings



  • jayma8jayma8 Posts: 1
    hello, i came across this forum when i started researching why in the world my perfectly good 2001 Toyota Prius spontaneously caught fire.
    The Prius had been parked in my driveway for 48hrs. At about midday my neighbor came to the door and told me my car was full of smoke.
    I went out and heard crackling coming from the rear end. I opened the trunk and the back of the seat and all the carpet was flaming and melting.
    We got the fire out before it progressed too far and the firefighters said the fire started where heat had melted a hole in the far right corner of the protective metal casing for the Prius Hybrid battery pack.
    I should also say I'm in Australia.
    I phoned the dealership to tell them about the problem and they asked if they could come take photos. Naturally i agreed and waited to hear back from them.
    They did not call, so I called and asked for their assessment they told me we would have to arrange for a tow at my expense and then they would get a very busy specialist to investigate the car in a few weeks or so.
    The car was not fully insured. I did not recieve any letters of any type from Toyota to bring my car in for service or recall.
    I have attached photos of the car here
    Toyota Australia told me this was the first time this has ever happened. I informed them that my research identified other similar fires in the Prius.
    Does anyone know who i can talk to for help or if Toyota is doing anything to rectify this situation and help their customers who have had their Prius spontaneously combust?
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I understand that the Prius IS built by humans.
    And I know of some full-size GM SUVs that have caught fire while parked.
    But, I cannot find anything at any website about a Prius catching fire.
    True, some frames on some Toyota p/ups have rusted badly.
    And some Ford Pintos catch fire when struck from behind, and some GM p/ups have problems with the paint fading/peeling.
    Even some VW Passats have had their seat heaters catch fire.
    Please do not tell me what I think.
    I am merely stating that I have been unable to find any report of a Prius catching fire. I asked if perhaps there were a GM SUV nearby, since they ARE known to catch fire.
    And the fact that someone had to pay out some $2500+ to get their "displays" fixed is truly a big deal. But when a warranty expires, then a warranty expires.
    Buying a car does not entitle you to free service and repairs forever.
    If you cannot afford repairs after the warranty has expired, then by all means by an extended warranty program, or don't buy the car at all.
    I have seen people buy a car, that could not afford to have the car serviced, or to replace the tires once they were worn out.
    Too many people believe that car ownership costs end with the car payment.
    There is a whole lot more to it than that.
    Simpletons, like that, are probably the ones who complain the loudest.
    Their short attention spans do not allow them to realize what they will be in store for after the car's warranty has expired.
    It's like having kids. Surely these folks cannot believe that the hopital delivery bill is the end of the road in costs associated with raising a child.
    I give up. Preach to those who feel victimized by the automakers.
    I am not one of those!
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I am merely stating that I have been unable to find any report of a Prius catching fire. I asked if perhaps there were a GM SUV nearby, since they ARE known to catch fire.
    So if I park next to a Toyota pickup with a GM vehicle does that mean the frame on my GM will rust out like on the Toyota? According to you the answer is yes.
  • recycler5recycler5 Posts: 5
    Our 2-week-old 2009 Prius caught fire in our driveway in the middle of the night. The fire started in the rear battery compartment - same as the others I've read in this forum. We're waiting to see how Toyota will respond. As I consider whether to replace the car with another Prius, I am concerned to read in this forum that there have been almost identically described battery fires in model years from 2001. I sure would like to know just how many of these incidents there have been and whether this issue has been addressed in the 2010 model which is supposed to have a different type of battery. I'd love to have another Prius, but am a bit shaken by our recent experience.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Was the car shut off and parked for the night? Were there any add-on accessories ( alarms, sound systems, nav systems, anti-theft devices )?
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    For verification, please post a photo or a copy of a newspaper article describing the fire.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    That's rather demanding, and uncalled for. If the member wishes to do so, that's fine, but we're not going to imply that someone's being untruthful just because they don't produce articles or photos.

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  • tothemaxx2tothemaxx2 Posts: 22
    I have been reading this board for over a year since we bought our 2008 Prius. Our Prius has been flawless (as I am sure 99.9% have been). I have also followed forums for all my cars (GMs, Fords, Hondas, Volvos, VWs, Toyotas) for many years. All I can say is some things happen to all cars. Also, people who write posts tend to be ones (including myself) who have had problems. This is good as it helps people know what to look for. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the problems happen to a significant % of owners, these are just who are vocal. I have no problem with my Prius (it is about the only car I have ever owned w/o a problem of some kind in the first 14 months). Don't get too worried. S__t happens, always.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I believe it is difficult to buy a REALLY bad car nowadays. The Yugo is off the US market. After that, life can be a crapshoot. Toyota has always been good to me ( '86, '98, '07 - all still running fine ).
  • recycler5recycler5 Posts: 5
    I parked the car at 9pm, and at 3am the following morning I was awakened by the car alarm, at which point I discovered the trunk in flames. The car had the #6 accessory package, so it had all the bells and whistles (GPS, blue tooth, etc.). ">
  • recycler5recycler5 Posts: 5
    I have photos, but I don't know how to post them here. I'd be happy to email them to you.">
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,810
    Once you're a registered user in the Forums, you automatically have a carspace page - yours is at There's a photo album area, where you can upload your pics. That's the best way if you want to make them available to other registered members.

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  • Thanks Kirstie! I didn't know this feature was available! I don't have any burnt Prius to post but I DID have a 1963 Old that caught fire a loooooong time ago. ;)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Just sent you a CarSpace "friend" request to help you get your list of friends started on your CarSpace page. If you ever need any help or have any question about your page, don't hesitate to ask. That's why the hosts are here!

    Hope you decide to join the ranks of CarSpace bloggers too! :shades:

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  • 2shocked2shocked Posts: 2
    On Sunday July 26 2009 at 2am my 2005 prius (fully loaded model) caught fire in the garage. The neighbors said that they heard 2 explosions (probably batteries blowing up from heat) and then the garage burst into flames. The prius, the garage and my wife's car were all totally destroyed. The firemen all said that in their opinion the genesis of the fire was with the prius. They said that fire was under the prius and surrounding the engine. We left the car in the garage at 9pm Saturday night, and saw the garage at 11:45 pm before going to sleep. Nothing about the garage looked disturbed or unusual. Is Toyota going to make this right?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Nope, you will need good home owners insurance. Of course if they don't you can always tell them that the photos and information will be all over the net and on Utube by the end of the day.
  • recycler5recycler5 Posts: 5
    Our insurance made prompt payment on my 2009 Prius which also caught fire in the middle of the night (previously posted), but I never heard how Toyota dealt with it. Last week I heard of another Prius catching fire in Santa Rosa, CA, but could not get any details. Please let us know what happens. I'm very glad nobody was hurt.
  • 2shocked2shocked Posts: 2
    Thanks. I have reported it to Toyota and to NHTSA. I'll let you know how it comes out. Any information about other non altered by after market prius's burning up spontaneously would be greatly appreciated.
  • recycler5recycler5 Posts: 5
    Photos of my 2009 Prius that burned up in the driveway in the middle of the night can be found at:
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I am NOT saying this is the cause of the fire, but here in the Dallas area there have been a rash of midnite car fires believed to have been performed by "bored" kids.
    Like I said, I am NOT saying that is the cause, but there have been SEVERAL incidents by some drivers who have demonstrated to me by not only "non-verbal" communications ( finger-pointing ), but also some who have passed me with so little space between my car and theirs that I was surprised the outside mirrors on both our cars/truck didn't get torn off.
    This has occured several times as I mentioned earlier. I drive the speed limit in the second lane ( the one next to the exit/merge lane, NOT the very inside lane ).
    One guy in his bigg Ford P/U nearly scraped off my left side because I was driving the speed limit ( 50/40 ) on the exit/access road. When I came up behind him at the stop light, he communicated with me, again "non-verbally", so when the light changed, I returned the signal but with BOTH of my middle fingers. He sped to the shoulder, stopped and jumped out, but I was at my turning point and missed out on the "discussion".
    In short, some people just don't like Priui. Even if they aren't covered by "Save the Whales", or Obama stickers. Mine is unadorned. I just mind the speed limit, and try to maintain the following distance interval, much to other's chagrin.
    Perhaps yours was a victim of Priui haters, since it was outdoors.
    I am not familiar with anybody having a Prius fire in their garage.
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