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#4425420 - 06/07/17 08:37 PM Car battery Fire
georgemiller Offline


Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 188
Loc: New York
Last week my battery in 2001 Toyota Camry was dead. I put another car battery in and drove for 1/2 the day to test charging system to make sure it was working. Satisfied that the charging system was working I went to AutoZone and purchased a Durmast Gold battery, this was last friday.

I cleaned all the terminals and installed battery. Everything was clean as I am fanatical when I do things.

Earlier this evening my wife was driving the car and the battery caught fire. She pulled over and several people helped put the fire out. Several wires we're burned up. She stated that no check engine lights went on prior to the fire.

It's very clear the fire started on the top of the battery. The battery was in the car for 6 days with no check engine lights and no issues.

We had the car towed to a local mechanic. We took pics of damage.

What would cause this?

What is my recourse?

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#4425421 - 06/07/17 08:40 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: USA
Can you share pics?

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#4425425 - 06/07/17 08:49 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4397
Loc: The Midwest
Originally Posted By: georgemiller
Last week my battery in 2001 Toyota Camry was dead. I put another car battery in and drove for 1/2 the day to test charging system to make sure it was working. Satisfied that the charging system was working I went to AutoZone and purchased a Durmast Gold battery, this was last friday.

I cleaned all the terminals and installed battery. Everything was clean as I am fanatical when I do things.

Earlier this evening my wife was driving the car and the battery caught fire. She pulled over and several people helped put the fire out. Several wires we're burned up. She stated that no check engine lights went on prior to the fire.

It's very clear the fire started on the top of the battery. The battery was in the car for 6 days with no check engine lights and no issues.

We had the car towed to a local mechanic. We took pics of damage.

What would cause this?

What is my recourse?


I'm gonna be a jerk attorney for a sec for the battery company. YOU caused it. YOU installed it improperly, causing the battery to move and short out and/or there was a frayed cable that shorted out and caused the fire. NOT the responsibility or the battery manufacture.

Your recourse? Good luck on that. Good luck finding an attorney to take the case. What do you think your Camry is worth?
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#4425429 - 06/07/17 08:51 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
NStuart Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 278
Loc: Sav ga
Wrong battery,or not sitting in tray correctly battery contacted hood took a few days to rub through hood insulation.....seen that one before
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#4425430 - 06/07/17 08:54 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19806
Loc: CA
Without seeing the car in person it is difficult to say what really happened.

Was the Alternator tested to confirm functionality? Was it overcharging the battery?

Was the Battery properly secured?
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#4425436 - 06/07/17 09:01 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
Chewie Offline


Registered: 10/08/15
Posts: 228
Loc: OH
You have no way to prove that you didn't fudge up the installation, so you have no recourse.
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#4425443 - 06/07/17 09:05 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
Seventh Offline


Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 234
Loc: NorCal


Shorted on loose hold down, missing hold down or wrong size battery causing short on hood, wrench left nearby?

Lots of possibilities

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#4425448 - 06/07/17 09:07 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: NStuart]
5AcresAndAFool Offline


Registered: 12/18/16
Posts: 421
Loc: Indiana
Originally Posted By: NStuart
Wrong battery,or not sitting in tray correctly battery contacted hood took a few days to rub through hood insulation.....seen that one before


This was actually the thought that first came to mine for me as well, remember the old Volkswagen Beetles with the battery under the rear seat? If Too Tall of a battery was put in and someone heavy enough sat on the rear seat the seat Springs would short out across the top of the battery and set the horsehair seat stuffing on fire.

The other thing I have seen happen is a hood prop with a broken clip actually work its way to the positive terminal of the battery and while it didn't burn the car up or start a major fire it did start a small fire and actually a burnt a hole in one of the ac lines

This was on a Honda Civic, that is something that you should look at as well I don't know where the hood prop is on a Camry of that era but it's a possibility.

On some cars the hood prop is in such close proximity to the battery there's rubber insulation installed on the hood prop from the factory. Of course over time this can fall off or be knocked off causing a similar issue that you had.

Did the positive terminal have a terminal cover on it?

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#4425452 - 06/07/17 09:08 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: Seventh]
georgemiller Offline


Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 188
Loc: New York

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#4425457 - 06/07/17 09:12 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4298
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
You are very lucky it didn't go further as bad as it does look.
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#4425458 - 06/07/17 09:13 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: PimTac]
georgemiller Offline


Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 188
Loc: New York

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#4425460 - 06/07/17 09:14 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: 5AcresAndAFool]
georgemiller Offline


Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 188
Loc: New York
Positive terminal had cover over it.

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#4425470 - 06/07/17 09:23 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
georgemiller Offline


Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 188
Loc: New York

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#4425473 - 06/07/17 09:26 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
bioburner Offline


Registered: 09/19/16
Posts: 1418
Loc: Minnesota
You never tested the alternator for voltage. If things were crazy high all bets are off. I have had several battery issues including a fire on a commercial mower that had the battery mounted under a side mounted plastic gas tank. Things were pretty wild on that one but insurance and manufacture made things right.
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#4425476 - 06/07/17 09:30 PM Re: Car battery Fire [Re: georgemiller]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4753
Loc: MA
Yeah, if the OP did nothing wrong, I'm going to guess a bad alternator or voltage regulator that over charged the battery and caused it to overheat. That's probably how the first battery got fried. Always check the entire charging system when replacing a battery.

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