On December 19, 2023, a fire broke out within the Factory Zero of General Motors in Detroit. Contrary to many rumors, the fire was not caused by an electric vehicle. At least not directly.
100 firefighters in the General Motors factory
A few days apart, two major American manufacturers had to deal with fires in a factory. The first occurred on November 19 in Auburn Hills, within the Chrysler Tech Center. The second took place in Detroit on December 19 at General Motors. If an electric prototype would indeed be the cause of the fire at Chrysler, it has just been shown that this is not the case at its competitor General Motors.
Indeed, our colleagues from Crain’s Detroit Business report that a forklift punctured a battery container. The damage suffered is estimated at $1.3 million. The American media specifies that the firefighters “ remained in the factory for more than 7 hours and that 5 pallets of batteries were on fire near a loading dock when they arrived on scene ».
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According to the investigation carried out by the automaker, the fire destroyed the equivalent of $1 million in batteries and caused $300,000 in property damage. Nearly 100 firefighters and 24 emergency trucks rushed to the scene.
A punctured battery caused the fire
According to Dennis Hunter, chief of fire prevention for the Detroit Fire Department, “ there were 8 incidents at the factory between the start of summer 2023 and December “. He said firefighters are working with General Motors to improve the response plan. For him, ” electric vehicle batteries are a new risk facing our country ».
Fires linked to electric cars are rare, but when they do occur they are impressive and difficult to put out. Tara Kuhnen, spokesperson for General Motors, explains that “ the company calls the local fire brigade regardless of the seriousness of the incident » and assures that “ not all recent incidents are battery-related “. Employee safety remains “ GM’s priority “, according to her.
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