NTSB says vehicle battery fires pose risks to 1st responders

Electric Cars Battery Fires

This undated photo provided by National Transportation Safety Board, The Orange County Fire Authority battles a fire on a burning vehicle inside a garage in Orange County, Calif. When firefighters removed the SUV from the garage to assess the fire , they identified the fuel source as the SUV’s high-voltage battery pack. U.S. safety investigators say electric vehicle fires pose risks to first responders, and manufacturers have inadequate guidelines to keep them safe. (Orange County Sheriff’s Department/National Transportation Safety Board via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety investigators say electric vehicle fires pose risks to first responders, and manufacturers have inadequate guidelines to keep them safe.

The National Transportation Safety Board also said in an 80-page report Wednesday there are gaps in industry safety standards and research on high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires, especially in high-speed, severe crashes.

The agency has no enforcement powers and can only make recommendations. It called for manufacturers to write up vehicle-specific response guides for fighting battery fires and limiting chemical thermal runaway and reignition.

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