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OP, was the car at 0% when you started charging? If so, how long was the gas engine on? What was the outside temperature when you came home that night?
 

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I'll be very interested to see the results of the fire investigation. That's a big enough loss that the homeowners policy will certainly be looking to anyone they can to subrogate. That may be exactly the kind of action that will trigger a full investigation by Chrysler.
 

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I'll be very interested to see the results of the fire investigation. That's a big enough loss that the homeowners policy will certainly be looking to anyone they can to subrogate. That may be exactly the kind of action that will trigger a full investigation by Chrysler.
It will be interested to learn of the van in question was involved in NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V740000 . If it needed the fix and didn't get it the insurance company may take a different tack.
 

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I'll be very interested to see the results of the fire investigation. That's a big enough loss that the homeowners policy will certainly be looking to anyone they can to subrogate. That may be exactly the kind of action that will trigger a full investigation by Chrysler.
You can bet the farm that Chrysler has already set a full investigation in motion. So has NHTSA. Li batteries are too much part of the "greening" of automobiles to let this slow that development.
 

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Likelihood of this having to do with the cat recall is low. The car has been sitting in the garage for 8-9 hours when the fire happened. Previous cat fire were always when the car was being driven. Cat fire were due to too much gas being dump into the cat. Car sitting in garage get no gas
 

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Likelihood of this having to do with the cat recall is low. The car has been sitting in the garage for 8-9 hours when the fire happened. Previous cat fire were always when the car was being driven. Cat fire were due to too much gas being dump into the cat. Car sitting in garage get no gas
Good assessment. The catalytic converter fires were in a hot vehicle.

The fires cited in this thread were all in cold vans. The only way I can think of that could cause this is a charging fault causing the traction batteries to overheat.

That could be the charger, a battery defect, the battery cooling system, or the control electronics, or whatever. It's up to the engineers to find it. No matter. As long as this kind of volatile battery is used, there needs to be a fail-safe charger shutdown (completely separate from the vehicle computers) when the temperature rises above the safe level. If this fail-safe system (and audible alarm to alert people nearby) triggers, the vehicle charging system should be disabled and taken in for repairs before it can be used again.

My suggestion here is for all vehicles that use large Li batteries that are charged from an external source. Public safety is involved. Much like sprinkler systems are required for buildings.
 

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Likelihood of this having to do with the cat recall is low. The car has been sitting in the garage for 8-9 hours when the fire happened. Previous cat fire were always when the car was being driven. Cat fire were due to too much gas being dump into the cat. Car sitting in garage get no gas
This isn't completely true. Things smolder..

BMW had the same profile of catching fire hours after being used and some burning in the middle of the night in garages. These where not Hybrid electric vehicles and had no High Voltage systems.

This may be of interest

 

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This isn't completely true.

BMW had the same profile of catching fire hours after being used and some burning in the middle of the night in garages. These where not Hybrid electric vehicles and had no High Voltage systems.

This may be of interest

Burn My Wheels.
 

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Likelihood of this having to do with the cat recall is low. The car has been sitting in the garage for 8-9 hours when the fire happened. Previous cat fire were always when the car was being driven. Cat fire were due to too much gas being dump into the cat. Car sitting in garage get no gas
Yes, but I'm still interested in the answer.
 

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My language is conservative here in the thread because the investigation is ongoing. Given the potential risks to other owners if the van is implicated and there is a systemic problem with these vehicles, I felt it warranted to post with the appropriate caveats and qualifications.

Based on what we've been told "off the record", it did originate from the van, probably the Li battery. However, nothing's official until the entire investigation is complete. Probably two weeks out for that.
The lead acid battery can also be a cause of fires/explosions particularly if it is overcharged or not properly vented while charging. Although this seems unlikely in your case, the basic idea is a malfunction in the charging system may have been a precursor event which overcharged the 12V battery setting it off along with gas tanks/HV battery, etc. The 12V battery is an AGM type and is located on left side at rear as is the gas filler neck. The Pacifica battery itself hasn't been stellar as far as reliability goes.

From info FCA provides in the service manual, the Accessory Power Module (on the HV battery pack) which charges the 12V battery is rated 180 amps and 2500W and is cooled by the power electronics cooling system. The APM is supposed to wake up the system periodically (something like every 30 days) to check the 12V battery charge. It can charge the 12V battery from the 400V battery even when the vehicle is off.
 

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The lead acid battery can also be a cause of fires/explosions particularly if it is overcharged or not properly vented while charging. Although this seems unlikely in your case, the basic idea is a malfunction in the charging system may have been a precursor event which overcharged the 12V battery setting it off along with gas tanks/HV battery, etc. The 12V battery is an AGM type and is located on left side at rear as is the gas filler neck. The Pacifica battery itself hasn't been stellar as far as reliability goes.
It does almost look like the body panel has an opening where the 12V battery was. @Atfranks, any chance you can post more pics?
 

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As long as this kind of volatile battery is used, there needs to be a fail-safe charger shutdown (completely separate from the vehicle computers) when the temperature rises above the safe level. If this fail-safe system (and audible alarm to alert people nearby) triggers, the vehicle charging system should be disabled and taken in for repairs before it can be used again
I like this idea very much.
 

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Good assessment. The catalytic converter fires were in a hot vehicle.

The fires cited in this thread were all in cold vans. The only way I can think of that could cause this is a charging fault causing the traction batteries to overheat.

That could be the charger, a battery defect, the battery cooling system, or the control electronics, or whatever. It's up to the engineers to find it. No matter. As long as this kind of volatile battery is used, there needs to be a fail-safe charger shutdown (completely separate from the vehicle computers) when the temperature rises above the safe level. If this fail-safe system (and audible alarm to alert people nearby) triggers, the vehicle charging system should be disabled and taken in for repairs before it can be used again.

My suggestion here is for all vehicles that use large Li batteries that are charged from an external source. Public safety is involved. Much like sprinkler systems are required for buildings.
So, with the limited amount of information you have available you are saying that you have a solution that the engineers have not already been able to figure out? Yes, the engineers who designed the system and know it intimately, and your novel idea will work for all plug-in vehicles that use Li batteries? These vehicles have been produced now for well over a decade and you’re just coming up with an idea that will fix the problem that is causing these fires?
 

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So, with the limited amount of information you have available you are saying that you have a solution that the engineers have not already been able to figure out? Yes, the engineers who designed the system and know it intimately, and your novel idea will work for all plug-in vehicles that use Li batteries? These vehicles have been produced now for well over a decade and you’re just coming up with an idea that will fix the problem that is causing these fires?
This is a bit aggressive, though I do understand the point you’re making. You’re probably right that the suggestion Waldo is making has been considered and maybe even implemented by the Chrysler engineers and that we don’t yet have enough info about the incidents to come to any conclusion about the cause(s). That said,I think Waldo’s heart is in the right place, here.
 

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This is a bit aggressive, though I do understand the point you’re making. You’re probably right that the suggestion Waldo is making has been considered and maybe even implemented by the Chrysler engineers and that we don’t yet have enough info about the incidents to come to any conclusion about the cause(s). That said,I think Waldo’s heart is in the right place, here.
I agree. I might have been a little too agressive in the way I worded that. Sorry, Waldo. No offense intended.
 
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