No, Millions of Cars Are Not Catching Fire Every Year

car on fire

Marc UrbanoMotor vehicle and Driver

“We may have somewhat overestimated the claimed share fee for fires presented by the AutoinsuranceEZ organization, as a couple viewers pointed out. Consequently, we have revised the text to explain that the claimed rate of fires is likely around 2 to 3 % of all cars, not 5 as we originally estimated. Nevertheless, due to the fact we cannot know the whole quantities of hybrid vs. ICE vehicles referenced in the study, we can’t make a nearer calculation.”

Final thirty day period, the New York Situations ran a tale about EV basic safety and car or truck fires that caught our eye over below at the C/D Section of Fishy Assertions. Titled “Hurdle to Broad Adoption of EVs: The Misperception That They’re Unsafe,” it argues that electric automobiles capture hearth less typically than traditional inside-combustion cars and trucks or hybrids. It reads, in portion:

AutoInsuranceEZ analyzed the frequency of fires—from all leads to, including collisions—in vehicles in 2021. It located that hybrid automobiles, which have an interior combustion motor and an electric motor, experienced the most fires per 100,000 cars (3475), when vehicles with just an inside combustion engine put 2nd (1530 for every 100,000). Thoroughly electric powered cars had the fewest: 25 for every 100,000. These findings had been dependent on information from the Countrywide Transportation Security Board and the Bureau of Transportation Stats.

You you should not have to be a qualified statistician to observe that these AutoInsuranceEZ quantities glance a wee little bit questionable. Due to the fact, EVs and hybrids apart, if 1530 standard interior-combustion cars (aka, “most of the cars and trucks”) are catching fire per 100,000 vehicles, that would equate to thousands and thousands of automobile fires every single year—as of 2020, there were being around 270 million registered passenger automobiles in the US. Envision that: You would surely know anyone whose automobile caught fire. Possibly your auto caught hearth. It may well be on fireplace right now! “Oh, a different automobile hearth,” you would say, driving earlier the 3rd conflagration of your early morning commute.

It’s possible they are comparing all fires with a one yr of new-car income? We are going to enable you know if we untangle this.

Vehicle and Driver

To try to determine out the place these figures came from, we initial contacted the Nationwide Transportation Safety Board, purported resource for the motor vehicle-hearth data. And the NTSB’s spokesman instructed us, “There is no NTSB databases that tracks freeway vehicle fires. We do not know what details AutoInsuranceEZ used for its investigation, but it did not arrive from an NTSB databases.” They proposed that possibly the study authors confused the NTSB with NHTSA, the National Freeway Traffic Basic safety Administration. So we contacted NHTSA.

And guess what? NHTSA isn’t going to accumulate fire info in this way, either. NHTSA—which we really should contact “the NHTSA,” but that sounds weird—collects information on crashes but says that only about 5 per cent of fires are crash-related. So they rely on other resources for data, like the Countrywide Fireplace Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Which, in any case, will not categorize fires in accordance to the kind of vehicle powertrain.

At this point you may perhaps be inquiring irrespective of whether your car or truck is going to capture fireplace or what, so here is what we observed. In accordance to the National Fire Protection Affiliation, which gets its data from the NFIRS, passenger cars averaged 117,400 fires per year in between 2013 and 2017. And the Bureau of Transportation Data suggests that there have been 261,037,752 registered automobiles in the US in 2018 (excluding semi-trucks, motorcycles, and buses). So, do a small division, have the a person . . . and that equals .04 p.c of vehicles catching fireplace in a offered year.

We achieved out to AutoinsuranceEZ (which appears to be a guide generator for auto insurance plan businesses), and we’ll allow you know if they ever get back to us, but in the meantime, here is your superior news for the day: Irrespective of irrespective of whether you drive a Rivian, a Prius, or a Cutlass Supreme donk, your auto likely will not ever capture hearth. But if you nevertheless want to wear Nomex underpants, we are not gonna cease you.

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Melissa M. Taylor

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