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Electronics & Test
Lithium-Ion Batteries Overheated in Mitsubishi Vehicles
3/28/2013

Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV employs a 12 kWh battery with 80 lithium-ion cells. An Outlander PHEV designed for the Japanese market had an overheating incident that melted cells and part of the battery pack.   (Source: Mitsubishi Motors)
Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV employs a 12 kWh battery with 80 lithium-ion cells. An Outlander PHEV designed for the Japanese market had an overheating incident that melted cells and part of the battery pack.
(Source: Mitsubishi Motors)

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Stuart21
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Re: Definitely not good news
Stuart21   9/23/2013 1:29:04 PM
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But it had something to do with the battery -

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: LI battery problems in Mitsubishi vehicles.
Charles Murray   4/10/2013 7:02:45 PM
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I think that engineers have repeatedly underestimated the dangers of lithium-ion, Gorksi. Fifteen years ago, I interviewed Donald Sadoway of MIT and he predicted (in 1998) that engineers would need to be very, very careful with this chemistry, or it would cause problems. It now appears he was right.

bobjengr
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Platinum
Re: Definitely not good news
bobjengr   4/5/2013 12:06:36 PM
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Many thanks Charles for the explanation.  These systems are significantly more complex than I had envisioned.  Again, great post--good information.  Bob

Gorski
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LI battery problems in Mitsubishi vehicles.
Gorski   4/4/2013 9:38:46 PM
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It seems that everyone is having problems with these batteries at the same time. If this is new technology why wasn't it tested more rigourusly in the lab and test beds? Is this a case where sales said 'We have to be first and damn the torpedoes of failure."

Gorski
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Platinum
LI battery problems in Mitsubishi vehicles.
Gorski   4/4/2013 9:38:46 PM
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It seems that everyone is having problems with these batteries at the same time. If this is new technology why wasn't it tested more rigourusly in the lab and test beds? Is this a case where sales said 'We have to be first and damn the torpedoes of failure."

Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Re: Definitely not good news
Elizabeth M   4/4/2013 6:42:39 AM
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That is a terrible story, tekochip, and I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. This illustrates why it's so important to make these technologies safe before putting them out there on the market. I actually think sometimes these type of electric systems in new cars can do more harm than good especially in situations of a malfunction in which someone wants to get out of a car, which your story very sadly shows.

Charles Murray
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Re: Definitely not good news
Charles Murray   4/3/2013 6:31:26 PM
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What a terrible incident. Yes, it's one more reason why potential car fires should never be overlooked. But it also says something about the non-intuitive nature of some of the systems on board today's vehicles. If the doorlock system had been more intuitive, your friend would almost certainly still be alive today.

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: Definitely not good news
tekochip   4/3/2013 7:50:15 AM
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Car fires should never be overlooked. A number of years ago a good friend of mine died in a car fire. Bob had borrowed a car and was unfamiliar with the electric door locks which locked as soon as the vehicle was put in drive. Pulling on the door latch would not unlock the door, you had to pull the lock pin or use the door switch, then pull on the latch. The power steering pump on the car seized and started a fire that quickly filled the interior with smoke. The autopsy said Bob died in less than thirty seconds from the toxic fumes, and witnesses said that he was pounding on the windows trying to get out.


Elizabeth M
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Re: Definitely not good news
Elizabeth M   4/3/2013 4:12:54 AM
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Thanks so much for that description of the thermal runway, Phil. I understand the issue so much better now. It's interesting to consider the root of the problem and the ways the industry is working to counteract that.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: This actually demonstrates the technology is safe
Elizabeth M   4/3/2013 3:32:35 AM
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Yikes, I didn't know those statistics about car fires, dbg. It is a bit scary. And yes, battery designs can be made safe, but it seems like some of them haven't quite gotten there yet. I'm sure they will.

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