NTSB urges automakers to update EV fire response guides

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WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday urged automakers to address inadequate vehicle manufacturers’ emergency response guides to address EV fires.

The recommendations follow a series of NTSB investigations into four Tesla EV battery fires since 2017, including three high-speed crashes in which the lithium-ion battery reignited after firefighters extinguished the vehicle fires. NTSB said “most manufacturers’ emergency response guides for fighting high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires lack necessary, vehicle-specific details on suppressing the fires.”

Tesla did not immediately comment.

In October, the NTSB said half of U.S. fire departments have no protocols in place to fight fires that break out in the growing number of battery-powered vehicles on the road. Only a quarter of fire departments have dedicated training for fighting blazes involving the EVs, according to the NTSB survey.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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