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The car was parked the night before and not driven the entire next day. I noticed the smoke filled car in the evening. This was a stock 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid the only change from when it came off the line at Honda was the Hybrid ReVolt battery pack. No chargers nothing. Since the new pack was installed this car has operated just fine with no IMA lighs. This vehicle was operated regularly its entire life and always operated fine up to the last day it was driven. The car still will operate in the "by-pass" configuration just fine (if you can stand the intense smoke smell in the car). If I hadn't kept the car closed it would have flamed up and burned to the ground. I am really glad it did stay contained to the vehicle. Matt's latest claim is that the event must have originated external to the battery pack and burned the battery pack in the process. Which is clearly not the case.

 

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It's a little unbelievable to me that Matt doesn't want the battery back;
Probably because acknowledging the possibility that the pack was the cause might mean eating the cost of the car, at least.

HCH2003, It's probably worth a couple hundred bucks to have a shar... er... lawyer send a registered Strongly-Worded Letter™ to the vendor. If you had comp & collision on the car your insurance company might do the letter for you.
 

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Based on the description it seems obvious that the problem originated at the pack, and damaged heat shrink has been known to cause this kind of problem, so... Don't businesses have to have insurance to cover this sort of thing? I mean, you bought a completely assembled pack from Hybrid Revolt, it's way more likely than not that damaged heat shrink and a short was the problem, and it's not like it has to be due to negligence - it's just sort of the type of problem that CAN happen - and a business should have liability insurance to cover that sort of thing... It's just business.
 

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Gary,

I have been waiting for you to provide the copy of the fire incident report. Have I not already asked you three times for a copy of the report? All I get in response is you want me to pay for the replacement car you purchased. Your unwillingness to provide this simplest piece of information makes me doubt that your claims are sincere. Instead, you told me that I needed to contact the fire department directly and do a freedom of information request to get the report. That just doesn't sound right. Why do you insist on making this so hard? If you truly want a resolution I need your cooperation.

I told you that once I get a copy of the report, I will pay for someone to come out and do a proper investigation or I will personally come and inspect it. You told me that the FD responded. I just needed to verify this one simple fact - is that really unreasonable?

To those who say I don't want to see the pack – I do, however it is dangerous to ship it the way it is. Thus, even though Gary will not provide anything more than a few photos, threats, and demand for payment – I will personally meet with Gary as soon as this weekend and provide the amount he requested in exchange for the damaged vehicle and pack. This way a proper investigation can be performed.

Eli, I know all about damaged heat-shrink and what it can cause. No pack leaves our shop with damaged heat-shrink - period. In fact, no pack leaves our shop without each and every subpack being tested for 6 whole weeks. Is it excessive? Maybe, but it’s the cumulative combination of what we have learned since we began in 2008. It’s how we test our refurbished packs and we carried it over to our new packs. It’s what makes our refurbished units typically last longer than Honda’s “refurbs” and what makes our new packs the best option available. I have built custom equipment and programmed software to test things that no one else even knows to look for. It is the absolute best way to build a pack – new or refurbished.
 

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Matt,

Because this is such a big safety issue, I'll tell you what I think happened.

I think your "thorough testing" vented sticks. I've seen it time and time again, the Superbrain is a terrible, terrible device. It is the only time I ever see vented sticks, when they've been cycled outside of the car. What happens is cells that are reaching dV are masked by cells that are still rapidly climbing in voltage, and they vent. It is likely you didn't catch this if it was a middle cell.

The green Chinese heatshrink is substandard. It gets eaten away in the presence of alkaline electrolyte. This is one of the reasons why we don't use it.

My other theory is that there were burrs on the sticks and they poked through the heat shrink. Some batches are much worse than others. We very carefully file any metal burr off every stick before it is shrunk up.

There you have it, top secret information in the name of safety. ;) lol.
 

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Matt,
You asked if I had a copy of the report which I do not. And asked what the department was and the location of the incident. I provided that information to you nearly 2 weeks ago. You asked again if I had the report and I contacted the Fire Department which informed be that I or you would have to fill out a FOIA to get it. As I stated I figured you would want to get it directly from the Fire Department. It was not until after a week of silence from you that you informed me that you are unwilling to get the report and will not do anything until I get the report for you. As I stated in my e-mail to you this weekend I will go ahead and get the copy of the fire incident report for you. I submitted the request on Monday.

...will not provide anything more than a few photos, threats, and demand for payment...
It would have gone a long way if you had given me any indication that you were interested in anything other than absolving yourself from this incident from the beginning. You never said you would proceed, only after I got the fire report, you never asked for any other pictures or told me that you had any intention of meeting with me or making any kind of restitution. You just told me you would not pay for anything and that it must have been an external short or some other external event.
 

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My 2 cents worth---do NOT give the battery to anyone until more is settled. To let someone come and examine (lawyers present) is one thing-to give or ship it to someone means you dont have the pack, it CAN (I am NOT saying it would happen) be modified to look differently. Do NOT let the pack out of your site---perhaps let YOUR insurance company have it for examination for possible lawsuit. You MAY need the pack to prove something in court-hold on to it!
 

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If the heat shrink failed, this is an example of what could of happened. http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/25470-diy-read-battery-burning-yikes.html

When I reported my car damaged on a military base I filed a police report. I got a new assigned parking place and had expected a copy for my insurance. I had to file a FOIA request and wait 6 weeks to get a copy of the report I filed. :-?

It was pretty straight forward asking my name, address, incident and reason for the report. I didnt ask why as working for the gov you got a lot of unexpected red tape to do anything.

Glad no one was hurt. :)
 

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The forum is not a place for a dirt slinging contest.
Neither does the forum wish to become embroiled in a possible legal action.

This thread is now closed until Hybrid Revolt & HCH2003 work out a solution in private.
Then it will be opened so they can post a final update for members here due to the safety aspect of the incident.

Determining the cause (if possible) of failure like this is important for all our packs.

Peter
 

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Update

This matter/thread has been discussed at length by the mods.
The owners of the forum have also been involved as the final arbiter on my decision to close it.

The forum representative agreed that the thread should remain closed/locked for the time being.

It has been stickied to await a resolution from the parties involved so we can all get an update on the cause/outcome.

Peter
 

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Thread re-opened.

I have received a note from HCH2003 that the dispute between HR & HCH2003 has been resolved.

I don't have any details and we are now awaiting Matt's update re his investigation into the cause of the fire.

The thread is now open to continue as a document / repository / discussion.
 

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It stays in the 90's here in central Florida for months on end, like it is right now. I am overcoming the heat issue three ways:

#1 - dark tinted windows all around, a must for Florida

#2 - Thick, insulated foil sun shades front and back. The back one is actually for an SUV, and I turn it longways, fold it over at the top (since it's too long) and stick it in the hinge, then as I begin to close the hatch, I pull the lower end tight and slam the hatch on the lower end. This punched a hole in the shade where the hatch latches, but the hatch closes all the way and the shade tucks up tight on the long rear window (over the battery area), keeping the interior cool.

#3 - I have the rain deflectors on the windows, so I leave the windows cracked to vent the hot air. Even if it pours rain, which it does almost daily right now, none gets into the car.

When I get in the car after work, at the hottest part of the day, the interior (and thus the IMA battery) is barely even warm.
 

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Sorry for interjecting with the subject matter of the thread, but I was wondering if there was any evidence of packs lasting longer in cooler climatic zones to hotter ones?

I am no expert in battery cell technology, but wet cells (like the 12v lead acid ones) always seem to give out in the winter when the temperature is cold, and perform better in the warmer summers. Through my knowledge of chemistry, I would put that down to a positive correlation of excitation of the electrons in the component half cells of the battery with increasing temperature. Though I would assume that this plot would be a bell-shaped curve with voltage on the X, and temperature on the Y axis.

I assume dry cells work in a similar way, so is it a case of each type of chemistry has its own optimum operating temperature, or is it a case of the former plus the caveat that above a certain temperature the cells incur damage in some cumulative way?

The weather in the UK is generally mildly warm and mildly cool, i.e. it probably goes below freezing for up to 20 days a year, and very rarely gets above 85-90 in the summer (though the greenhouse effect in the car could increase that)...

It would be interesting to know what the optimum operating temperature of the cells in my Insight 2 are, I am assuming that they are Li-ion. This would allow me to know when to run the AC in the summer.

Cowmeat: I wonder if the humidity in FL is additive to the temperature... I would say that it certainly would not help things.
 

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The best argument is the fact Honda and other manufactures have a reduces warranty in a few states that has deserts.

Sorry for interjecting with the subject matter of the thread, but I was wondering if there was any evidence of packs lasting longer in cooler climatic zones to hotter ones?
 

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Yes, there is lots of evidence that batteries last longer in the northern latitudes. All batteries work better when hot, for the reasons you say. But the increased chemical excitation also causes the "degradation reactions" to occur more often, leading to decreased cell longevity. The only thing a NiMH battery has in common with a lead acid battery is that they're both batteries.

It's fairly rare that I replace a 14 year old battery from say Texas(30°N), but I replace them just about every day here in the Pacific Northwest(45°N). The database we are building allows us to see these things on a high level, and track them - both incoming cores, and new outgoing packs. Of course, none of the new packs have existed long enough to get any real longevity data on them, but I'll be damned if I don't at least try.

Heat Index(Humidity) and Wind Chill are human phenomenon, they do not affect inanimate objects. They state that it feels like a different temperature than it is; but the actual temperature is still the actual temperature.

Optimum temperature for a NiMH cell is right around room temperature, maybe a bit above, for longevity and output. Your 2nd generation Insight uses NiMH cells.
 

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So using a swamp cooler on the IMA system would have no effect?

Now to further complicate things you got the dc to dc converter that gets cooled too and the more load, the more heat it generates.
 

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Yes it would have an effect. Two, in-fact. Swamp coolers do decrease the actual temperature via evaporation, but they also increase the humidity. They work best in low humidity conditions. The increased humidity post-cooler would have negative consequences for the IMA battery and all the electrical connections inside the IMA compartment.
 

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I dont know about you Fuelish, but on those days that its 100% humidity here on the east coast and just under 90 degrees I get the best mpg. I think part is the air density for both the ima and engine. I dont think living in a humid climate will cause electrical problems.
 

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Moisture + metal = Corrosion. Corrosion + electricity = electrical problems. There is no debate. Has nothing to do with MPG.

And a swamp cooler will do absolutely nothing in 100% humidity. :)
 

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If air can only hold 100% moisture, how is a humid climate any diff than using a swamp cooler?

Most cars I see with corrosion issues were either flood car, beach cars or in the NE where lots of chemicals are used for snow and ice removal.

And a swamp cooler will do absolutely nothing in 100% humidity. :)
 
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