During Hurricane Sandy three Toyota Prius models caught fire in Port Newark.
It seems that the 16 Fisker Karma hybrids that burned to the ground in Port Newark, New Jersey due to Hurricane Sandy weren’t the only ones. According to a source the hurricane’s water breached the port, submerging the vehicles, which then caught fire and exploded. This is not the first case of sudden combustion seen at these cars, as the Karmas use a small gasoline engine to charge batteries that send energy to two electric motors.Port Newark also had 4,000 Toyota vehicles parked, from which 2,128 were plug-in or hybrid models.
“One Prius out and out burned, the others just kind of smoldered and got really hot,” said Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokeswoman. “Once the salt gets in there, it’s ready to do damage.”
If Toyota has an explanation for the incident, Fisker still doesn’t know how the vehicles caught fire after they were submerged in sea water. Officials also believe that the salt water may have caused a short that led to the fire.
“We have confidence in the Fisker Karma and safety is our primary concern. While we intend to find the cause as quickly as possible, storm damage has restricted access to the port,” said the company in a statement.