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Discussion Starter #1
We were in the tax office picking up our tags for our new Prius and were telling people about it when one of the "officials" (a justice of the peace) stopped by and related a concern he had heard.

It seems the the highway patrolmen have been told to be very cautious when investigating a hybrid car that has been involved in a rear end collision. They were told that if the batteries have been crushed or cracked dangerous fumes could be escaping and could cause fire or other hazards to someone's health if they breathed it.

I told him I hadn't heard about such a danger but I suppose it could happen. He advised if we should be "rear ended", we should immediately evacuate the car a move some distance away.

Anyone else heard anything like this?

Stan
2004 Millennium Silver #7
 

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Emergency Responder's info

classic 2001-2003 Prius:
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/1stprius.pdf

2004 Prius:
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/2ndprius.pdf

in skimming over the documents, the only fumes you'd have to worry about is in the case of a fire (not specific to the battery). Nothing specific is listed about fumes from the battery pack. (some fumes are emitted in the unlikely event of battery overcharging, but that's not listed as having any issues with breathing...)

it's also highly unlikely that you'd breach both the metal case and the batteries' plastic case, but the worst item would be the pH 13.5 NiMH electrolyte... But that's easily cleaned up.

There's already been several accidents, and the battery pack has not been affected at all - it's well protected.
 

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Re: Emergency Responder's info

mrv said:
it's also highly unlikely that you'd breach both the metal case and the batteries' plastic case, but the worst item would be the pH 13.5 NiMH electrolyte... But that's easily cleaned up.
Sodium hydroxide gel, kinda hard to inhale. One does have to remember not to eat it and not to rub it into one's eyes :_>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RE

Good point Richard. I'm beginning to think the JP may have had a little envy. He never said anything positive about the car in spite of our accolades. Everyone else seemed really positive about it. He did raise our concerns but now I feel very comfortable about the batteries.

Thanks,

Stan
2004 Millennium Silver #7
 

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Re: RE

stancy said:
Good point Richard. I'm beginning to think the JP may have had a little envy. He never said anything positive about the car in spite of our accolades. Everyone else seemed really positive about it. He did raise our concerns but now I feel very comfortable about the batteries.

Thanks,

Stan
2004 Millennium Silver #7
I believe there are references in the Owner's Manual advising drivers how to proceed in the unlikely event of their battery being damaged in an accident. It's the kind of information that can quickly spin into urban myth, especially when you're driving a vehicle that some people love to hate.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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NiMH batteries do not give off a dangerous gas but if they are ruptured, the electrolytic material inside is corrosive to skin - not like six molar hydrochloric acid but to be avoided.

I believe that some people think that the Prius' main battery is a lead-acid battery that could give off dangerous gases that could ignite or cause illness.
 
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