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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am trying to do some research as I plan on buying my first new car soon and I would really like a Hybrid (either the Prius or CIvic). Here's the question, I've beeen told by someone I know who is a firefighter that the prius is dangerous in car accidents bc the fire dept can't pull you out of one. They are told not to pull drivers from the prius because of leaks from the batttery, and to call HAZMAT instead. Now this sounds creepy to me...if I'm in an accident I have to sit around and wait for Hazmat in my upside down car?

Does anyone know anything about this and/or any other dangers associated with the Prius? Also, are the same dangers evident in the Civic Hybrid?

I do worry about accidents, I live in NYC. :D

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!
 

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espresso said:
Hello all,

I am trying to do some research as I plan on buying my first new car soon and I would really like a Hybrid (either the Prius or CIvic). Here's the question, I've beeen told by someone I know who is a firefighter that the prius is dangerous in car accidents bc the fire dept can't pull you out of one. They are told not to pull drivers from the prius because of leaks from the batttery, and to call HAZMAT instead. Now this sounds creepy to me...if I'm in an accident I have to sit around and wait for Hazmat in my upside down car?

Does anyone know anything about this and/or any other dangers associated with the Prius? Also, are the same dangers evident in the Civic Hybrid?

I do worry about accidents, I live in NYC. :D

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry, I think I've heard of this- it's part of some urban legend.!!!

I own both a Honda Civic Hybrid and a Prius and in both cars there's nothing to leak other than all the other fluids you'll find in every other car on the road in the world today! The battery pack in the hybrids are rechargeable batteries like the ones you find in your cell phones and another rechargeable applliances. (In fact in the Honda Civic, it's just a bank of regular D-size NiHd cells!)

The only concern as far as rescuers are concern is the high voltage main cable which is a concern if they have to cut you out of the car. But in both cars, that cable is very well marked and is bright orange - and all fire and rescue squad personell know about it.

I actually ask the firestation down the road from me if they have concern and their answer is NO. They've never heard of the HASMAT thing but they do know about not cutting into the big orange cable under the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks! That's so annoying...I wonder if the fire dept near me is just misinformed? I guess that could be it!

btw, since you own both, which do you like better? the 06 civic seems really nice, and i think it's cheaper!
 

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espresso said:
thanks! That's so annoying...I wonder if the fire dept near me is just misinformed? I guess that could be it!
Hmmmm... trust the Fireman you actually know who will be the guy saving (or not saving) your life...

or

"some guy" from the Internet...

:roll:


better check with your local fire dept. again before trusting ANYTHING you read online.

ESPECIALLY if you life might depend on it.
 

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espresso said:
thanks! That's so annoying...I wonder if the fire dept near me is just misinformed? I guess that could be it!

btw, since you own both, which do you like better? the 06 civic seems really nice, and i think it's cheaper!
Hmm.. I don't know how they could be misinformed. all they had to do is take a look at any of the hybrids on the road today and see that the battery pack is a bunch of regular rechargeable cell - all solid stuff - and no fluid to spill. They may be thinking about "fuel cells"

As for the Honda Civic vs Prius, I have a 04 Honda and 05 Prius. For mileage and pure "geek" factor, the Prius wins hands down! For more "normal" car look, feel and drive, I like the Civic. When I first decided to get a hybrid, the Prius was just too ugly for me - so I got the Civic. Then when my wife needed to upgrade her car, we decided to get the Prius - and she just love it. We switch off driving every now and then, and I'm begining to come around on the PRius - it's still ugly - but for pure geek value, I can learn to like it. I would like the 06 Civic better - it's a great improvement over my 04 - electric power A/C is a must in the summer here.
 

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espresso said:
Hello all,

I am trying to do some research as I plan on buying my first new car soon and I would really like a Hybrid (either the Prius or CIvic). Here's the question, I've beeen told by someone I know who is a firefighter that the prius is dangerous in car accidents bc the fire dept can't pull you out of one. They are told not to pull drivers from the prius because of leaks from the batttery, and to call HAZMAT instead. Now this sounds creepy to me...if I'm in an accident I have to sit around and wait for Hazmat in my upside down car?

Does anyone know anything about this and/or any other dangers associated with the Prius? Also, are the same dangers evident in the Civic Hybrid?

I do worry about accidents, I live in NYC. :D

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!
Ok - show your firestation this website from a fire resue service in Florida about dealing with hybrid. Note - there is nothing in it about fluids. All the concerns are about the high voltage electrical systems:
http://www.firerescue.alachua.fl.us/hyb ... _cars.html
Other relevant info here:
http://techbuzz.iun.edu/story_archive/hybrid.shtml
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2 ... afety.html
 

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I took the Prius because it had more space in the back. If you do a fair amount of hauling stuff around, I'd definitely go with the Prius. If you just want a normal commuter car and don't need much trunk space, the Civic might be fine for you.
 

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So how does this fire fighter deal with LPG or other types of compressed gas?
Propane, etc....
How about the acid in a standard Lead acid 12 volt battery?
You might not have to be afraid of electrocution but I've seen a 12 volt battery in a car turn a shorted cable white hot...
There's lot's of hazards from combustables or electricity in cars already.
I can't picture a fireman coming up to a wreck and saying, " hold it fellas, it's a Prius, let them burn".
 

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It will have 100 Volts or more DC battery in the back

Yes Prius or for that matter any hybrid is vehicle is dangerous when compared to some other vehicle which is based on hybrid technology. But during accidents I heard that Toyota has well defined safety mechanisms to cutoff the power when accidents do happen and they are also marked in Orange color. Underneath the back seat there will be a heavy alkaline (not acid but alkaline which is less harmful) battery and touching that with bare skin could cause harmful injuries.

I would compare that with safety risks involved with gasoline engines as well catching up sudden fire as well on the highway. So far I believe no body involved with accident in Prius suffered from this battery hazard so I guess this is ok to drive.
 

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BEWARE Here is what happened to me:

My Prius radio was not working. Someone on the Internet said I could get to the diagnostic screen on the MD to figure out the problem by holding down the info button, turning the tail lights on & off 3 times rapidly, while putting my right foot in the glove box.

So I had just finished turning my tail lights on/off 3 times and was clearing the codes, when my neighbor noticed the flashes & thought I was morse coding the "panic" signal. He rushed over and filled my Prius with foam from his fire extinguisher.

A passing fire truck noticed all the commotion and, sirens blasting, raced up my driveway. I was still holding the info button because I did not want to interrupt the sequence, and my foot was stuck in the glove box.

They thought I was trapped in the car and pried all four doors off with the jaws of life before I could get enough foam out of my face to say something.

The firemen had read some bulletin about disabling Hybrid cars in a fire or accident, so they tore apart everything that was orange under the hood.

Hearing the siren on the driveway, Sig Other bear ran out of the house, tripped over the pet manatee, fell and broke her collarbone, landing on the manatee and injuring him so severely he had to be put down.

After the confusion died down, there we all were, standing in a circle looking at the dead Prius. :( My neighbor still had the foam fire extinguisher in his hand and was studying his shoes. Four firemen in full battle regalia had sheepish looks on their faces as they leaned on the jaws of life. One had a long snake of orange wire wrapped around his neck. The EMT team was wheeling a gurney with my Sig Other into their ambulance. It was VERY quiet... :cry: when all of a sudden...



...the Prius radio started playing like crazy :D .




Above is a work of fiction & satire. It is for amusement only. It is not to be taken literally. Although real product, features, city, location and company names are sometime used, any relationship to the real products, cities, locations, companies is purely coincidental.
_________________
 

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An04Prius said:
BEWARE Here is what happened to me:

Above is a work of fiction & satire. It is for amusement only. It is not to be taken literally. Although real product, features, city, location and company names are sometime used, any relationship to the real products, cities, locations, companies is purely coincidental.
_________________
I didn't like the part about the dog. :(
 

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yauman said:
Ok - show your firestation this website from a fire resue service in Florida about dealing with hybrid. Note - there is nothing in it about fluids. All the concerns are about the high voltage electrical systems:
http://www.firerescue.alachua.fl.us/hyb ... _cars.html
Other relevant info here:
http://techbuzz.iun.edu/story_archive/hybrid.shtml
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2 ... afety.html
I'd have more faith in the first link if they spelled "Insight" correctly, but that's neither here nor there ...

The real point of these links, and every other link you'll find about hybrid electrocution, is this: Hybrids have been on the road for over eight years now, and there are some 350,000 hybrids worldwide, yet there has not been a single reported case of hybrid-related electrocution. Perhaps there is cause for concern, but so far the risk appears to be less than the risk of being hit by lightning.
 

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Sanny said:
An04Prius said:
BEWARE Here is what happened to me:

Above is a work of fiction & satire. It is for amusement only. It is not to be taken literally. Although real product, features, city, location and company names are sometime used, any relationship to the real products, cities, locations, companies is purely coincidental.
_________________
I didn't like the part about the dog. :
(
part about the dog ? what part about the dog ? you may have misread it...there is a part about SigOther tripping over the cat :wink:

(Oops, now I'm going to get complaints from cat lovers)
 

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coloradospringsprius said:
... but so far the risk appears to be less than the risk of being hit by lightning.
UH oh...you see Colorado, the way this rumor/urban legend thing works is NOW a false story will circulate that driving a Hybrid increases your chance of being hit by lightning ! :wink:
 

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Turns out my numbers were way off. I read today that Toyota has sold over 500,000 hybrids wordwide. Add in Honda and Ford, and there must be ca. 700,000-750,000 hybrids without a known case of electrocution.
 

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An04Prius said:
Sanny said:
An04Prius said:
BEWARE Here is what happened to me:

Above is a work of fiction & satire. It is for amusement only. It is not to be taken literally. Although real product, features, city, location and company names are sometime used, any relationship to the real products, cities, locations, companies is purely coincidental.
_________________
I didn't like the part about the dog. :
(
part about the dog ? what part about the dog ? you may have misread it...there is a part about SigOther tripping over the cat :wink:

(Oops, now I'm going to get complaints from cat lovers)
Yeah, what's this about the terrible fate of the poor kitty? No wonder the canary sang -er - flew the coop. Not a nurturing environment at all.

Next thing we know you'll be picking on endangered species!

(Take away his edit button -- NOW)
 

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Astrowoman said:
An04Prius said:
Sanny said:
An04Prius said:
BEWARE Here is what happened to me:

_________________
I didn't like the part about the dog. :
(
part about the dog ? what part about the dog ? you may have misread it...there is a part about SigOther tripping over the pet manatee :wink:

(Oops, now I'm going to get complaints from cat lovers)
Yeah, what's this about the terrible fate of the poor kitty? No wonder the canary sang -er - flew the coop. Not a nurturing environment at all.

Next thing we know you'll be picking on endangered species!

(Take away his edit button -- NOW)
Kitty ? what part about the kitty ? please re-read it more carefully...maybe you mean the part about SigOther tripping over the pet manatee ? :? It was an ACCIDENT. As a matter of fact it wasnt even a REAL accident, just a fake story accident. :roll: :D

(I would never disrespect, endanger or abuse any animal) 8)
 

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espresso said:
Hello all,

I am trying to do some research as I plan on buying my first new car soon and I would really like a Hybrid (either the Prius or CIvic). Here's the question, I've beeen told by someone I know who is a firefighter that the prius is dangerous in car accidents bc the fire dept can't pull you out of one. They are told not to pull drivers from the prius because of leaks from the batttery, and to call HAZMAT instead. Now this sounds creepy to me...if I'm in an accident I have to sit around and wait for Hazmat in my upside down car?

Does anyone know anything about this and/or any other dangers associated with the Prius? Also, are the same dangers evident in the Civic Hybrid?

I do worry about accidents, I live in NYC. :D

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!

The battery cells in the Prius are sealed and in a location unlikely to be punctured in a collision. The electrolye is absorbed in the battery cells and should not leak even if the cell is cracked.

As for electrocution, it is not a major issue. The Prius disables the HV (high-voltage) system after an airbag deployment, the HV system is isolated from the chassis (and GFCIs are used to prevent leakage in the event of an insulation fault), and the HV components are jacketed in bright-orange insulation. The battery pack also bears warning labels.

Toyota has a guide for emergency responders that details the safety measures and potential hazards:

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

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Perhaps you should read and pass along the emergency response guides for the currently available hybrids:

Toyota Prius:
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/1stprius.pdf (2001-2003 Prius (sedan))
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/2ndprius.pdf (2004 and newer Prius (hatchback))

2006 Lexus RX400H:
http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/ ... RGreva.pdf

2006 Highlander HV: http://techinfo.toyota.com/public/main/ ... HVERG2.pdf

Honda Insight and Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid:
https://www.serviceexpress.honda.com/rj ... HYBRID.asp

Ford Escape Hybrid:
http://www.fordtechservice.dealerconnec ... escape.pdf or http://www.motorcraftservice.com/vdirs/ ... escape.pdf

GM mild-hybrid Silverado/Sierra:
http://www.gmstc.com/courses/available_courses.asp

Some more information for emergency responders can be found here:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 011822061/
 
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