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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Plano, Texas

    Default Hybrid Vehicle "Fizz"

    A firefighter from Minnesota wrote me about a report of an unusual sound when a hybrid vehicle goes into the water. I researched this and have concluded that this is an Urban Legend and should not be reported further.

    "I was speaking to a fellow firefighter who is an auto mechanic and he asked me if our department had any SOP's in regards to hybrids going into a pond or lake. He said that the manufacturer suggests to wait for the "fizzing" to stop before trying to rescue or recover occupants. Do you have any more info on this type of incident? Thanks!!"

    The best reply came directly from Toyota's hybrid engineers. Here's their summary of all this...
    "In response to your request, the hybrid HV battery pack is quite small when compared to a full electric vehicle battery pack and its location is deep
    within the vehicle. I have not heard that "fizzing" nor "bubbling" has
    been reported during submersion tests, so I do not think this should be part of an operating procedure. I have heard the "READY" light will eventually shut off after the vehicle has been submerged for a period of time. Our recommendation is the same that follows in the published ERG.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Thumbs up If only....

    If only we could all work towards putting these 'legends' to rest and distributing valid information regarding all hazards.

    So....if you're aware of any 'legends' lets hear them. Is it fact or fiction?
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Ft Worth, Tx


    I tryed to find out exactly what all of the different ERGs said about submerged cars and after studying all of them I got a surprise.
    Honda part:1 page 8: Submerged or partially submerged vehicle.
    pull the vehicle out of the water, then use one of the procedures described below for preventing electric current from flowing through the high voltage cables. There is no risk of electric shock from touching the car's body or framework in or out of the water.

    Toyota basically the same as Ron said the manufacture told him. almost the same as Honda

    Then surprise!!!
    Ford Escape ERG page 11 par;3 " If the vehicle is submerged in water- do not touch any high voltage components or cables while extricating the occupant. Do not remove the vehicle until you are sure the high voltage battery is completely discharged. A submerged high voltage battery may produce a fizzing or bubbling reaction. The high voltage battery will be discharged when the fizzing or bubbling has completely stopped."

    I am going to study it deeper and see if we can find the difference. It seems Ford is the only one reporting this, I read all of them.
    Last edited by LeeJunkins; 07-18-2006 at 03:17 AM.
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Ft Worth, Tx


    I have been 3 days researching the reason why Ford would mention this in their ERG and know one else. I have exhusted my resources and found nothing.

    Ron, Todd, Jorg Heck, you guys have manufactures contacts can you find out for us, if maybe Fords Batteries are made of a different material, or what ever. It seems funny that they would stress this fizzing and no one else dose.
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Missouri City, TX


    I believe that the only reason it is mentioned by Ford is because there battery is positioned where you might hear the fizzing or hissing. It is in an open area with the rear hatch open. All other manufacturers batteries are concealed behind trim panels.

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