Who is responsible if Lithium Battery in Electric Car is exploded in the US?-An ultimate guide 2024

Who is responsible if lithium battery in EV vehicle is exploded in the US?| Lithium Battery Explosions in EV
Who is responsible if Lithium Battery in Electric Car is exploded in the US?

An electric car may be the reason for a dangerous zone when it comes to the explosion of an electric car battery. Most electric car owners use a lithium-ion battery. Then who is responsible if lithium batteries in an electric car are exploded in the US?

If a lithium battery in an electric car explodes in the US, the responsibility for the incident would depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the event the manufacturer of the battery or the electric car, the distributor or retailer, improper maintenance or repair of the electric car or its battery by a maintenance service provider and user’s misuse or failure to follow safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer

Anyone related to the sale, manufacturer, transporter, and other supply chain members can be held responsible for the lithium battery explosion in the electric vehicle. The Manufacturer can be considered to be responsible for any defect related to the battery in the first place. A lawsuit can be filed against the responsible entity and the required compensation can be claimed.  

Who is responsible if lithium battery in EV vehicle is exploded in the US?

1. Manufacturer
2. Distributor 
3. Others
responsible for the Lithium battery explosion in Electric vehicles
  1. Manufacturer
car manufacturing

Manufacturers are responsible if a lithium battery in an EV vehicle is exploded in the United States, But only if the fault is on the manufacturer’s side. The manufacturer is responsible for an explosion in a lithium battery if there is a fault in the battery.

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to provide safe products to the buyer. The customers need to be warned by the manufacturer of possible hazards and safety precautions, in any form.

If any fault is there in the lithium battery company, the manufacturer company is responsible for the explosions.

Recently various electric vehicle brands such as Hyundai, BMW, and GM have recalled their models of electric cars due to the potential risk of explosion and fire.

Lithium-ion battery explosion can cause Injury, Scars, Hearing and vision impairment, permanent disability, and even death. For such injuries, you can claim compensation over past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, and past and future suffering, according to law firms.    

There are several lawsuits filed against the manufacturers for the battery explosion. One such case is James Riley has filed a lawsuit against Tesla accusing that an explosion in the battery caused the death of his son.

Also, another lawsuit for the reason that tesla has not warned of the potential risks of locked door handles, smoke, and fire.

In short, Manufacturers can be held responsible for the explosion of the lithium-ion vehicle battery if

  • There is a fault in the battery itself from the manufacturer’s side
  • The manufacturer has not warned customers about potential risks

  1. Distributor

Distributors can also be held responsible to some extent for the lithium battery explosion in the United States. The distributors are also part of the supply chain of electric vehicles. They can also bear some blame.

Distributors have nothing to do with a manufacturing defects. But if a product gets several market complaints of an explosion, fire, or any defect, then the distributor should act as a responsible person. This applies to every region including the United States.  

For a recurring defect, the Distributor can be held accountable for placing a defective product on the market.

The lithium battery in EVs needs to pass several safety tests to get to the market. If the lithium battery in an EV explodes during normal use, then doubtfully it may be a manufacturing defect. Though distributors can be sued for the case, most likely manufacturers are appropriate to be said responsible.

  1. Others

Finding the exact cause of the explosion of the lithium battery is important first. The exact cause can clear the way to look for the responsible person.

The explosion of the electric vehicle battery may be due to misuse of the battery or manipulation of the battery. So the person involved in such things can be said responsible for the electric vehicle battery exploding.

Sometimes it may be an accident caused by some external factors. Still, the manufacturer can be held responsible for not warning customers about the precautions and hazards.

Also any other element in the supply chain of electric vehicles, EV batteries can be held responsible based on the evidence you have and the cause of the explosion of lithium batteries in Electric Vehicle.  

The explosion of Lithium-ion batteries is a matter of concern in the EV market. The various recalls cases and lawsuits might have reached you regarding the electric vehicles catching fire.

The explosion of the lithium battery in an Electric Vehicle can lead to injury as well as permanent disability and also death. Such a harmful incident needs to be avoided, and reported and proper compensation should be claimed. Electric vehicle owners should aware of whom to consider responsible if the lithium battery in an EV vehicle is exploded.

Here we discuss about whom to consider responsible if lithium batteries in EV are exploded in the US. Also, we cover what can you claim as compensation after the electric vehicle explosion.

We also take a look over what are the causes of the lithium-ion battery explosion. Several safety standards should be followed by the manufacturer and other supply chain members of electric vehicles, mentioned here.


Lithium Battery in Electric Vehicle Explode in the US – Reported Cases

Lithium Battery in Electric Vehicle Explode

According to Bedsfire, in 2019 the London fire brigade dealt with 54 electric vehicle fires and in 2020 the number is 27. Though the chances of catching fire from an electric vehicle are one in 12 million, the fires are very severe.

A couple in san Francisco faced an electric car fire, which spread across the house while they were sleeping. They got to know about the blaze when the vehicle alarmed, reports the Washington Post.

Tesla Model S October 2013, caught fire when the electric car hit metal debris on a highway in Kent, Washington. Another case involved loss of control and collision with a tree in Merida, Mexico. In both cases, lithium batteries may have exploded.

Chevrolet bolt has also had many reported fire and battery explosion cases. Last year a Chevrolet bolt battery fire caused severe damage to an electric vehicle and a home.

There are several cases to mention about lithium batteries causing fire and explosions. Various companies have recalled the vehicles. Hyundai recalled Kona EV, BMW recalled its i3 and ix models, and GM also recalled its electric vehicles recently.

Can Lithium Battery in EV Explode?

The lithium battery is prone to explosion. These batteries are also used in electric vehicles. The lithium-ion batteries in Electric vehicles are large and contain hundreds of lithium-ion cells within them. This much amount of energy is stored in the lithium-ion battery in an EV.

The lithium-ion electric vehicle battery contains flammable substances and electrolytes. There are two parts cathode and anode in an electric vehicle lithium-ion battery. They are separated from each other, with a membrane. When this membrane gets damaged, the two electrolytes come into contact with each other.

There is a large direct current flow through the cell, which gets converted into heat energy. The heat energy causes the flammable electrolytes to vaporize and they get out of the battery which is called thermal runaway.

This thermal runaway causes an explosion. The small lithium-ion cells keep igniting one by one. And fire due to the explosion of the lithium-ion battery in EVs becomes difficult to manage.

What are the Causes of the Lithium Battery in EV Explosion?

There can be several factors that can cause lithium batteries in electric vehicles to Explode. These can be environmental factors or manual factors. There are several causes of a lithium-ion battery explosion.

3 reasons why electric car batteries can explode
1. Damaged Battery 
2. Improper Manufacturing 
3. Software Failure
the causes of the Lithium battery in EV explosion
  1. High Temperature

The higher temperatures can be a factor responsible for the electric vehicle battery explosion. The normal temperature range of lithium batteries is charging 0 ~ 45 ℃; discharging -20 ~ 65 ℃; storing 0 ~ 45 ℃.  Temperatures higher than 120℃ can deteriorate the internal material of the battery, according to benzo energy.

This table shows the normal range of the temperatures at which the lithium battery operates at various battery conditions

Charging0 ~ 45 ℃
Discharging20 ~ 65 ℃
Storing0 ~ 45 ℃
Normal temperatures at which the lithium battery operates at various battery conditions

The higher temperature can excite the flammable substances in the lithium-ion battery, and thus cause thermal runaway responsible for the explosion.

  1. Overcharging 
The electric car caught fire due to overcharging at a charging station

Overcharging can also lead to the lithium-ion battery explosion in an electric vehicle. The electric vehicles are equipped with a battery management system, which tells when to stop the charge.

There might be two reasons for the explosion of the electric vehicle battery. Either there is not proper care taken for the lithium battery or the failure of the battery management system. If there is a failure of the battery management system, then it is a manufacturing defect.

  1. Circuit defect 

There might be a defect or fault in the circuit of the battery, that can cause overheating or fire. This is also a manufacturing defect.

  1. Damage

If the battery is damaged it is susceptible to fire and explosion. The damaged electric vehicle batteries are dangerous to use. They should be replaced soon.

There are several other reasons for the lithium-ion battery explosion, such as software failure of the car, misuse of the battery, use of a non-standard battery, etc.

In a study of the 14 electric vehicle fires, some findings have come out. Out of the vehicles that caught fire due to vapor cloud explosion, 50% were connected to energized charging, while 35.7% of the fire incidences occurred when they were parked in the open air. 

Who is Responsible for the Lithium Battery Explosion in Electric Vehicles in the US?

How Lithium Battery is Dangerous?

A lithium-ion battery has to do several safety checks and fulfill the standards to make it to the market. If such a battery causes fire then there might be a fault on the manufacturer’s side.

There are several recalls, and cases in the news about the lithium batteries in electric vehicles catching fire. Though cases of lithium-ion batteries catching fire are rare, they cannot be ignored as they are much more severe than normal gasoline vehicle fires.

Lithium batteries are dangerous because 

  • They have a chance of catching fire, as they contain flammable and volatile substances.
  • They can cause severe damage to the body, including injuries, burns, and in rare cases death also.
  • They can cause an economic loss of property and damage to a large extent.  

The lithium batteries are safe unless you don’t interfere with them. But they are hazardous if they get damaged.

Lithium-ion batteries have volatile electrolytes within them. The batteries are sensitive to temperature. If they get overheated thermal runaway can occur. The battery gets exploded. The lithium battery fire is difficult to extinguish because each cell propagates differently. Also, the lithium-ion cells keep igniting.

In Germany, a fire where some electric buses were parked, destroyed over a million euros.  

Lithium-ion batteries explosion can claim a life. It can lead to severe burns and disabilities. The battery fire can cause property damage and economic loss.

The 150 kWh battery has an energy density equivalent to 1/10th of the energy density of heat generated by the explosion of the TNT. The explosion releases vapors that can be harmful to the body.

A tesla vehicle took 25000 gallons of water to control the fire caused by an electric vehicle battery explosion. This is how much dangerous a lithium-ion battery in an electric vehicle is.

What are the Sufferings Due to the Lithium-ion Battery Explosion?

A lithium-ion battery explosion is severe and can cause severe harm to the human body. Lithium-ion battery explosion can cause death also. The first responders can face breathlessness due to hazardous vapors.

The harms that may be caused by a lithium battery in the electric vehicle are

  • Serious burns
  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Permanent disability
  • Death
facial burn after car battery explosion

It is necessary to stay away from lithium battery products if you notice any unusual thing happening like smoke, overheating, etc. The necessary precautions and safety practices can save you from the safety hazards caused by the lithium battery explosion in electric vehicles.

What can be Claimed as Compensation for the Lithium Battery Explosion?

The lithium battery explosion in electric vehicles can be a manufacturer defect or the distributor can also be blamed. As the lithium battery explosion in electric vehicles can cause any type of injury, medical bills, and economic losses can be recovered as compensation.

From the lawsuit against the responsible, you can claim

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Medical Bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Past and future suffering

For compensation, the lawsuit can be filed with the proper consultation of the lawyer. The first step would be tracing the cause of the explosion of the lithium battery in electric vehicles. There are several injury lawyers and law firms active in the united states, to get you your compensation.

What to do if You Get Injured After a Lithium Battery in Electric Vehicle Explode?

The Lithium battery explosion is dangerous. They can cause minor burns to severe injuries. Death may occur with rare consequences. Anyone who suffers from severe injuries due to the lithium battery explosion in electric vehicles can have a chance to get compensated. If anyone gets injured by the lithium-ion battery explosion, then the following things should be followed.

What to do if you get injured after a lithium battery in Electric Vehicle Explode?
1. Medical Attention 
2. Collect the evidence
3. Contact Lawyer and insurance
do if you get injured after a lithium battery in Electric Vehicle Explode
  1. Medical Attention

Those who are sufferers of the lithium battery explosion and fire should be immediately given medical attention. In case of minor burns, first aid and then hospital treatment should be given.

In case of severe injury, proper medical treatment is recommended. Proper treatment and care are necessary. Severe burns may require specialized intensive attention and surgeries.

  1. Collect the evidence

The evidence of battery explosions should be collected. The parts of the exploded electric vehicle battery should be collected but with proper care, and gloves.

Any metal that came into contact with the battery should be collected. Also if any other charger or electronic gadget used at the time of battery explosion should be kept aside.

The receipts of the purchase of the vehicle, battery, warranty cards, etc. Should be stored safely. If the aftermarket battery is used then the bill of the battery, or the photo/ video of the interior and exterior of the shop may be collected, as evidence. All this evidence can help the lawyer trace the origin of the explosion and find the responsible person for the lithium battery in the electric vehicle explosion.

  1. Contact Lawyer and Insurance

Contact the lawyer in case you want to file a lawsuit against the responsible. If there is a medical claim or insurance for your health, consult a lawyer if it will be appropriate to approach the insurance company or if it will affect the case. The proper action should be taken.  

What are the Safety Standards For Lithium Battery of EVs in the United States?

The lithium-ion batteries are included in various gadgets and instruments including Smartphones,  e-cigarettes, and even electronic toys. Electric Vehicles use a Lithium-ion battery, a Lithium-ion polymer battery.

These batteries perform better and are used widely. But they are in the news due to their explosions in electric vehicles. The lithium batteries in EVs need to follow some safety standards.

There are several regulations and safety standards for Lithium batteries in EVs in the united states.

  1. UL Standards

Underwriter Laboratories (UL) provides voluntary standards for various products including Lithium Batteries.

There are several Lithium battery safety standards by UL, some are here in this table.

UL standardApplicable For
UL 1642Standards for Lithium Batteries
UL 2054The standard for Household and Commercial Batteries
UL 4200AThe standard for Safety for Products Incorporating Button or Coin Cell Batteries of Lithium Technologies
UL 60086-4Standard For Safety For Primary Batteries – Part 4: Safety Of Lithium Batteries
UL standards for lithium-ion batteries

  1. CPSC Battery Standards

According to CPSC standards, Battery Powered products shall comply with applicable voluntary standards including

StandardsApplicable For
ANSI/NEMA C18Safety Standards for Primary, Secondary, and Lithium Batteries
UL 1642The standard for Safety for Lithium Batteries
UL 2054The standard for Household and Commercial Batteries
IEEE 1725The standard for Rechargeable Batteries for Mobile Telephones
CPSC Battery standards For Lithium Batteries

As per CPSC Battery standards, battery-powered products shall include the systems like Battery Management Systems.

If overheating is the cause of electric vehicle lithium battery exploding, then there might be some failure in the battery management system or absence of it. This can be a manufacturer defect.

  1. HMR regulations

HMR is Hazardous Materials Regulations. The HMR set the requirements for dangerous goods, which includes lithium battery products also. According to the HMR regulations the following conditions are to be followed for transportation.

  • There must be standardized labels on the product as well as its packaging while transporting it in the United  States.
  • The lithium batteries must be properly classed, packaged, marked, labeled, and described before transportation.
  • The limited quantity of lithium-ion batteries and lithium-ion polymer batteries is 35 kg for cargo aircraft only.
  • The product including the lithium-ion battery should comply with all standards.


The manufacturer is responsible for the lithium battery explosion in the electric vehicles if there is any defect in the battery from the manufacturer’s side. Even if the manufacturer hasn’t warned about the potential risks of battery then also manufacturer can be held responsible.

The distributor can also be considered responsible to some extent for placing the faulty product on the market. The responsibility depends on the cause of the explosion of the lithium battery.

Other members of the supply chain can also share the blame to some extent. If the cause is clear then the lawsuit can be filed appropriately.


Can the Lithium-ion Battery in an Electric Vehicle Explode?

The lithium-ion battery in an electric vehicle can explode if there is damage to the battery or exposure to a higher temperature is there.

Are Electric Vehicles More Likely to Catch Fire? Are They Difficult to Extinguish?

Electric vehicles are less likely reported to catch fire than gasoline vehicles. But the intensity and duration of fire by electric vehicle battery explosions are much higher and more dangerous.

The vapors that get into the atmosphere by electric vehicle fires are hazardous. The lithium-ion cells are hard to extinguish, they keep igniting again and again. Extinguishing an electric vehicle fire can take much more water.

What Compensation Can We Claim for an Injury Caused by a Lithium-ion Battery Explosion?

The medical bills, future, and past medical expenses, and economic losses caused by the explosion can be claimed as compensation for the injury caused by the lithium-ion battery explosion.

Do Electric Vehicle Batteries have Any Safety Standards in the United States?

Electric vehicle batteries need to follow certain safety standards. In the United States, the safety standards such as UL standards, CPSC standards, and HMR regulations need to be followed.

Related Posts to the battery

  1. Did Tesla include Range Extender in Model S?
  2. Why Are Lead Acid Batteries Used In Electric Cars?
  3. Why I Bought a Level 2 EV Charger?
  4. How To Charge Leisure Batteries from Electric Car Charging Stations?
  5. Top 5 ways to charge a dead Tesla electric car battery fast-A complete guide 2024
  6. Top 13 New York Electric Car Law-A complete guide 2024
  7. Can a Standard Range Tesla be Upgraded to Long Range Tesla
  8. How Many Batteries Are Fixed In Electric Cars?-An Ultimate guide 2024
  9. Tesla Model 3 Battery Heater
  10. Is Uranium Utilized In EV Batteries?
  11. Tesla Model S Low Voltage Battery Replacement Cost
  12. Top 10 electric cars which have fewer heating issues. [ 2024 updated ]
  13. Electric Car Battery Capacity Amp Hours
  14. How Much Lithium Is In Car Battery?
  15. Do Tire and Wheel Choice Affect Electric Car Range?

About Author

Bharat Suthar

I am principal creator of electriccarexperience.com. I like riding Electric Car, UTV in mountains and Terrain, Also I try to share all the real life experience here in the site.I am really dedicated to write about my experience. I love doing all the outdoor activity including riding electric car, dirt biking and hiking.

Recent Posts