Two fires last week have caused Mitsubishi to temporarily stop production on their Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid vehicle and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle while they investigate the fires.
The first fire happened on March 18th at the Mizushima factory in Japan in the battery pack of a Mitsubishi iMiev. The pack overheated and caused a fire that damaged the building. The fire may have been started by what Mitsubishi is calling a change in the manufacturing process of the battery supplier. Mitsubishi is calling fleet-vehicle operators with iMiev electric vehicles with batteries manufactured under the same process.
On March 21, an Outlander PHEV overheated at a Yokohama dealership when about 80 cells int he battery overheated, damaging 1 of 3 blocks of cells in the battery and causing the un-sold vehicle not to run.The incident occurred after the battery was fully charged for the first time
Mitsubishi is asking all owners of the Outlander PHEV to hold off on external charging or charge mode while they investigate the incident. Simply drive the Outlander PHEV in the other drive modes.
Mitsubishi says the fires will not delay the Outlander PHEV’s launch in the USA.
Mitsubishi has sold over 4000 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV vehicles in Japan, and sales in the Netherlands have pre-ordered all stock for the rest of the year. Total orders worldwide for the Outlander PHEV are over 7500.