Why Jeep Wranglers caught fire on the Indiana car carrier

Yesterday, photos from the Illinois Toll Road’s social media feed made a stir as a car carrier loaded mainly with new Jeeps was clearly on fire. Two Wranglers were most badly burned, and one of them was a 4xe, which could have stirred some anti-EV hate. An inquiry to Stellantis North America media relations yielded no answers.

Wrangler car fire

The people at the Allpar forums are more attentive, and found the root cause of the fire—also noting that the center of the fire wasn’t the lithium-ion battery of the Wrangler 4xe.

The fire, oddly enough, was caused by a tire fire on the carrier (possibly caused by an overheating brake). The fire ended up being contained, and only three of the vehicles on the carrier were badly damaged—according to the Westfield fire department, which responded quickly to the blaze.

6 thoughts on “Why Jeep Wranglers caught fire on the Indiana car carrier”

  1. Anti-EV hate?

    EVs are a technology. Although I’m opposed to the government forcing them down our throats, I don’t hate technologies. If and when they prove themselves a successful technology, I may even find myself liking them. But here’s the thing: at large scale, they are more or less unproven.

    Granted, there are lots of EV success stories; you’ve rightly pointed out the successes of EV trucks in Europe. Tesla certainly has garnered a spot in the automotive industry despite all of the odds against it doing so, and it has an impressive market cap.

    But here’s the thing: we haven’t yet reached a place where we’ve seen how having a few hundred million of these things on the roadways of North America is going to work out. We don’t know that they will truly replace ICE vehicles for everyone who is using a gasoline-powered vehicle today. There are significant economic and infrastructural questions yet to be resolved, and some of these things rival the original Moon shot in cost and complexity.

    The anti-EV “hate” that you mention isn’t a reaction to the vehicles themselves. Who among us wouldn’t want a fast honking Dodge EV with performance that puts the Hellcat vehicles to shame? The “hate” reaction is to being virtually forced into accepting and adopting them when the technology hasn’t proven to be as effective in everyday circumstances at large scale as what we have now. It’s not reticence to adopt a new technology; it’s a reaction to the heavy handed force of law that’s being applied.

    • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles also meet the standard. In essence we have a crisis similar to the ozone layer being destroyed. Action is needed. You and I may both think the action is not ideal, and in many ways is flawed, but it’s likely the easiest route. By the time EVs are 20% of sales, figure around 2026, the chargers will be very widespread. By 2030 they are to be 50% of sales, and I think that will partly be organic.

      It’s Europe that’s got ambitious government demands, not the US, for the most part… and some of the urgency today is because our government was incredibly slow and ineffectual in the past. Democratic administrations made massive exemptions and allowances for big trucks and SUVs because they didn’t want to bankrupt GM, Ford, and (Daimler/Fiat)Chrysler… Republican administrations tried to roll back all fuel economy rules. .. and nobody seriously promoted alternatives to everyone having to own a car to survive or work. As a result we’re in a big mess today.

      I think we should have the freedom to own or to *not own* cars. Electrics do nothing for that.

      I’m wandering a bit, I know. But the 100% replacement, if it happens at all, would be over ten years away, at a time when there are dozens of initiatives to resolve the problems we see today, safer battery technologies in late development states, and so on. I don’t like this leaning on EVs, but I suspect most of the problems being hyped up today will slowly disappear. We have an awful lot of clever engineers.

      (‘Course there are problems being caused by politicians as deliberate roadblocks, too. Note Texas’ new rules which *require* massive new nat-gas generation facilities at enormous cost, while penalizing with new taxes solar and wind power.)

    • I definitely have to agree with you on the fact that it’s more of the government forcing the issue rather than just the EVs themselves. Admittedly I have a disdain for Telsa and no words in the english language could express my utter contempt for the entire Elon Musk empire, but I can’t say I hate all EVs. I don’t trust that anything so adamantly backed by the government will be secure and safe and not used against us via privacy spying or things like that. I also don’t trust that these new vehicles won’t be “hackable” and remotely controlled by whoever has hacked it. I have alot of issues with EV cars, autonomous driving and things like that when it comes to alot of scenarios. But I also think that this technology can be useful in alot of other areas. I think Autonomy and electrification would serve best in the trucking industry for docking and yard maneuvers that need to be done in tight spaces. Not to mention in scenarios where a truck can detect when a driver is becoming fatigued and could be used to take over to prevent collisions and get the truck to the nearest rest stop or pull off where it would be programmed to “take breaks” after so many hours of continuous driving. Also in the instances of public transportation where once a trolley car or train is off of public streets and in the subways, it could switch to a semi-autonomous system or something like that. EVs and Autonomy both have their place. They just need proper applications and it would be nice if when the transition does happen when things become more electrified, the consumers can be comfortable with that change and it be a decision, not a forced mandate

      • There is absolutely nothing about electric cars which makes them more hackable or trackable than gasoline powered cars.

        Think of it this way. Europe and China are both going to 100% EVs. If EVs turn out to be superior and buyers want them more ten years from now, and American automakers stick to gasoline, it’ll be the late 1970s/early 1980s all over again.

        • I guess I just worry about someone gaining access to somebody’s autonomous EV and using as a life sized remote control car. I think of the chaos someone could cause if they figured out how to gain access to several of these vehicles. I guess for me I always think worse case scenario when it comes to things like this. I-robot, terminator, etc. I get it though, we are hacked and tracked everyday on our cellphones, tablets and computers by things that track what websites we go one, what we search for, what we say and all of that. Our GPS tracks our movements, when we go to work, when we come home, what stores we shop at and all of that and we connect those things to our cars. I just worry about what if someone decides they don’t want us to go there or they want to take us somewhere else, or steal our car or anything. All it takes is for someone to hack into an autonomous vehicles GPS system and re-route it to where they want it to go, override door lock systems and make it where the victim can’t call out for help and you’ve got yourself an abduction. That’s not something you can do with a vehicle that doesn’t have that kind of technology. There are so many scenarios that can be played out if someone hacks into someone’s electric autonomous car. Granted yes I know that the EV thing is what the world is moving towards and I think that there are benefits to having a mix of EVs, hybrids and ICE vehicles and I look forward to alot of it. But there are always two sides to every coin and there are definite dangers to alot of this new tech. Just saying.

          • Again, I ask what makes EVs unique. Now you’re talking about autonomous EVs, but Cadillac sells autonomous gasoline cars. GPS tracking is already there. You’re mixing up autonomous and electric here. Most EVs have no autonomy features.

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