As many know, my website is very while known for training on new car technology and vehicle fire suppression. As so I get a lot of questions from insurance companies, lawyers and the public.
This week I was sent a case history with many photos from Canada, where a compressed gas strut on the hatch back of a 2007 Prius seemingly exploded and ejected from the car for no apparent reason. The vehicle was inside the garage and the occupants had just set down and cranked the engine.
The cylinder end broke loose from its mount and penetrated the metal hatch, busting the rear glass and exited between the edge of the hatch and the fender. It then ricocheted off the rear of the car and hit the garage door bending one of the roller brackets.
These struts are very will known for exploding when exposed to heat and have injured many firefighters during vehicle fires.
My question is: Has anyone ever had one of these to explode where there was no heat involved?
If so can you give us some details as to the cause.
In looking at the pictures I can see that if this can happen as it did, the same thing could happen in an extrication or rear collision. Our study right now is to find out what actually caused this event, any help would be appreciated.