Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

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.

Views: 233

Replies to This Discussion

I have had a lot of time spent on gas struts and the only thing I can offer as a question is what was the tempreture in the garage that specific day ? If the gas is expanded to the capacity of the tube with the ambient air and then you put the car in the garage and the heat in the garage is that much higher then I could see an issue. Directly outside of that I have never heard of this action taking place. Shoot me a line anytime.

Play Hard Train Safe !!


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page. -- Bobby Halton

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2022   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service