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  1. #1
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    Hello,
    I'm looking for someone else's experience. I recently bought a toyato highlander hybrid and it was parked in my driveway last night. We had a lightning storm and now it won't start, recieving a message that say check VSC system. I don't think the vehicle was hit, there is no physical damage but a lightpost within six feet hsd it's light fixture exploded. Has anyone else had any issues similar to this?
    Thanks
    Dave




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  3. #2
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    David,

    If you had a lightning strike within 6 feet of the vehicle, you probably had some high voltages on the wiring and body just from the high electric and magnetic fields the the strike would produce. I don't think I would tell Toyota about the strike unless you have some other insurance to pay for the damage. Toyota may not feel that lightning strikes are covered by their warranty.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    Thanks, but they already know.
    I had a camry parked there too and it was fine.

  5. #4
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    Hello-

    I've just been through a similar experience with our 2004 Toyota Sienna. It was parked outside a store in an intense thunderstorm. Lightning hit the building where I was shopping, but there was no visible damage to the van. After the rain subsided, I went to start it and after 3 or 4 tries it finally started up. However, the dash lights were all messed up, and several of the internal 14 to 15 computers were fried. It took three weeks to get the vehicle fixed, but Toyota stood behind their warranty, especially since there was no proof it had beens truck by lightning. They ended up replacing several components, including the battery. We're holding our breath, hoping we don't have ongoing electrical problems. So far so good.

  6. #5
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    I live in Colorado where lightning strikes are quite common and often quite dangerous. Recently there were two strikes to humans using electronic devices which now make them even more frightening. Cars are usually thought to be fairly safe places in a thunder storm; wondering if an electric car puts one at a higher risk than ordinary?? Deaths for the year here are already up over average; wondering if our increase in electronics (and hybrid technology!) could be part of the problem. Anyone know or have ideas? Thanks. Sue in Littleton, CO

  7. #6
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    A hybrid or electric shouldn't be any more dangerous in lightning than any ICE car. The danger is caused by the fact that a car is a big metal object sticking up above the ground that attracts lightning, not the fact that there are electronics within car.
    The electronics in hybrids (not the human occupants) may be a bit more vulnerable to lightning strikes than the electronics in ICE cars but that should be something that the auto manufacturers can improve if it becomes an issue.

  8. #7
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    My family and I was on the way back from Disneyland in our brand new 2007 fully loaded Camry hybrid when the "Check VSC sytstem" message light came on. The vehicle's power went out and we coasted to the side of the road. Thinking that it was only a mechanical issue we began pulling out the manual. A moment later I looked up and realized there was smoke pourinng out of my hood. My son was sleeping in the back seat so I yelled "Get the hell out its going to blow". I ran and got my son and wife out of the car. We stood back watching the front of the car go up in flames. Has anyone else ever had this type of issue? Yes, I have contacted Toyota with no response as of yet. You would think at the very least I would receive a rental car until this is resolved right. Nope

  9. #8
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    Don, I should think you're still under warranty. Contact Toyota again, and tell you're publicizing it here. Good luck.

    A friend had her old Prius totally burn to the ground a few months ago. The slag pile didn't yield many clues.

  10. #9
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    If a Hybrid Camry burned steadily at the front as in under the hood, the fire may have been gasoline in origin and the electrical warnings would have come on as wiring and chips were damaged from the heat.

    It would seem doubtful the electric drive system could fail so catastrophically as to ignite the fuel system without an accompanying loss of motive power that would quickly be noticed.

    In other words, the fire could probably as easily occurred in an ICE only Camry.

    Relative to lightning strikes...at a distance of 6 feet from a lightning bolt, all kinds of bad stuff can happen to almost anything. Seems like homeowners insurance might cover lightning damage at a residence including damage to a car.

  11. #10
    Guest

    Hybrid Vehicle and Lightning Strikes

    Hey we just had a lightning storm last night it affected our own vehicle in the same way I have a Holden Commodore S commonly known in the US as a Pontiac GTO etc at first the vehicle had trouble turning over on the 2nd attempt it started but warning chimes went wild and the main control screen displayed fault animations of an X ,airbags fault,transimission fault,engine fault fuel/emp gauge not working tiptronic gear select not showing in gear and a/c not working and displaying message of contact retail centre.I booked it in for the next day and while I was driving it was in "SAFE MODE" to ensure your vehicle was not damaged by further driving during on the freeway an animation of the airbag inflating showed then on the main control screen it reported "ALARM ACTIVATED" I was puzzled again it flashed all instrument icons for around 20secs then suddenly all systems came back online the night before it drove normally not expecting this to happen the only thing i can put this to a cause to is last nights thunderstorm.
    Tauranga
    New Zealand

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