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Tundra Engine Fire


LongStride
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Hopped into the truck yesterday afternoon to go to the market and it burst into flames.  When I started it, smoke started rolling out from under the hood.  I told my wife to get out, move away from the truck and call 911.  When I got out of the truck there were flames in the drivers side wheel well and my driveway was on fire under the engine bay.  I ran to the house and grabbed a fire extinguisher. I killed the flames under the truck and then the flames in the wheel well.  I stepped back and it burst into flames again.  I gave it another shot and put it out (or so I thought).  I opened the hood and there were still flames so I attacked it from above and finally extinguished it.  Fire dept. showed up and made certain that the fire was out.

My truck is a 2020 with less than 8,000 miles on it.  Not happy.  Not a good time to buy a new truck if they total it.  Even if they can repair it I don't think I want to keep it after it suffered a fire like that.  Who knows what hidden damage it caused in addition to the obvious.

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Mike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 

 

 

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Wow! really sorry to hear this news. Most importantly you both escaped unharmed. I have owned several tundras over the years and was really surprised to see this. I do agree with you I would no longer keep the truck even if repaired. I would never have full trust and confidence in the truck ever again. Fire does untold damage anywhere on a vehicle, but especially the engine bay. No repair can ever make you whole in that truck again IMHO and it has diminished the present value for sure.
Looking forward, it would be interesting to know the cause or how the fire started. If you learn the cause please post up as it could save a life.

And yes with supply chain issues not improving anytime soon and how upside down truck prices are it will be a bit of a challenge finding an exact or close replacement.  
Again sorry this happened, but glad you both are safe. 

Patriot 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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I am sorry and also very surprised to hear about your fire. That engine has been stone reliable in the past, it must have been a build issue… did you smell gasoline or could this have been electrical? Every vehicle needs an onboard extinguisher. A cheap dry chemical one will do if it is rated for fuel fires, but the powder residue is highly corrosive and must be removed immediately after! I suggest that everybody buy one of these for each of their vehicles, it fits in a glove box easily, runs for 30 seconds, leaves zero residue and never expires.
 

A8A56637-577C-48FB-BC13-158CDCE1B7F8.thumb.jpeg.7b1d7eee2fb90b4483b8d42a839b27ae.jpeg

I hope the price will come down, it is definitely too high IMHO, but it might save somebody's life one day. Most likely you would have to use it on another vehicle, but you never know. Do not call me anal, but my LC200 has two cheap box store extinguishers in the rear door pockets, for fast access from either side, and an Element in the glovebox…. And my small house has five extinguishers. 😳 Like bear spray, if you do not have a backup and need it, you could be in deep trouble.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/4291-how-to-element-fire-extinguisher-install/

Please post some pics and keep us advised. Good luck.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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That’s awful.. really glad you two are ok. 
I don’t know where you are located but around here ( Maine) this is the time of year when mice start moving in under the hood.. and they love chewing wires. I’ve known a couple folks that have had major damage done to electrical systems because of this in the past… but never heard of a vehicle bursting into flames…

Last week I had a field mouse appear at the upper edge of my hood as I was doing about 60, he wasn’t there very long…..when I got home I had a look under the hood to see if I could see anybody else hanging around under there.

 

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Mark & Deb..2020 Elite II..Dearie..Hull #685..2016 Tundra

 

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The dealership has disconnected the battery and will do nothing further until a Toyota inspector comes to look at it.  Due to the serious nature of this failure Toyota wants to send their own expert to try and determine how this happened.  I had to call Toyota USA and report the incident so they could open a case file.  They gave me a case number and said that an investigator will call me back.  

I used a dry chemical fire extinguisher on the fire and used up about the whole thing.  It was a full size household type. 

Never smelled gas when I went out to the truck.  

I can't rule out rodent damage, but I have never had a problem with them fooling around in my vehicles.  Plenty of more comfortable places for them in my 92 year old garage!

Thanks to all of you for your concern.  We are sad and upset but safe and unharmed.  We are fortunate this happened at home rather than on the freeway with our Ollie in tow!

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Mike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 

 

 

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We have a 2018 Toyota Tundra and just got a preliminary service bulletin on potential fires related to the wiring harness connected to the high beam head lights. No remedy yet. No idea if there’s any connection to your truck. Glad you and your wife are okay. Quick thinking with the fire extinguisher. 

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Kim and David Thompson Nomads' Nest 2018 LE2 #366 2018 Toyota Tundra, 4x4, 5.7L


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Glad you're ok. You might want to report this to the NHTSA so they can follow up as well: https://www.nhtsa.gov/report-a-safety-problem#index  History shows you can't always rely on the manufacturers to promptly report vehicle defects and initiate a recall.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

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I'm glad you're both physically ok.  Pretty scary!  I would also be interested in the findings.

We live about 15 miles from Mcb.  Here is what I found under the hood of my 2008 Tundra in October of 2018.  Good luck settling things.  

20181026_134229.jpg

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I had to replace the wiring harness on my (no longer owned) 2002 Tacoma due to rodent damage. My comprehensive insurance covered it. I then had to replace the fuel lines on my wife's Corolla also due to rodent damage. I now enlist traps and plastic snakes and it seems to be effective. I have fire extinguishers everywhere.

Glad to hear OP was on his toes during that event.

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Legacy Elite I

#240

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  • 1 month later...

Tundra Fire Update

Well the good news for all of you Tundra owners out there is that the fire was not Toyota's fault.  Someone cut my fuel line and the return line while attempting to steal my catalytic converter. The thieves are lucky that it did not ignite when they cut it.  

It took several weeks for Toyota to respond back to me with their findings, and a month for State Farm to decide what they are going to do about it.  State Farm will not total the truck.  They are going to replace the entire wiring harness, fuel lines, and assorted melted or otherwise damaged parts.  

I put out the fire with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.  It is a powder finer than talcum powder and it is everywhere under and in the engine compartment on the drivers side and all over the firewall.  My research indicates that the chemical used in my extinguisher is corrosive, particularly to electronics.  It has been sitting on there for a month.  State Farm does not think that this is an issue and the adjuster contests that it may have caused hidden damage.  By the way, the adjuster never came to look at it.  State Farm sent an independent agent to take photos and send them to their adjuster for analysis.

I don't want to go through the aggravation of pursuing a lawsuit that will drag on for months with a company as large and powerful as State Farm.  Until this is all settled I have no tow vehicle.  My wife's Xterra has enough power, but the suspension and short wheelbase make it unsafe (IMHO) for towing a travel trailer.  

I can ill afford to have some hidden damage pop up and give me issues when far from home with Ollie in tow.  I have authorized repairs and I will end up trading it in or selling it.

It is probably the worst time ever to be shopping for a new truck, but that is what I am faced with.  

Rather than wallow in self pity, when the chips are down I tend to look at all the good things in my life that I am thankful for.  One thing in particular is that my niece and her family are safe.  They live in Mayfield KY and the tornado passed just beyond their backyard.  Only damage they suffered was the loss of a big tree.  They lost their church though, and possibly some friends or acquaintances,  but they are okay.  I don't know if they have power and water restored yet.  

I simply can't imagine the magnitude of despair those folks down there are going through.  Many of them have lost everything.  Makes my current truck problem seem very petty indeed.

 

 

 

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Mike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 

 

 

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This is too bad.  And it really sucks on the vandalism.  What are we comming too.  It might be worth while to give them another call and inform them of how unhappy you are with their decision and that the trade value of the truck is greatly diminished due to the fire and corrosion.  I would mention to them that you would prefer to not have to engage a lawyer but you may have to do that. The adjuster doesn't want to have to engage legal either internally or outside counsel.  They generally have some flexibility.  I worked for a different but very large national brand insurance company for over 20 years.  While I was not on the casualty side of the business I did have many colleagues that were.  I was able to use this approach when I was hit from the rear.  I slow played the adjuster a bit refusing to sign off. Eventually they came up with more money and and I didn't have to engage a lawyer.  Just a thought.  Very fortunate you're ok.  But wow.  Good luck.

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51 minutes ago, Mattnan said:

I would mention to them that you would prefer to not have to engage a lawyer but you may have to do that. The adjuster doesn't want to have to engage legal either internally or outside counsel.  They generally have some flexibility

As a retired attorney who was retained to defend claims by many insurance companies when I practiced, I second Mattnan's advice.  Insurance adjusters are trained to close claims for minimum payouts, and to get them closed as quickly as possible.  To "arm" yourself with facts, I would invest some time getting educated about the demonstrated caustic effects of the fire extinguisher you used, and which steps are necessary to remediate those effects.  And, I would insist that any remediation done at the insurer's expense be effective to fully address those caustic effects.

If you get pushback from the adjuster, I recommend you mention the term "bad faith."  That is a term of art in insurance law, which refers to claims for breach of the insurance company's duty of good faith and fair dealing with its insureds.  In most states, successful bad faith claims against insurers include an award of not only full compensation for loss by the insured, but the insured's attorneys' fees as well.

Your odds of success on such a claim can only be reliably evaluated by an attorney in  your state who specializes in bad faith claims, and who is appraised of all the facts, which will likely include how fully the damage from your fire, and fire suppression, has been remediated.

But, be prepared for delay.  A more fair settlement is usually a much delayed settlement.  If your cash flow situation does not allow you to purchase a replacement tow vehicle (particularly in today's crazy-high market) without the payout from the insurer or sale of your repaired Tundra, you have a cost/benefit decision to make regarding how long you can afford to wait for payment by the insurer.

Good luck!  I would be interested in a report describing how it goes.

Ralph Pond

Edited by Rivernerd
typo
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Hull #1291

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

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I am somewhat kidding but you may also remind them that your quick thinking may have saved some lives and additional property damage resulting in much larger payouts.   I am not sure if you have the same insurance company on your home or your driveway sustained any damage.  Rivernerd is far more versed in this than I am.  Good luck you did the Insurance company solid by being resourceful and putting out the fire your self. If you waited for the fire department no matter how quickly they arrived, it would have been worse.  Good luck to you.

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3 hours ago, LongStride said:

Rather than wallow in self pity, when the chips are down I tend to look at all the good things in my life that I am thankful for.

Recent events in Mayfield surely temper that, but I  suspect it's a lifelong attitude,  and a positive force to those around you. 

I'm very thankful your niece and family are ok. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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This concerns me as I have a '20 Tundra and I thought I would only have to worry about my cat in my '97 Ford Econoline van, but now BOTH?!

I have a friend who loved my truck and wanted similar.  He paid more for a pretty stripped 2019 Tundra than I did for my 2020..crazy times!  

I also say push back a bit more for a total.

Good to know that your family is safe. 

Blessings to you!

 

 

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2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport 5.7L V8 

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Hull #184 ~ "ILOVHER"

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@csevel, I  don't think you need to worry about your Tundra more than any other vehicle. I  know two other people who lost their catalytic converters to thieves this year, but neither had their fuel lines cut, like longstride, so no flames, just big repair bills. One (my niece in San Diego) has to park her Prius on the street. My friend's suv was in a hotel parking lot. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

One (my niece in San Diego) has to park her Prius on the street.

Do a web search for the vehicles most targeted for converter theft.  You will find the Prius at the top of most lists.  

 

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Mike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, LongStride said:

Do a web search for the vehicles most targeted for converter theft.  You will find the Prius at the top of most lists.  

 

That's what she told me. 

Apparently,  as a hybrid, with low emissions,  the converter contains more precious metal.

Pretty pathetic. The thief might have gotten $75. Her repair was over $1000.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

Apparently,  as a hybrid, with low emissions,  the converter contains more precious metal.

As I understand it, in city traffic situations the hybrid exhaust system on a Prius does not get hot enough to use a conventional converter because of intermittent engine operation.  To counter that, they need to use more of the catalyst to reduce the emissions.  The other thing about them that is attractive to thieves, is that they are cleaner and easier to salvage because the intermittent use results in less buildup of carbon etc.  That gets them a petter price when they sell them.

I speculate that most of the converters are going to scrapyards.  They turn around and sell them to companies that recover the precious metals.  It is not like you can just cut one open and metal pellets fall out.  It is a bit more complicated than that.  It is doubtful that thieves themselves are recovering rhodium and palladium in abandoned warehouses.  They are selling them to scrap dealers and metal recyclers, and that is what needs to stop.  The unscrupulous operators of these establishments know damn well that the people who bring them in did not just find sawed off converters laying on the side of the road.

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Mike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, LongStride said:

 They are selling them to scrap dealers and metal recyclers, and that is what needs to stop.  The unscrupulous operators of these establishments know damn well that the people who bring them in did not just find sawed off converters laying on the side of the road.

Agreed

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Oh boy…… very bad news. You did not mention in your initial post, when the fire department showed up, did they use ANY water at all on the engine or underneath? If they did, do not settle, you need to hire that attorney! IF the dry chemicals were kept dry, and IF they were cleaned up ASAP, then possibly repairs would be an acceptable situation. But not if soaked and stored in an outside lot for a month.

“Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher Residue Cleanup

Proper Cleaning Methodology

Install a HEPA air scrubber to reduce, control and remove effects of airborne particulate circulating around the area of damage.

Control humidity levels using AC or dehumidification. Remove standing water sources.

Use a HEPA vacuum to clean all surfaces of technical contents. This is to remove any heavy and gross contamination of any dry soils present.

Because dry chemical fire extinguishers are very corrosive especially to metal surfaces, those surfaces should be cleaned and treated first to naturalize and restore materials. Switches, contacts, circuited boards, power supplies and ports must be preserved until they can be treated.

Clean all surfaces using approved degreaser for substitute.

Neutralize all surfaces using basic pH cleaner and/or deionized water.

Clean, rinse and dry as well as bake as needed all technical contents in batch processing method using correct chemistry for each substrate.

Test all electronics and equipment. Power and functionality test, Insulation Resistance Test and Electrical Safety testing.

Replace equipment, IT and electronics back into operating condition.

Confirm proper operation after the commissioning of equipment and prior to handing over to the client.”

https://www.er-emergency.com/fire-extinguisher-and-dry-chemical-fire-cleanup-process/

If corroded, your truck will have minimal value on the used market, there are too many risks of hidden problems, and future problems. Good luck, please keep us informed. This really sucks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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