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Ather responds to fire incident in Chennai showroom; blames service error

Ather Energy also hinted that the use of non-standard replacement screws on the vehicle in question could have stressed the battery panel, contributing to the incident.

Ather Energy scooters at the company's facility in Hosur. (Illustrative image) (Credit: Ather Energy)

Indian electric two-wheeler manufacturer Ather Energy has given an official statement about the fire that happened in one of its showrooms in Chennai on May 27. Shortly after the incident was reported, Ather’s official Twitter handle confirmed the fire while saying that no employee was harmed during the incident.

According to a statement issued by the company later, the incident happened due to a vehicle that was brought into the showroom for servicing after it had an accident. Since there was a lot of dust and mud on the vehicle, the staff at the service centre reportedly used a high-pressure water wash to clean the vehicle before inspecting it.

Ather says that the service team discovered some cracks in the top casing of the battery pack. But by then, water had entered the battery casing due to the high-pressure wash. The company says that letting in water into the battery is an “impossible to solve scenario,” and that the scooter was “moved to a safer area,” as soon as this was observed.

“Predictably, the cells had been shorted from inside due to the presence of water, and this lead to a thermal runaway event which led to the smoke and the fire, for which our teams called in the concerned department,” says the statement from the company. Videos of the event have emerged on social media and show smoke emerging from an Ather showroom as firefighters work to extinguish the fire.

“Safe area is within the premise. Outside the closed enclosure of the showroom but smoke came in everywhere,” replied a representative of the company to indianexpress.com when asked about why smoke seemed to be emerging from within the showroom building despite the vehicle having been moved to a safer area.


In the statement, the company asserted that this was an isolated incident and that no other vehicles were damaged during the incident. It went on to speak of how it was “extremely rare in nature.” The company said that it was adding extra “pre-checks” for accident cases brought to the showroom to avoid such incidents in the future.

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The company also hinted that the use of non-standard replacement screws on the vehicle in question could have stressed the battery panel, contributing to the incident. “We still want to stress that for the safety of our EV users, please use only on-spec components and refrain from making any modifications, especially around the battery, battery mounts and wiring areas.”

First published on: 29-05-2022 at 11:10:35 am
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