A WM Motor EX5 vehicle in Haikou, China’s Hainan province, suddenly emitted smoke and caught fire a few minutes after charging on April 18, according to domestic media outlet Jiemian News. The fire started from the chassis, accompanied by sound of tire explosions. As of today, WM Motor has not yet responded to the accident, and the charging station where the vehicle caught fire has resumed operations.
This is the third accident involving a WM Motor vehicle catching fire this year. On January 20, a WM Motor EX5 owned by a car rental company emitted smoked and caught fire 10 minutes after charging, causing no casualties. The local fire department identified that the fire had started from the vehicle’s power battery, which was determined to have failed. However, WM Motor later refused to acknowledge the report issued by the fire department, insisting that there was no quality problem with the vehicle.
In February this year, a WM Motor EX series electric vehicle in Hainan caught fire. As seen in a video circulating on domestic social media, the front engine compartment and the bottom power battery of the vehicle had burst into flames.
In addition, between September and October of 2020, there were four spontaneous combustion accidents involving WM Motor vehicles, including both private cars and those used as taxis in Fujian province.
After the accident, WM Motor recalled some EX5 and EX6 models, citing quality defects of the power batteries. It said the impurities mixed by the battery cell suppliers in the production process may cause abnormal lithium evolution in the batteries, resulting in the risk of spontaneous combustion.
However, the recall does not seem to completely solve the hidden danger of spontaneous combustion. In December 2021, three EX5s burned within four days. Among them, two vehicles were stationary when the accidents occurred.
It is worth mentioning that WM Motor was previously exposed to have locked electricity capacity without the consent of consumers. As a result, the cruising range of its vehicles has been seriously reduced.
In January 2022, 173 car owners jointly sent a lawyer’s letter the company, demanding it immediately cease false promotion, stop infringing on users’ rights and interests within seven days and step up its responsibility to ensure safety. They also required the company to make up for major safety defects, compensate users, apologize publicly, and actively respond to users’ legitimate demands.
In March this year, WM Motor delivered 5,516 vehicles, with a cumulative sales volume of 11,500 vehicles in the first quarter.