Japanese owner Mitsui OSK Lines is taking manufacturer Porsche to court in Germany over the loss of its car carrier Felicity Ace in a fire two years ago.

The 6,400-teu ship (built 2005) burned for two weeks off the Azores in February 2022, before sinking.

The legal action in Stuttgart alleges a Porsche electric-vehicle battery was to blame for the casualty, Nikkei Asia reported.

A spokesperson for MOL confirmed the report, while Porsche has also acknowledged the suit, but is not commenting further.

MOL is seeking €30m ($32.6m) in damages, according to court papers.

The ship was carrying 3,965 Porsches, Volkswagens, Audis, Bentleys and Lamborghinis from Germany to the US.

MOL claims in the action that Porsche failed to inform the company beforehand of the risks of transporting electric cars, or of any necessary precautions.

Porsche is reported to be disputing the location and cause of the blaze.

No official cause of the accident has ever been established.

All 22 crew members were safely evacuated from the Felicity Ace.

The risk of fire on car carriers has attracted considerable attention in the shipping industry.

Better understanding needed

The International Union of Marine Insurers has called for a better understanding of EV blazes and how they can be controlled.

Norwegian ferry owner Havila Kystruten has stopped transporting EVs and hybrid vehicles.

In November, MOL said it would be fitting security cameras powered by artificial intelligence on 10 new LNG-fuelled car carriers it has ordered.

These will alert crew members to suspected fires.