Recently, the media seems to be reporting more incidents of automobiles catching fire. Many of these vehicles are manufactured by Kia and Hyundai, but numerous other carmakers have dealt with similar issues when customers complain that their vehicles spontaneously combust. In fact, hundreds of complaints have been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other safety agencies, yet no one has issued a recall for the defective vehicles. More concerning to California consumers may be the fact that some carmakers do not think the matter is serious.
Using euphemisms like "thermal event," Kia spokespeople promise to continue investigating reports about fires. In numerous examples of these vehicle fires, the drivers were unaware that their cars were burning until another driver got their attention to warn them. In at least one case, the fire created an electrical malfunction that trapped the driver in the vehicle while it burned.
Safety advocates say the vehicles typically give no warning before the engines combust, but that the car may stall or the driver may suddenly lose control of steering and brakes. Some vehicles catch fire when they are parked. Whatever defect is causing these vehicles to burn is creating destruction beyond the cars. Numerous California wildfires have been connected to auto defects that resulted in sparks.
Seeking compensation after a vehicle catches fire may be a challenge, especially if the automakers are reluctant to admit they are selling defective vehicles. Many manufacturers blame the fires on the actions of the drivers, and those victims may have a difficult time obtaining what they deserve after experiencing a thermal event. The assistance of a skilled consumer attorney may prove advantageous in these circumstances.