Unrepaired or incorrectly repaired vehicle defects are not only a hassle – they can be extremely dangerous. When people hear about automobile fires in California, they typically think of horrific collisions. While car accidents can and do result in fires, auto fires are often the result of defects that can trigger spontaneous combustion. If you recently purchased or leased a car that caught fire as a result of a vehicle defect, you should immediately consult with experienced lemon law counsel. That’s the time to call CAA – TheLemonFirm.com: (833) LEMON-FIRM.
Our California lemon law attorneys are dedicated to holding big automakers and dealers accountable. Because a defect that causes a fire is considered a safety hazard under the state’s lemon law, the manufacturer must replace the vehicle with a brand new one or refund your money. Nonetheless, automakers often attempt to deny responsibility for auto fires caused by defects or pass their customers off to the customers’ liability insurance carrier. Our dedicated experts will both thoroughly investigate your vehicle fire and also make sure that the automaker is held accountable.
What is a car fire?
An auto fire caused by a defect can occur when incorrectly repaired components cause a vehicle to burst into flames. Auto fires are often the result of fuel leaks and fuel-related auto fires can lead to explosions, which can culminate in serious injuries and fatalities. This is often the case shortly after a vehicle is picked up from the service center. Our expert team of lawyers and investigators is able to obtain the maximum possible compensation for consumers when their vehicle catches fire as a result of shoddy repairs.
Common Causes of Car Fires
Some common auto defects that lead to car fires include:
- Oil leaks that are not properly repaired;
- Leaks in fuel lines;
- Failures in the oil circulation system that results in engine damage;
- Defects in the turbo-charger system;
- Incorrect repairs to vehicle electrical systems;
- Defective fuel line materials;
- Cruise control malfunctions; and
- Damage to the internal engine lubrication system.
Auto Fires Caused By Fuel Tank Defects
Auto fires that are ignited by fuel tank defects often start at the fuel rail where the fuel injectors and fuel pressure regulators are located. The “O-rings” are these components that can wear out with time or from dry heat. Because fuel injectors and fuel pressure regulators are under a great deal of pressure, a broken or cracked O-ring can cause a fuel leak that results in an active, highly combustible fuel spray. The fire can also be ignited by spark plug wire or an aged ignition coil.
The vehicle’s design, in particular, the fuel tank location, is a key determinant in auto fires caused by defects. Common causes of defective fuel systems include:
- Poorly designed fuel tanks;
- Susceptible fuel tank placements (near equipment that could potentially puncture);
- Defective fuel lines; and
- Poor fuel line design, resulting in fuel leaks.
In addition to the location of the fuel tank, the composition of the tank is also an important safety factor. In any case, it takes a skilled expert to ascertain whether a car fire was caused by a fuel tank defect.
Car Fire Caused by Electrical Defects
While electrical defects have long caused or contributed to auto fires, such defects are becoming more common with the advent of electric, battery-operated vehicles and hybrids. Batteries in these vehicles can ignite upon impact, or because of faulty connections and wiring. Auto fires caused by electrical defects are often the result of human error, such as:
- Incorrectly installed batteries;
- Incorrectly installed starters (e.g. missing heat shields, loose wiring);
- Incorrectly installed electronics (e.g. stereos, navigation devices, off-road lighting);
- Poorly insulated electrical lines; and
- Loose high voltage connections.
Regardless of the defect that caused the auto fire, manufacturers and retailers of defective auto equipment and vehicles must be held accountable for the electrical fires, fuel tank defects and other equipment failures that could have been prevented with proper care and attention.
Contact Our Los Angeles Car Fire Attorney
If your new or used vehicle experienced a fire due to an automobile defect, you likely feel lucky that you were not injured or killed. But you may also feel angry and confused and have many questions. How could an auto defect cause a fire? Was it the manufacturer’s or dealer’s fault? Is my vehicle a lemon? The best way to find answers to those questions and to protect your rights is to contact CAA – TheLemonFirm.com: (833) LEMON-FIRM.
Our lemon law attorneys have a proven history of helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve. If you own or lease a vehicle that caught fire due to a defect, you have the right to pursue a lemon law claim. We can help you obtain a replacement vehicle or force the automaker to buy back your vehicle. If we determine that the automaker willfully violated California’s strong lemon laws, you may be able to recover additional compensation — up to two times the purchase price of your vehicle.
When you work with our legal team, we will take the time to explain all of your rights, conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether the auto fire was caused by a defect, and make sure the manufacturer and/or dealer treats you fairly. For a free consultation, call CAA – TheLemonFirm.com today: (833) LEMON-FIRM or fill out the contact form on our website.