People get into their vehicles every day to drive to work, the grocery store, mall, or pick up their kids. They trust their cars to get them to their destinations safely. And while there is always the risk of crashing every time a driver gets behind the wheel, no driver ever considers the possibility of a car fire.
Sadly, car fires claim innocent lives every year. Sometimes a fire can erupt following a car wreck, but in other circumstances, the car can catch on fire due to a manufacturing defect. Unfortunately, drivers never know if they are driving a defective car that has the potential for catching on fire until it is too late.
Many car manufacturers, including General Motors (GM), have been guilty of defects that have led to car fires, injuries and deaths. Recently, GM has been in the news again for the following:
Engine Fires in Older Cars
GM is recalling 1.4 million vehicles due to car fire hazards. Shockingly, most all of these cars have been previously fixed by dealers in 2007 and 2009. However, after the fix, 1,345 vehicles still caught on fire and 19 injuries were reported since the most recent recall was completed. Now this is GM’s third attempt at fixing the defect to stop car fire risks.
Previously, GM requested customers to not park their cars in their garages but to park their cars outside until they could get their vehicles fixed. This is “because drops of oil may be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold through hard braking, which can cause engine compartment fires,” said GM spokesman Alan Adler in an email to USA Today.
The vehicles involved in this recall include certain 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-99 Chevrolet Lumina, 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-99 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal.
Electrical Fires in Newer SUVs
GM is recalling 32,000 SUVs due to the risk of a car fire from an electrical short with the windshield wipers. In fact, GM has told customers to not use their windshield wipers until they can get the problem fixed. The issue is a faulty wiper motor cover that allows some electrical terminals to come in contact with others. As a result, the wiper motor can overheat and cause a vehicle fire.
The cars involved in this recall include Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia SUVs from the 2016 model year. Although no vehicle fires have been reported outside of GMs plant, it is possible GM – as well as other car manufacturers – have other unknown defects that can cause car fires, injuries and deaths.
If you have suffered an injury in a car fire or a loved one has died in a GM vehicle crash and you believe the manufacturer is to blame, please call the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 today. You can speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale in a free consultation to get your questions answered and learn more about your rights.