A car fire can be catastrophic, causing serious burns, amputations, and fatalities. Although they are not a common occurrence, all drivers should understand the leading causes of vehicle fires and how to avoid them.
Most car fires involve one or more of these factors:
- Vehicle design flaw
- Poor maintenance
- Electric vehicle batteries
- Spilled fluids
If you suffer injury in a car fire, you may have a case against another driver, the vehicle manufacturer, or another liable party. A car accident attorney may be able to handle your case for you.
The Common Causes of Car Fires
Let’s take a closer look at five of the most common causes of vehicle fires:
Vehicle Design Flaws
It is not always easy to detect a dangerous design flaw in your vehicle. Many people drive for years with defective parts and never know it until they cause a problem. Defective parts are hazardous when they play a role in the operation or control of the vehicle, such as the steering or braking systems.
If the manufacturer or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) receives reports of a dangerous vehicle defect, car owners affected should receive a recall notice. However, this does not always happen. You can check with NHTSA to see if there is a recall on your vehicle.
If your car has a recall, you should have the manufacturer repair it as soon as possible. If the part already caused a fire or accident, you may have a case against the car company or parts manufacturer.
Vehicle owners could prevent vehicle fires if they serviced their vehicles regularly. Broken parts, faulty wiring, and leaky seals can lead to leaks, sparks, and fires. This is one of the most common causes of fires.
In some cases, the car owner—perhaps you—took the vehicle in for maintenance, but the work was not done or not done correctly. This could also lead to a fire. This situation might support a liability claim or lawsuit.
Car accidents are common causes of vehicle fires. It takes just a single spark from a collision to start a fire, especially when flammable fluids are present. Fire is particularly likely when there is a direct impact on the fuel tank. In the past, this was not uncommon.
Fortunately, most modern vehicles have crumple zones that protect the gas tank, passenger compartment, and other vulnerable areas. Additionally, modern tanks are hardier and much less likely to rupture even under severe compression or damage.
Electric Vehicle Batteries
According to the MIT Technology Review, three Tesla Motors vehicles caught fire in quick succession in 2013, leading to speculation that electric motor vehicles are at a higher risk of fires than regular vehicles. However, this does not seem to be the case with the modern batteries used today.
Although cars that carry large batteries have inherent risks, fires usually involve a combination of factors. Since the time of this report, the number of electric vehicles on the road has increased dramatically. A 2021 Popular Science article called these fires “rare,” but also highlighted how difficult they can be to put out.
Most vehicles contain flammable liquids, both in the gas tank and under the hood. A spark from the crash could cause these fluids to catch fire. This includes brake fluid, fuel, engine oil, transmission fluid, and other fluids.
Most fluid-related fires start under the hood, although some, such as those related to fuel and brake fluid, may occur at any point in the vehicle. Responsible maintenance and safe driving practices will prevent most fluid-related fires in most cases.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Getting Compensation After a Vehicle Fire
If a motor vehicle fire harmed you, and you believe someone else was to blame, you may be able to hold them responsible and recover compensation. Working with a car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing damages.
You may have a case if your injuries and car fire occurred because:
- Another driver caused a crash
- Another driver’s car caught fire
- A maintenance professional failed to perform the required work
- A defective part caused the fire
- Someone else’s negligence caused the fire in another way
Connect with an Attorney from Morris Bart, LLC, Today
If you are recovering from injuries after a car fire or crash, a personal injury lawyer from the Morris Bart law office will review your legal options for free. We will evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim based on what happened and who is at fault.
We accept clients whose accidents occurred in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. Call (800) 537-8185 to learn more about your options for compensation during a free consultation with one of our lawyers.
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