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6.5 Million Cars Are Catching Fire – Is Yours One of Them?

  • Auto Insurance
  • Natasha Young
  • 7 minutes

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Consider a scenario in which you are driving down the road when suddenly, out of nowhere, your car begins to fill with smoke and then catches fire. Scary, right? Although it might seem rare, even to our surprise, almost 6.5 million vehicles were recalled due to the possibility of a fire. This is concerning, but even more so are the potentially dangerous vehicles that aren’t part of the massive recall. It all boils down to how aware you are of cars catching fire and how to seek help when this occurs in real-time.¬†

Cars that are most likely to catch fire

First, let’s dive into the statistics. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recorded an estimated 216,000 vehicle fires. According to research conducted by Autoinsurance EZ, BEVs are the least likely to catch fire. Plug-in hybrids and hybrid-electric vehicles have a higher fire risk than any other power source, with 3,474 fires per 100,000 sales, according to data compiled by the car insurance comparison portal.  

Regular gas or diesel-powered vehicles come in second, with only 25 BEVs outselling 100,000 in 2021. A fire hazard associated with the batteries used in over 150,000 BEVs was reason enough for Hyundai and Chevrolet to recall those vehicles in the last decade. In contrast to the number of cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) that were recalled in 2021 due to the potential of electric shorting, manufacturers recalled a total of roughly 1.14 million gas-powered cars. Cars with hybrid or all-electric powertrains, including 240,053 BEVs were sold in the United States in 2020. New car retail sales totaled 3.4 million units during the same period. They are relatively more prone to catching fire when compared to BEVs.  

In conclusion, cars powered with gasoline/diesel are most likely to catch fire. The Hybrids come second and BEVs are at the end of the list. Now you might have some FAQs on your mind that might pester your peace with respect to this unfortunate incident. Fret not, people at Way are here to help. 

car on fire insurance

What makes my car catch fire? 

Here are some ‚Äúcar problems‚ÄĚ that can cause a fire and can potentially even harm the passengers inside.¬†

Defective fuel lines  

In the event of an accident, defective fuel lines are prone to bursting. It is possible to start a raging fire from a small leak as an aftereffect of single spark ignition. Sparks and superheated metal can ignite flammable materials (fuel, oil) that have leaked. The fact that a car contains flammable materials other than gasoline is a surprise to many people. Fires caused by leaking gasoline often begin under a vehicle or on the street below and quickly spread. 

Electrical system failures 

Electrical fires typically begin in the dashboard or the immediate vicinity of it. When you are met with an accident, the vehicle’s extensive wiring will get some damage. In a severe collision, cables are more prone to severing and sparks can ignite fuel. Faulty wiring in the ignition systems also causes fire. Many car fires start in the engine compartment because of severe engine failures.¬†

Faulty battery 

A faulty battery can also be a solid reason for your car catching fire. The terminals of a battery will corrode, which is highly flammable if the battery has manufacturing defects. There is also the possibility of airbags exploding. 

Mechanical flaws  

It can lead to flammable combustibles ignition or an explosion, which can cause vehicle fires. The fire can quickly spread into the passenger compartment of a burning vehicle, putting anyone trapped inside at risk of injury. Toxic gases can cause serious health problems in people even before the fire has spread. 

How can I prevent my car from catching fire? 

Preventing car fires is difficult because they are the result of collisions or manufacturing flaws. Specific measures, on the other hand, can lessen the likelihood of being hurt in such an event. 

  • Have a qualified mechanic perform routine maintenance on your vehicle.¬†
  • Keep an eye out for signs of leaks or problems with the car’s performance.¬†
  • Keep a window open to allow fresh air to circulate if you have to transport gasoline.
  • The passenger compartment should never be used to transport gas cans or propane cylinders.¬†
  • Never leave flammables near the catalytic converter when parking a vehicle.¬†
  • Avoid an accident by driving cautiously.¬†

If your car catches on fire, it is always better to ask for assistance ASAP.

Where do most vehicle fires start? 

The engine, running gear, or wheel areas of a vehicle account for 62% of all highway vehicle fires. The vehicle’s driver/passenger compartment was the second most frequent site of fire origination with 12%.¬†

How often do cars catch fire after a crash? 

After an accident, cars bursting into flames are an extremely rare occurrence. Only 3% of vehicle fires are the result of a collision or rollover, according to the NFPA’s statistics. Mechanical failure, leaks, or worn-out parts were to blame for nearly half of the incidents. Fires were started by electrical problems in 23% of the cases.¬†

Are electric cars more likely to catch fire? 

Even though electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than gasoline-powered ones, the size and power of the fires that do break out can make extinguishing them more difficult due to the use of lithium-ion battery packs. They are notoriously difficult to cool down lithium-ion batteries. 

Can a parked car catch fire? 

When two wires, or a wire and the car itself, are connected, the voltage they produce is the same. This can cause circuit damage, overheating, and even a fire as a result of an excessive electric current. 

A car on fire

Can I sue if my car caught on fire? 

In short, yes. The most likely cause of your car’s fire can be¬†a manufacturing or design error. If this is the case, you have the legal right to sue the manufacturer of the vehicle for a defective product or a car fire.¬†

How does insurance work if your car catches fire? 

If your car was involved in a collision with another vehicle or object, your auto collision insurance will likely handle your claim. However, your comprehensive insurance policy or a supplemental fire insurance policy should cover the majority of other types of fire-related losses. 

If a fire accident results in injuries or property damage, you may be able to hold the following parties liable: the owner of the rental property, the contractor, the seller of any defective building materials. 

My car caught on fire; will my insurance cover it? 

Yes. If your policy includes comprehensive coverage, you are covered in the event of a fire. In the event of engine fires, wildfires, arson, or garage fires, comprehensive coverage will pay for the repair or replacement of the vehicle. Damage to a vehicle from an accident may be covered by the collision insurance policy.  

Companies can be held liable for injuries caused by automobile fires caused by defective designs or manufacturing flaws. When automakers fail to order recalls or their products have a negative impact on the lives of customers, they can be held accountable. If another driver was at fault for the accident that resulted in the fire, that person may also be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damage. If you are looking for affordable insurance for your car, we suggest you visit Way.com. Click the banner to get amazing insurance quotes in your locality.

car insurance cover fires


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