Car Fires from Fire Defects

Car Fires Due to Auto Recalls

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California Car Fire Lawyer

Car fires may seem uncommon, but they happen more often than most people realize. Car fires are hazardous, and the results are often catastrophic, resulting in serious injury or death. When defects in a vehicle cause it to catch on fire, the owner may be entitled to a new replacement vehicle or a buyback of their defective vehicle through a California lemon law claim.

Reach Out to a Skilled Car Fire Attorney

Have you or your loved one been injured in a car fire caused by an auto defect? If so, the skilled legal team at Wirtz Law can help you understand your rights under California’s lemon law. We have extensive experience holding auto manufacturers accountable for manufacturing defective vehicles. Contact Wirtz Law today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

Auto Defects Are a Common Cause of a Car Fire 

Certain types of auto defects that arise in the manufacturing or design of a vehicle can increase the risk of a car fire. An auto defect may trigger a fire in conjunction with other factors, such as the impact of a collision. Many car defects can cause car fires, including mechanical or electrical defects such as:

  • Short circuits
  • Defectively-designed car batteries
  • Flammable fluid leaks or spills caused by defective parts
  • Poorly designed gas tanks positioned outside the protective frame 
  • Inadequate exhaust airflow
  • Electrical system failure

Electrical System Defects

When electrical systems are poorly designed or have been defectively manufactured, car fires can result. A vehicle’s electrical system is an integral part of every vehicle. A car fire becomes more likely when the electrical wires or other components are faulty.

Fuel System Defects

Flaws in the placement of fuel systems can cause vehicle fires. Defective fuel system design may not be the sole reason for combustion, but it can contribute to the fire. Flawed designs can cause the fuel system to fuel a fire or make it more difficult to extinguish a fire. 

Most manufacturers will recall defective fuel system parts or vehicles with design flaws related to the fuel system. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers recall defective vehicles, resulting in injured consumers. 

Overheating Engines Can Cause A Car Fire

When engines overheat, fluids within the engine can boil and leak out of their designated areas, causing fires. Defective parts in the engine and poorly designed engines can result in engine overheating, contributing to vehicle fires. When the design of a vehicle’s fuel system results in an unreasonable risk of fire and the vehicle has been through multiple repairs, you may have a potential lemon law claim against the manufacturer.

Car Fires Caused By Electrical Defects

With the increased use of electric, battery-operated vehicles and hybrids, the risk of vehicle fires from electrical defects continues to increase. Batteries can ignite during a collision or due to faulty wiring or connections. Many electrical defects that cause car fires are due to human error, such as incorrectly installed batteries, starters, and electronics. Poorly insulated electrical lines and loose high voltage connections can also cause vehicle fires.

Pursing a Lemon Law Claim For Vehicle Fire Defects

Vehicle owners and lessors can pursue a lemon law claim against the manufacturer or dealership responsible for their defective vehicle. Vehicle fires are considered a safety hazard under the lemon law, and eligible owners can require the dealership to buy back their defective vehicle for a fair price or replace it with a non-defective one. If the automaker willfully violated California’s lemon laws, the vehicle owner can recover additional compensation for up to twice the purchase price of the vehicle. 

Do I Need an Attorney?

Unfortunately, vehicle manufacturers and dealerships will frequently try to deny responsibility for fires caused by defects. They may try to avoid replacing the vehicle or buying it back by passing customers off to their liability insurance carrier after a fire. A skilled lemon law attorney can hold them accountable for their actions. 

If you’ve recently purchased or leased a vehicle that caught fire due to a defect, and your vehicle was under warranty at the time of the fire, you only have a limited amount of time to pursue a lemon law claim. The dedicated lemon law attorneys at Wirtz Law will thoroughly investigate the vehicle fire, gather evidence regarding the cause of the fire, and work diligently to hold the responsible automaker accountable.

Is It Worth Pursuing a Lemon Law Case After a Vehicle Fire?

If your vehicle has been involved in a fire, you are probably having to rent a car or rely on family and friends to help you get to work and run errands. Pursuing a lemon law claim can help you obtain a safe and working vehicle. Taking the time to discuss your case with an attorney could help you obtain a safe, defect-free vehicle.

There are two remedies under California’s lemon law. You can obtain cash compensation for your defective vehicle. You can also require the dealership to replace your vehicle with a working vehicle that is roughly similar to the model that caused the car fire. In most cases, you will receive a vehicle that is the same make and model as your defective vehicle.

If you choose to pursue a buyback of your vehicle, you will be refunded for the full purchase price of the defective vehicle, with a deduction for the “mileage offset” that is determined by the number of “good miles” you were able to get from the vehicle before the defect because apparent. In successful lemon law claims, the vehicle owner is also entitled to have his or her attorneys’ fees and costs paid for by the manufacturer. 

Contact Our California Car Fire Attorneys Today

If your vehicle has been involved in a car fire caused by a defect, you need an experienced attorney on your side. You may be entitled to a new replacement vehicle or a buyback of your defective vehicle by the auto manufacturer. The California auto defect attorneys at Wirtz Law have helped many victims obtain the total amount of compensation they deserve. You only have a limited time to pursue a lemon law claim in California. Contact Wirtz Law to schedule your complimentary consultation and learn more about your legal rights.

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