General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced the recall of 1,497,517 motor vehicles because of a a defect in the 3.8 liter engines of the autos that could lead to a car fire. The cars included in the recall are the Chevrolet Lumina (1998 to 2003 models), the Buick Regal (1997 to 2003), the Chevrolet Monte Carlo (1998 to 2003), the Chevrolet Impala (1998 to 1999), the Pontiac Grand Prix (1998 to 2003), and the Oldsmobile Intrigue (1998 to 1999).
The defect in the engine may cause oil to leak onto the exhaust manifold when hard braking. If the manifold is hot and the oil strikes the heat shield, there is the chance that an engine fire could occur.
Car fires are incredibly dangerous. They can emit toxic gas and lead to catastrophic burn injuries. Car fires can create heat as high as 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, with flames from burning vehicles emitting as far out as 10 feet or greater. A car fire can lead to a car explosion, resulting in debris from the car being flung outward. This could turn tire rims, axles, engine parts, and other car parts into deadly shrapnel. Air bags may deploy, battery acid can cause serious injuries, and the flammable fuel from gas tanks could end up spraying onto other vehicles and people in the area.
According to the National Fire Protection Association and the AAA:
• There were 266,000 car fires in 2004 resulting in 520 deaths.
• Over 1,300 people a year become the victims of car fires.
• 75% of car fires occur because of poor maintenance.
• Motor vehicles contain at least six flammable fluids under their hood that can leak onto hot surfaces, starting a fire.
This is why it is so important that any defect that can lead to a car fire be remedied immediately. And if you or someone you love was injured in a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident involving a fire that was a result of an auto defect, you need to speak with an experienced Boston products liability law firm to explore your legal options.
GM Recalls 1.5 Million Cars For Fire Hazard, Consumer Affairs, April 14, 2009
New Warning to be Issued About Deadly Car Fires, ABC News, October 12, 2005
Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administation
Car Fires: What you need to know to be safe…, Kids-Safety
Our Boston automotive products liability lawyers have successfully represented clients with products liability claims against car manufacturers. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.