A car fire can be a terrifying event, especially if one is driving in Los Angeles when the fire begins. However, recently, ABC news affiliates have been investigating car fires in vehicles that are parked. These mysterious fires occur in various models of BMWs, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has encouraged BMW owners to immediately report any engine fires. Although the car maker long denied there was an auto defect in its cars, the manufacturer recently recalled over a million vehicles.
Some of the issues in the recalled models released in the past six years involve heaters and heater valves. However, BMW still does not seem ready to admit that the design of the car is to blame for the 40 or more cars that have combusted. A number of the vehicles caught fire after have sat idle for days. Some customers who brought lawsuits against BMW after their vehicles burned were asked by BMW to sign confidentiality agreements as part of their settlements, further complicating the efforts to determine the cause of the fires.
In fact, when the story first broke on ABC, a spokesperson for the automaker suggested the owners may be to blame. It was suggested that the drivers had failed to maintain their cars or had taken them to unauthorized mechanics. Other theories suggested by BMW were that the car owners had made dangerous modifications to their cars, that rodents had nested under the hoods or that the fires had been deliberately set.
This massive recall may provide an opportunity for BMW to address the auto defect that has caused fear and resulted in property damage for dozens of people. When auto makers fail to take responsibility for defects or dangerously designed vehicles, consumers in Los Angeles may seek an advocate to represent their cause. An attorney who is devoted to helping car owners would prove beneficial in these circumstances.
Source: whas11.com, "BMW recalls 1 million vehicles for fire risk", Brian Ross , Cindy Galli , Stephanie Zimmermann, Cho Park and Pete Madden, Nov. 4, 2017