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Old 23rd June 2009, 21:12   #1
Nan
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Default Hyundai i10 catches fire during ignition!

Here is a strange incident that happened to my friend. When he turned on the ignition of his 10 month old i10 to start the engine, a strange sound was heard from under the hood and the car caught fire immediately. He managed to get out of the car and put out the flames just in time. The intensity of the fire was such that the whole engine compartment has been burnt out and the boot lid has warped due to heat! The car was under warranty and was taken to Trident Hyundai service station to ascertain the cause for the problem. This matter was reported to HMIL and they sent a representative from the company to inspect the car. After inspection it was told that a 'rat bite' on the fuel pipe had caused the fuel pipe to leak leading to a fire! The whole engine compartment has been burnt and all the hoses are damaged and the claim by the company that a rat might have bitten the fuel pipe is inconclusive. Since this is not covered under warranty, my friend has been told by the company to claim insurance for the repairs. Estimate for the repairs is approx 1.15 lakhs! Since most of the parts damaged are plastic and rubber, insurance company will pay only 50% of the amount!
The question here is whether the argument by the company that the fuel leak was caused by a rat bite valid? or was it due to a manufacturing defect? Since the car is under warranty, should he contemplate legal action?
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Old 24th June 2009, 03:16   #2
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Unless HMIL can prove it was a rat bite, I doubt they can pass it off as such.
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Old 24th June 2009, 04:55   #3
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Nan,
This is an unfortunare incident. How can the engine room catch fire if there was fuel leak because of a fuel leak ,that too by a rat bite on the fuel pipe? Your friend should have smelled the leaking before starting if at all it was that big a leak. There should have been enough fuel that leaked into the starter or plugs so that the electric spark could ignite it. How did the hyundai engineer prove that it was because of rat bite? was there any solid evidence?

Can you describe what all your fiend did after he saw the fire, maybe we can investigate the reason from what he saw and did.

Anyways how can a full engine room go into flames just after the start, it can be a problem with fuel injection system.
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Old 24th June 2009, 09:04   #4
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This is big disadvantage of Hyundai vehicles.
many of the parts,Front member,even the radiator is also made of fiber,hence the insurance claim would not fetch much.
Guess he need to shell out app. 50k to bring out the vehicle.
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Old 24th June 2009, 09:43   #5
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I think fuel lines are not made of plastic / fiber. Then how could Rat chew them in the first place?
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Old 24th June 2009, 09:59   #6
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
I think fuel lines are not made of plastic / fiber. Then how could Rat chew them in the first place?
Even if they are made of Plastic/Fibre or Rubber, they should be hard enough to sustain an impact on accident so that fuel cannot spill much to cause fire.

I cannot digest that a 1/2 inch thick rubber pipe can be damaged by rat. If its true than HMIL should be questioned for supplying such a low quality fuel pipe.
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Old 24th June 2009, 11:59   #7
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Rat Bite !

I find this very difficult to digest. Do investigate if they (HMIL) have any such history of incidence in past .. or it is just their standard answer to get away with warranty.
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Old 24th June 2009, 12:09   #8
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I think i know the reason for this. During the last free service of mi i10 auto, the service centre added a fuel line cover/guard free of cost. On enquiry they said it has been installed on all i10 kappa on instructions from the company.

I think we know the reason of the fire now.
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Old 24th June 2009, 20:02   #9
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Originally Posted by decode View Post
Nan,
This is an unfortunare incident. How can the engine room catch fire if there was fuel leak because of a fuel leak ,that too by a rat bite on the fuel pipe? Your friend should have smelled the leaking before starting if at all it was that big a leak. There should have been enough fuel that leaked into the starter or plugs so that the electric spark could ignite it. How did the hyundai engineer prove that it was because of rat bite? was there any solid evidence?

Can you describe what all your fiend did after he saw the fire, maybe we can investigate the reason from what he saw and did.

Anyways how can a full engine room go into flames just after the start, it can be a problem with fuel injection system.
He said that once he started to crank the engine, the was a noise from under the hood and the fire started immediately. He got out and tried to open the hood but could not do so due to the heat. Then after pouring buckets of water, the fire came down and he opened the hood to find everything burnt. I will post some pictures. Maybe that will give you an idea of the extent of damage.
Even i think that this reason given by HMIL is too far fetched to believe. There must have been some trigger for the leaked fuel to catch fire. Also, the fuel pipe is a steel braided rubber hose made to withstand high pressure and cannot be bitten by a rat easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharad_agl View Post
I think i know the reason for this. During the last free service of mi i10 auto, the service centre added a fuel line cover/guard free of cost. On enquiry they said it has been installed on all i10 kappa on instructions from the company.

I think we know the reason of the fire now.

I think there was some issue with the fuel line which the company realized later and took the necessary steps to correct it. This might be a good point to question.
Also when my friend was in the service station, an other i10 was also present with the same problem, but in that case there was only a fuel leak, not a fire! They were trying to pass this off also as a 'rat bite' issue!
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Old 24th June 2009, 23:34   #10
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Rat biting a fuel pipe which leads to a fire? I dont believe it. As we all know Manufacturers and Insurance folks try to pass the buck across.
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Old 25th June 2009, 00:25   #11
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I smell a Rat in Hyundai's assesment of the cause of the fire!
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Old 25th June 2009, 00:29   #12
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IMO your friend should turn the tables on Hyundai

He should get in writing from them their statement about reason of fire and then threaten to go public about this inherent safety flaw in the i10, which is potentially life threatening to all occupants. If he creates enough noise, Hyundai is bound to change their stand, since they cannot afford "badnami" in today's competitive hatch market.
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Old 25th June 2009, 01:37   #13
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I am with you Abhij.

You are right. This is crap. Question them. We should not be buying such nonsense (so called) investigation and that too from the Hyundai engineer. Are these people educated on the technical aspects of the car to are they trained how to fool customers with stupid answers and make them accept whatever they say.

Nan,
Take pictures from all angles and post it in on this site. Ask your friend to contact Hyundai customer care through phone and mail. Keep a record of all communications ..in and out.

I am sure that it is sure smelling a rat in this incident. By the way, has your friend fitted any extra electrical accessories or a gas kit ? Where there any modifications done? If at all they were fitted un-proffesionaly,we should not be blaming Hyundai.
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Old 25th June 2009, 01:37   #14
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Check it there are fuel marks where he parked the car. If the fuel leaked, the ground should smell of fuel even after the fire.

Also your friend should charge hyundai for providing such low grade stuff. Ask them to prove it was due to rat bite.

2 points deducted from hyundai's kitty on my list of trusted brands.
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Old 25th June 2009, 01:39   #15
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Default Oh rats!

A rat bit through a pipe and the car spilled enough fuel to burn the whole engine bay?

Sounds unlikely. A rat bite might let fuel drip and the drops will evaporate. It looks like a pipe burst or the fuel in some part or pipe exploded.

If the rat bite theory is true, Hyundai needs to re-look at their designs and stop putting such fire hazards on our roads.

If the car was cold, I wonder how the spilled fuel caught fire.

In any event, ask Hyundai for proof or a statement in writing.

Cheers,
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