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Old 16th November 2008, 23:51   #16
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You mean to say that the vehicle was parked, lying idle and locked. And the fire just started? That is really shocking. Good that you were able to see it and control the fire in 15 minutes.
How long before did the vehicle run? Did you ever before smell any fuel leakage or so?
I guess the comprehensive insurance should cover this. Hope you will able to make good the loss.
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Old 17th November 2008, 00:08   #17
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Hi Joe,

You have got me worried a little as my swift is also just past three years now.

I just want to know a few things :
a) Was the car given on service very recently before this incident happened or so? I am asking this as sometimes I do hear that they wash the car with diesel etc, wanted to know if this has anything to do with it.

b) Did whoever drive that car, just come back from a long drive and parked it? Or was the car idle the entire evening when it just caught fire? ( When I drive at high rpm during the night (about 20km usually from work to home) and reach home and park the car, I can actually get a burnt smell all around the car. Just want to know if this is a possibility.

c) Was any sort of electrical rewiring done for say white light for the headlights? People do change the lights saying its not bright enough.


It is worrisome when we do not know the exact cause. I dont think it would be a manufacturing defect as its happened almost after 3.5 years of use. So unless it was due to some poor servicing done recently or some modifications I dont see how this can happen....
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Old 17th November 2008, 00:36   #18
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Thank you all for all your replies. To answer couple of questions asked.

1. The car was driven for 3KMs, 30 minutes prior to the incident.
2. The last service was done 2 months back.
3. The headlight was upgraded to 100/90W bulbs with proper wiring and relay. Also an additional company horn was added. Both were done as part of the first service at POPULAR VEHICLES SERVICES LTD, Cochin.
4. Car has a normal pioneer system with component speakers fitted at a reputed accesories shop at Cochin. This was done immediatly after we bought the car.
5. There were no changes or additions made to the car recently.
5. The car was not involved in any accidents.
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Old 17th November 2008, 01:10   #19
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Let me take a guess. The battery in your car was the original one that came with the car I suppose?

If so then it can very well be the culprit. A battery at its end stages has problems like leakages and release of fumes which are inflamable. If the terminal wires on the battery somehow loosened it could have caused a spark that might have ignited the vapors. This may have caused the fire. This kind of cases have been reported many a times.
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Old 17th November 2008, 01:22   #20
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Ouch.
That looks way too bad.
Hope your friend gets full justice.
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Old 17th November 2008, 07:39   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chakky View Post
...You have got me worried a little as my swift is also just past three years now...
Hey Chakky, please do not make it seems like all 3 year Swifts are going to burn out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chakky View Post
...It is worrisome when we do not know the exact cause. I dont think it would be a manufacturing defect as its happened almost after 3.5 years of use. So unless it was due to some poor servicing done recently or some modifications I dont see how this can happen....
My vehicle, all of 3.5 years, but thankfully an Alto (!!!), had an un-resolved issue after I gave to a new service center.

Had given the vehicle for a body work and on return found that the power steering has gone for a toss! On examination found that the fuse has blown. Reason given by service center - I had a 10amp one where as a 35amp one is required. My question was - why should it blow after 3.5years? No response to that.

Requested the service center to make a full check on the electicals. On the morning when the service advisor came to pick, he noticed that my headlights were on. For some strange reason, when I had moved the car in the morning, the headlight came on (the switch was in off position). There was also a motor sound from the engine bay. I guess it was the starting motor. Now all this without the key in the vehicle.

There was no modifications done recently to my ride and all electrical work, headlight upgrade, ICE and horn were done 3.5yrs back. A check by them revealed nothing and I am yet to know why this issues came up. But had ridden 3k kms after that and no issue, touch wood! Yeah, it is scary when thing go wrong and you do not know why!!!
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Old 17th November 2008, 09:34   #22
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This is indeed a shocking incident. It lookslike the fire was from the battery unit. Since the vehicle is on the extended warranty, lot of electricals won't be covered.
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Old 17th November 2008, 09:36   #23
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Very strange that car catches fire when it was stationary and parked!
Needs a proper investigation on the cause!

Pathetic response from Maruti, SC and Insurance Co!
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Old 17th November 2008, 10:27   #24
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It could have only started from the battery terminal. Are you sure nothing has been done around that area ? Was there an amplifier in your car ? If so, I suspect the amp wire to be the culprit here.
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Old 17th November 2008, 10:45   #25
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By a sheer coincidence, I came over today to report an unusual heating up of bonnet on the right and left flanks on the curves tapering from windshield side to the headlights. Noticed this yesterday night after just a drive of 10 mts and having parked at a point. The headlights were on on low intensity ( 90/100 W Philips with separate wiring and relay ). Opened the hood and could not locate anything unusual with the pipings or wires. The heating of the headlight Unit was lesser than the flanks of the body ruling out the heat being generated by the bulbs. Am keeping my fingers crossed at this point until I compare it in a day ride time.
Never seen the sides of bonnet at higher temperature than the middle !!
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Old 17th November 2008, 10:57   #26
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Hi, prompt insurance appears to be a problem when a fire is involved.

I know of a Santro which burnt itself up in the middle of the night almost a year ago here in Chennai. The owner was, as the case here, sure that it was a manufacturing defect. The car burnt itself up at around 2:00 AM, a full 10 hours after it was last used (so most likely an electrical fire). Anyway, despite an investigation by the insurance provider & Hyundai, the cause of the fire couldn't be ascertained (CSI makes it look so easy). The insurance provider still hasn't cleared the payment.

I think panicking would do no good - I should know, for almost a month after hearing about the spontaneously-combustive Santro, I used to wake up at odd hours in the morning & check if my car was self-immolating as well ! The best one can do is maintain the car well, peek under the hood atleast once a week, & yes - have a few fire extinguishers handy...

P.S. - Ironically, the owner got tried of waiting on insurance, & not trusting Hyundai, bought a new Swift !

Last edited by im_srini : 17th November 2008 at 10:58.
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Old 17th November 2008, 11:03   #27
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very strange my friend and look terrible, the pattern of bun marks on you cars hood indicate that the fire started from somewhere near the battery as said by all the other members... now i guess its upto the insurance guys to get the forensics done... and belive me my friend sometimes **** does happen and you just gotta work it out ....
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Old 17th November 2008, 17:38   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
It could have only started from the battery terminal. Are you sure nothing has been done around that area ? Was there an amplifier in your car ? If so, I suspect the amp wire to be the culprit here.
car did not have any amplifier fitted.

Battery was the original one.

Any one has any contacts who can help us out?
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Old 17th November 2008, 18:35   #29
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Unfortunate. Can the fire happen due to electricals even if car is not in use and idle since long?
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Old 18th November 2008, 11:35   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joethomasv View Post
car did not have any amplifier fitted.

Battery was the original one.

Any one has any contacts who can help us out?
If you are having problems with the Insurance folks, contact the Insurance ombudsman. Here is the Ernakulam office address & phone number.

Quote:
Shri James Muricken

Insurance Ombudsman
Office of the Insurance Ombudsman
2 ND Floor, CC 27/2603, Pulinat Building ,
Opp. Cochin Shipyard,
M.G. Road ,
ERNAKULAM – 682 015

Tel: 0484-2358734
2373334,2350959
Fax:0484-2359336

E-mail: iokochi@asianetglobal.com
insuranceombudsmankochi@hclinfinet.com


Try to create records. Have everything in writing.
good luck

Last edited by esteem_lover : 18th November 2008 at 11:36.
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