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Old 12th September 2014, 08:31   #1
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Default My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Dear All- (this is a rather long post, but I promise you will be wiser and safer as a car owner and car buyer after reading this...)

I have narrowly escaped death from a burning Chevrolet vehicle, by a margin of a few seconds, and have pledged to expose the callousness and malpractices of GM India.

On 7th Aug, Thu morning I was driving my Chevrolet Captiva, a premium imported SUV of General Motors, to office. Suddenly, I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood on both sides. I immediately got suspicious, rolled down the window and started pressing the brake pedal.... to my horror, the vehicle accelerated instead of slowing down!

There was fast moving traffic all around me. Gathering my wits, I somehow maneuvered the vehicle on the wrong side of road to avoid running over bikers and pedestrians crossing a junction. Seeing a safe spot, I applied manual parking brakes and somehow controlled the vehicle to stop. By then, the bonnet had caught fire and doors had jammed. Thankfully, because I had rolled down the window, I could open the driver-side door from outside and jumped out of the vehicle. Within 3-4 minutes, the entire engine compartment was burnt to ashes.

[Pics enclosed for your reference]

I have lived to tell the tale....

Perplexed by why this happened with an expensive vehicle that was in pristine condition (less than 2.5 yrs old, run of just 27000 kms), I started digging around for answers. And discovered, that this was not just another freak accident... but a case of wilful negligence and endangering the customer's life.

A few shocking facts I have discovered over the last three weeks:
• In Dec 2011, GM announced a global recall of Captiva SUV to correct a reported fire risk in engine compartment. Shockingly, the recall did not and to date, has not taken place in India for this SUV which is manufactured and shipped globally from the same South Korean plant that caters to the US and China- two largest auto markets and where the recall happened very promptly. For more details, you can refer to this link- http://www.oncars.in/car-news/chevro...fire-risk/1578

• At least 5 cases of unexplained fire in engine compartment of Chevy Captiva have happened across India in the past 11 months. On 22nd July, in an exactly similar incident as mine, Chevrolet Captiva of Samir Suhag, national level polo player and Arjuna awardee burnt down. He and his wife escaped in time, just like me. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/38826408.cms

• GM India senior management, including their MD, Arvind Saxena who I had contacted and presented all the above facts, had asked for a couple of weeks to conduct a thorough investigation. All they have come up with as explanation after much coaxing, is "extraneous and supervening factors like fuel leakage as the suspected cause". Other owners whose Captiva burnt exactly like this, were also given ridiculous reasons like these, including in one case, a replaced fog lamp! This response, coming from a company, whose entire senior brass was held guilty last year for fudging emission norms data on 1.4 lakh Taveras over a period of seven years, is not surprising.

What would be surprising is if we, as educated and relatively privileged citizens of the country, allow companies like GM-Chevrolet to ride roughshod over our rights as a consumer. Would you allow this to happen?
Attached Thumbnails
My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!-burning-captiva.jpg  

My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!-captiva.jpg  

My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!-brng-captiva.jpg  

My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!-brng-captiva-2.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2014 at 13:54. Reason: Sorry, we don't allow linking to personal blogs. Thanks
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:10   #2
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

OMG

Thankfully you are safe & sound. But this is truly a shocking incident. Never expected such an incident on such a costly, so called great car. I always liked Captiva a lot & still think its an underrated vehicle.

Have you done any electrical modifications in the car? Just asking....

Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2014 at 14:09. Reason: Typos
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:18   #3
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Unhappy re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Ranjan,

Thats horrific. Really sad to see the car go up in flames and you were lucky enough to get out the car in time.

I would suggest to contact the media to get the story out in the open. Also if you can contact the Captiva owners whose car met a similar fate, it will be helpful to fight GM together.
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:19   #4
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

This is really horrific but, thank god almighty that you are safe and sound. Very sad to know about the double standards practiced by such leading car manufacturers when it comes to the safety of people in India. I think you should drag GM to court so that no other person faces the same ordeal.
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:30   #5
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

This is scary! Thank God you gotten out in time. Were the door locks disabled from inside during that time? In case of emergency like yours, can any of the 4 doors be opened from inside in a running Captiva? In VW/Skoda cars, this is the case, unless you enable the child locks (for the rear doors).
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:36   #6
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Shocked ! I can't believe that after spending so much to get a premium SUV, such incidents can happen. I am glad you escaped unhurt.

I wonder why India is taken so lightly when it comes to recalls by manufacturers.
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:41   #7
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Wow this is shocking from a premium SUV. Chevrolet is in doldrums after the Tavera incident but this is a new low. So apart from the explanation was there anything else done by GM? Have they owned up responsibility and offered a replacement car or something?
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Old 12th September 2014, 09:49   #8
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

I am glad you are alive. Also like someone else mentioned, you should NOT let them scott free. If you can tag with rest if the people who went thru this, it might bring a better and stronger result. My friend's Captiva went thru an engine replacement in 40,000 kms, but that's silly considering your issue.
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Old 12th September 2014, 10:17   #9
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

RK, I am glad you are safe. My request to you is take it to a logical end. You may write to the transport department and the ministry of consumer affairs.

Legal option is always open for you. I could not have expected such a response from the company but yes they are not playing fair with Indian consumer.

If I can recall, I had seen this vehicle parked in burnt condition on the road that leads to a government boys school of Sector-93, Noida.
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Old 12th September 2014, 10:28   #10
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Shocking! Hardly used to hear fire incidents in older generation cars. Looks like poor quality control & defective designing in race of over-deployment of electronics in newer cars. Has the insurance company compensated for the damage? Hope GM India conducts a proper investigation in the case and comes out with actual facts rather than presumptions.
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Old 12th September 2014, 10:55   #11
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

This is absolutely shocking !!

Chevrolet, in India, is one of the low lying brands without any bad image about their products (except the recent big Tavera issue).
I have been driving a Chevy Beat for about 4 years now and haven't faced any sorts of weird issues. Many would still feel the same.

Captiva is one of the products that I really love and admire from the Chevy stable and believe that it is one of the better products in the market, albeit a bit expensive compared to competition.

It is very obvious that GM (or any car manufacturer) would come up with lame reasons and try to absolve themselves of the failures to contain such potential disasters.
This forum has earlier seen some genuine efforts put forward strongly in such cases and have found a resolution to the loss inccured by the customer.

I am sure you would get justice and would soon come out of the trauma.
Happy that you got out of the car in the nick of time.

Will keep an eye on this thread and its proceedings. Please keep us updated.. Good luck mate.
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Old 12th September 2014, 11:59   #12
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Very sad and shocking. Glad that you could do your best to avoid self and collateral damage under trying circumstances, preventing serious injuries to anyone. I am at loss of words, but I am not surprised about GM's responses. Disgraceful. While you have lived to tell the tale, suggest you to gather yourselves for the next few days and come out of the trauma.

Thank you very much for this useful post. I will maintain distance from Skoda and GM forever.

Last edited by bsdbsd : 12th September 2014 at 12:00.
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Old 12th September 2014, 12:14   #13
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Very shocking news indeed. This kind of experience really dents the confidence of the customers. I think we are seeing quality issues across the range of Chevrolet's vehicles.

It looks we need to maintain a fair distance from Skoda,VW & GM. Also, I am quite shocked at GM's response. If they are fair and want to "sell" vehicles in India they have to do more. In most of the cases it's not the problem itself which is a pain but more as to how the customer's problems are addressed.
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Old 12th September 2014, 12:17   #14
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

That is really bad, that too on a car which has run just 27000 kms. You are lucky to have survived, and hats off to your presence of mind for that.

Some more details about the steps you have taken after this accident would be appreciated. What does the insurance company have to say about this? Going by the reasons given by them for the fire, I don't think they might have offered a replacement car. Do correct me if I am wrong, though.

Do keep us posted on the development. All the best for your further course of action (whatever it might be) on this issue.
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Old 12th September 2014, 12:19   #15
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Default re: My Horror Story: Chevrolet Captiva on Fire!

Good thing you got the images for proof.

I would suggest you escalate this issue to GM.
Not alone but with other owners facing issues with their GM vehicles.

Since the GM head is in India itself, you might get an advantage.

Try this link to get in touch with GM. : https://www.chevrolet.com/contact/email-us.html

Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2014 at 13:59. Reason: Typo
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