Vehicle fires can cause serious damage and can even be life-threatening. Highway vehicle fires are sometimes serious enough to require a response from a fire department to be extinguished. Though some vehicle fires that are not accident-related are mechanical in nature, some are due to faulty insulation around a vehicles electrical wiring.
Pennsylvania residents may find it interesting to learn that car manufacturer General Motors recently announced that it is recalling about 121,000 cars because of a potential car defect that may cause the affected vehicles to catch on fire.
The recall affects only one car model that the company manufactures: its ATS sedan, model years 2013 through 2016. The majority of the recalled vehicles, some 97,000 sedans, have been sold in the United States.
The company discovered the defect in the rear defogger circuitry of the affected vehicles, which could potentially start a fire inside the rear pillar that’s located on the driver’s side. According to GM, some recalled vehicles may have a coil antenna module that has terminal connectivity that is critically weak. If such a module is operated continuously or even cycled excessively it could potentially overheat to a point that it may start a fire inside the pillar where the module is housed.
According to the company though, there have been at least four fires that it is aware of that can be directly linked to the defect. The company is unaware of any crashes, fatalities or even any injuries that can be attributed to fires caused by the defect. The company also stressed that the problem affects less than 1 percent of the cars that were recalled. One percent may not sound like a lot, but even if one car fire due to the defective electrical wiring results in injuries, it is unacceptable.
Source: The Detroit News, “GM recalls 121,000 Cadillac ATS cars for fire risks,” David Sherpardson, Sept. 9, 2015