Accord fires?

Has anyone heard reports of New '08 Honda Accords catching fire?

No, I haven’t, but if you have personally experienced this, then you need to report it at once to the National Highway Traffic Administration, via their website. Be prepared to supply information such as the vehicle’s VIN and the date of purchase.

While I believe that Honda is very conscientious about situations of this nature, only by reporting safety hazards such as this to NHTSA can manufacturers be forced into timely solutions to problems like that.

Was this reported by the Chevy Dealer???


A minute % of ALL cars have this issue. Probably you heard of a local incident. There is an exception of the infamous Pontiac Fiero and likely others where it was more prevalent.

nothing at this point, but these things usually involve a couple of years of waiting and seeing, bureacratic hemming and hawing at both the manufacturer and government level, before any service bulletin or recall is issued.

the only complaint i saw on the gov. site involved an '07 accord catching fire. since this was due to the car being rammed from behind it seems to me blaming the car for an accident is the wrong way of looking at it.

any modern era car can catch fire. they all use fuel injection and gasoline under high pressure is pretty volatile when a lead develops.
add in a much increased electrical load, plastic switches, etc. and the chances of electrical fires are also going to go up.

Thanks for the replies. Yesterday a friend called with a strange story. She was driving her one-day-old Accord to work in York County, VA. The car in front of her suddenly swerved, revealing what appeared to be a pillow in her lane. She ran over it, but didn’t panic because she heard or felt nothing. Within a minute she smelled smoke, pulled off the road and discovered flames under the car. She called 911 and the fire truck was there in few minutes, but that new Honda (with 12 miles on it) burned up. A total loss! When the tow truck driver arrived later, he told her he had heard of 2 other new Accords catching fire in this area lately.

I would attribute the fire to the pillow getting stuck on the hot exhaust, not a design flaw in the car.

any modern era car can catch fire. they all use fuel injection and gasoline under high pressure is pretty volatile when a lead develops. add in a much increased electrical load, plastic switches, etc. and the chances of electrical fires are also going to go up.

This is true - but remember that you can DOUBLE your chances of winning the lottery by buying 2 tickets instead of one. Point being, although risk may be increased - it’s still very very low.


As one of my physicians said in regard to diagnosing a medical condition, “One of the first things that they teach in medical school is, if you hear hoofbeats behind you in the US, begin by assuming that they are from horses, rather than zebras”. In other words, begin by analyzing the most obvious possibilities.

In this case, the most obvious possibility is that the highly flammable pillow became lodged underneath the car and was ignited by the extremely high temperature of the exhaust system. If someone runs over a pillow, why would anyone assume that a fire underneath the car a few minutes later resulted from a problem with the car when it is much more reasonable to conclude that the pillow ignited??

VDC - I agree with you but be carefull when you say the pillow is highly flamable - I believe it is federal law that pollows are made with fire retardant material. Even so - shove it up against a hot manifold - and you have a problem.

just do not remove the tag from said pillow ,or you will be fined,and on a lighter note buy a bag of marshmellos just in case.

Vogel–OK–I exaggerated a bit!

Pillows are no longer highly flammable, but anything made of conventional fabric (not a fabric like Nomex) will ignite if held against something as hot as the exhaust system on a car equipped with a catalytic converter. And, in the absence of any credible information about the car itself being at fault, I think that it is pretty obvious that the pillow was the cause of the fire. I am just wondering why the OP chose to blame the car, rather than to look at the most likely proximate cause of the fire.

Ed, I hope your friend reported the fire to her insurer. It’s not embarrassing; how could she know that a pillow or sack of some sort would land in the middle of the road as she approached?

Could someone please explain this to me in clear short sentences, since I don’t understand cars. 1) Pillows in my experience tend to be rather slick and rounded, yet one just happens to get caught under the hottest part of the car, and neither the friction of the road nor the slipstream blasts it away. 2) Although motorcyclists have to wear special leathers to avoid being scarred for life when they skid for a few seconds on pavement, this pillow is pressed against the pavement by the car long enough to a) catch fire even though it is fire retardent and b) then burn long enough to set the car alight–all without disintegrating. Does anyone know of something similar happening?

I have to admit that I don’t know if the new Accords are very low to the ground, but traditionally, Accords have been built with fairly poor ground clearance, as compared to a lot of other makes of car.

Anyway, whether the new Accords are still built this way or not, a lot can have to do with chance. If the owner happened to run over this pillow in such a way that it got caught under the exhaust system (which is the part of the car with the least ground clearance), the pillow likely became wedged underneath the car and, road friction or not, due to little ground clearance at that point and due to contact with the extremely high temperature of the exhaust system likely ignited the pillow after a few minutes.

In case you think that this is very odd, I want to point out that quite a few people who have parked modern cars over tall grass have wound up losing their cars due to the grass being ignited by the heat of the exhaust system.

Remember–“flame retardant” does not indicate that something will not burn, but rather, that it will resist ignition for a few minutes. In this case, contact with the exhaust system for those few minutes apparently led to a disasterous situation.

If the person in question ran over that same pillow a few inches to the left or the right, the result could possibly have been different. But, as luck (in this case, bad luck) would have it, your friend’s situation just happened to create “the perfect storm” for igniting a pillow under the car. At least, that is my theory.