Car fire

I have a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee with about 4500 miles, just 5 months old. While traveling the other day, I noticed smoke coming out from under the hood. I immediately stopped, turned off the ignition, left the car and called 911. Within five minutes, the engine compartment was on fire, the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames and is now a total loss. What do you think happened?

I think warranty kicks in. Fuel leak is the easiest answer.

At this point, assuming everything under the hood melted, you will never know…It’s your comprehensive insurance that will hopefully pay off your car…I don’t think the Jeep warranty will cover this…

Do you have any clues to add? like last time anyone had the hood open, did the car die before you pulled over, did you notice anything on the gagues, can you help out here at all because you really have not given us much to work on.

You say you left the car, does this mean you did not have a cell phone with you? did you go into a store or residence to call? were you watching the car while you were waiting for the fire truck?, did the smoke smell like fuel or like electrical wiring at first?

hood had not been opened at all. car did not die before I pulled over. Had a cell phone and called right from the scene. Had the vehicle in full view the entire time. Did not smell any particular odor.

I experienced one car fire. It was exciting! Turned out the US made fuel line for a fuel filter gave way and I had fire shooting over the top of the car. Turned off ignition and got an old heave wool blanket had it out by the time they truck made it the five blocks to my house.

My insurance covered the whole cost including the rental. (Note no increase in insurance rates.)

Good Luck

I don’t think the Jeep warranty will cover this…

It depends on if it can be determined what the cause was…AND that it was a faulty part. The insurance company is going to investigate this to determine the cause. They may or may not find one…but they’ll spend a couple of thousand if they don’t have to pay out $40k for an insurance claim.

It will take a pro and some motivation to hire a pro to figure this one out. Don’t be put off if “the pro” has you on the list as possible reasons this went up in flames, maximun buyers remorse perhaps?

As per the usual, there’s a few bits of missing info I’m curious about.
Engine running fine up to the point you turned off the ignition?
Where was the vehicle parked when you turned it off; side of an open road, edge of parking lot, etc.?
And you noticed absolutey no smells at all; nothing acrid, etc.?

I don’t think a new Jeep is supposed to burst into flames. There is a defect somewhere in the car that caused the fire. Likely a fuel leak, or rupture in a pressurized fuel line provided the fuel. Once the motor is hot the fuel vaporizes easily and that makes igniting a fire very likely. Heat and a spark of some kind is all you need to set the whole thing off.

It is likely your insurance company will either have, or hire, investigators to find the source of the fire. Once they have that the insurer will go after Jeep to recoup their some of their loss. You should be taken care of with a paid rental and a check to buy a new car. Unfortunately that check won’t recoup all your loss however.

It may be an issue of overheated transmission. Were you in 4wd?

I have to add one thing.  Congratulations for  [i] "immediately stopped, turned off the ignition, left the car"[/i]

I have found that it is best (when insured against fire damage) to let the thing totally burn to the ground rather than putting out the fire and having the car repaired. People worry quite a bit about a car not being the same after a body panel is repaired. You will really have something of substance to worry about when you get a fire damaged car back from repair as these cars truly are never the same.

I don’t see any recall info for issues pertaining to your fire, though it might not hurt to send any info you get from the investigation to the NHSTA and see what they can do.
Just be happy that you are safe now and that the fire didn’t spread into a neighbor’s house or anything.

A brief Google search shows that several 2010 Rubicons have also caught fire. Here’s one:

On the contrary I think they were made to burst into flames:)

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Apparently another post with a lack of details about this event. It would be nice to know those details so a somewhat wild guess could be made as to what happened and which could possibly aid someone else.

I note when reading some of those burning Jeep tales that a number of them involved “trying to get unstuck”, we were “offroading”, etc., etc.

There may be a battle over this particular vehicle. The insurance company may look at it suspiciously or blame it on a manufacturing glitch and Chrysler will likely say it’s not their fault and there is no evidence to prove it’s a manufacturing fault; especially now that the hog roast is over.

I don’t think you can blame the fire on off-roading or getting unstuck, that’s what these are made for. Certainly no one buys them for their highway ride. If a Jeep Rubicon can’t go off-roading without bursting into flame that IS a manufacturing defect.

Thankfully you’re okay! My neighbor had a new BMW X5 when they first came out. The same thing happened to him, except it was parked in his under-house garage. He got another new car and a new house.

My girlfriend had a 05 Suburban that caught fire in a parking lot. Luckily she had gap insurance. The car was completely burned, after seeing it I have a hard time thinking anyone could determine the cause based on what remained.

However, it’s your insurance company’s issue now. They’ll cut you a check and go after Jeep if they can prove fault, which isn’t likely.

Fuel leak somewhere.

Hopefully the depreciation does not sock you. Sorry about your likely financial loss unless it was purchased used.