Hey, guys, I need help and I need it fast! Last Saturday, I returned to the airport garage where my car was parked to find that a vehicle three spaces away had burned to the ground. The firefighters were still on scene and the airport security staff was hosing down all cars in the area “as a precaution”. As it turns out our Mazda CX-9’s clearcoat, headlight lenses, and chrome trim were severely etched, either by fallout directly from the burning vehicle or by back splash from the fire hoses that mixed with the acids, toxins and carcinogens that burning cars throw off.
Within 10 minutes of driving away from the airport, I began to experience a burning sensation in my eyes, throat and lungs, the effects of which I was still feeling 12 hours later. Upon inspection of the engine compartment, I found a lot of gray/black ash and grainier particulates that had to have come from the fire. It’s pretty obvious to me that this is likely to be the cause of what is making me ill. (I’ve since driven the car twice, both for 10 minutes or less, with the same results.)
Now here comes my dilemma. The insurance company adjuster wrote up the claim to fix the paint & trim. He also thought the engine compartment should be steam cleaned, the cabin filter replaced and the vents “blown out”. When I asked if the body shop could effectively handle the latter part of the job, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “If they can’t, they will probably sub it out to the dealership.” When I called the body shop and explained the issue, they were very candid and said that ridding the vents of whatever is making me sick was beyond their skill set. They suggested I try the dealership. When I called the dealer, they IMMEDIATELY suggested a high-end detailing in shop that has a very good reputation. The owner of that business also said he couldn’t guarantee that he could rid the car of toxic chemicals–he usually deals with odors or plain garden variety smoke. Sounds to me like everyone is thinking they don’t want to take on the liability for this.
I then turned back to the insurance company and explained I was having difficulty finding anyone who can do the job correctly. They told me they would find a resource and get back to me. Well, that was over 24 hours ago and still no word.
Here are the questions I need help with:
- Has anyone experienced a similar situation?
- If so, how was the situation resolved?
- Does anyone know of any way of testing for toxins and carcinogens so that we can be completely assured that we aren’t doing long term damage to our health?