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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16294
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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Today my vehicle caught on fire. I was able to put the fire

Customer Question

Today my vehicle caught on fire. I was able to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher of a nearby business. However it did extensive damage to the inside of my vehicle and melted some of the plastic on the outside as well. It is undrivable. It was an electrical fire inside the dash on the passenger side and the components that look like an air condition compressor actually fell out in the floorboard on fire. After getting the vehicle towed to my house and disconnected the electrical system by disconnecting the battery. Being an electrician of 20years, I understand electrical components do not just burst into flame without a breaker tripping or a fuse blowing. So as I started to do research I found many cases that Word for Word is it exactly what happened to me. I also found out that there is a open recall for the vehicle for this very problem. I contacted GM and open a case and was notified that there is indeed an open recall. The lady I spoke to was very nice and apologize for the problem. She took a detailed report and said she was passing it on to another department that would contact me back at a later date be Tuesday the latest. I own my own business and now have to either rent a car or rely on friends for transportation. The girl I spoke with from GM. explain to me that the department would contact me and let me know what they could do to help me. I am curious to know would they be responsible to replace my vehicle? Or to completely restore it. It is paid for and I only have liability insurance. I'm not wanting to milk the system or get any more than I'm owed. But I do not want to be bullied by corporate America either. So I was wanting to get a second opinion on my legal rights. Thank you for your time .
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 months ago.

Hello there --

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What was the subject of the recall? Were you supposed to bring the vehicle back to a dealer to repair or replace anything>

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MARY

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I recently moved to Al from Texas (where I bought the where I bought the vehicle). I haven't received a letter here and didn't while I was there. I bought the vehicle used for my local dealer . like the recall is concerning the air-conditioning components located in thethe passenger dash, and It's a fire issue.
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 months ago.

Hello again --

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Whether there is a recall on a vehicle or not, an owner does not have an automatic right to recover the value of the vehicle in the event that something happens to the vehicle. It is a situation where you would have to hire a local attorney and pursue the manufacturer and the dealer in a civil action for the loss of the vehicle and possibly some pain and suffering damages for the psychological trauma of going through the fire and having to put it out, etc (even though no one was hurt). You will have to establish that recall components were the cause of the fire (your lawyer would hire an expert mechanic to testify to that point) and then it will come down to whether or not the court determines if you were negligent if you failed to bring the car back to have certain recalled parts replaced if that is what you were supposed to do (that would be an inquiry into how hard the manufacturer and/or the dealer tried to find you and notify you of these problems).

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Your question seems to be one of whether or not you are automatically entitled to a recovery of at least the totalled vehicle costs as a matter of law if there was a recall on the vehicle and that recalled area of the car or those parts on the car failed, and that answer is no -- no such laws exist. As I stated above, it is a matter of hiring a local attorney and suing the manufacturer and dealer. You should seek out a referral to a local lawyer who handles automobile lemon law and recall cases -- you can find one by contracting your local county bar association and asking for a list of a few attorneys locally who handle such claims. They should give you a list of a few attorneys and you can talk to them -- in some cases and attorney may take such a case if you are willing to pay expenses up front (such as to get an expert opinion from a mechanic on the cause of the fire).

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Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above in the star rating section to I will be paid for my time assisting you tonight. I am paid nothing for assisting you today unless you press the middle star or the fourth or fifth star on the right of the middle star above in the star ratings section. Doing so will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !

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MARY