Here is my car when I bought it in September 2002
Here is my car today:
1997 Hyundai Elantra Wagon Car Fire
This is what happened to my Hyundai on June 8, 2003. Pictures below.
Fire investigators believe the fire started behind the dashboard sometime after I drove the car on Saturday night, June 7. One June 8 at 10am, smoke was noticed by my neighbor, and in minutes the entire car was engulfed in flames. Surrounding vehicles and landscaping were damaged from flames and heat.
This was hands-down the scariest thing that ever happened to me. Mark had to physically pull me out of the house, because I was in total shock. The flames were as high as the house, and very swift moving. I was so deep in disbelief, I was actually getting a bowl out of the Tupperware cupboard to put the fire out with when Mark dragged me out.
The Fire Dept evacuated much of the neighborhood, as they feared our house and neighboring houses were sure to go up. I credit the Arvada Fire Department that no one was injured, and for their quick and deft response. The sound of the fire, and the sight of the car burning are something I will probably never forget. It was surreal, and my brain seemed to have a hard time processing what I was seeing. To this day if I think about it, I can hear the fire in my head, and it makes my stomach turn.
I have reports from the fire department and from my insurance company stating that the cause was manufacturer defect, faulty wiring.
Hyundai does not answer my phone calls, nor do they answer phone calls from my local news investigative team, who attempted to intervene for me. I have written them letters, called their "customer care" hotline (they really care, don't they?) and made attempt after attempt to get someone at Hyundai to listen to me.
The fire burned the Elantra to the ground, totaled my Corsica that was parked in front of it, and severely damaged two other cars in the driveway that did not belong to me. The estimated damage to cars and landscaping is $11,000.00. My insurance will not cover any of the damage, because I carried liability insurance only, and all the official reports state Hyundai's manufacturing is at fault. I'd have fared better if I'd have carelessly left a cigarette burning in the upholstery.
All I ever wanted was for Hyundai to acknowledge what happened, and offer me a comparable replacement. Is that asking too much? I'm a single mom, currently unemployed and attending school, and this has messed up my life beyond belief.
If Hyundai had done the right thing, I would have shouted their virtues from the rooftops! But instead I will keep this page up and running and link to it from here, there and everywhere so people all over the word can see how much Hyundai cares about it's customers.
These pictures are thumbnails, click them to open to bigger pics..
Trees in my yard (very close to the house) that went up in flames
The neighbors car, parked in a shared driveway. Their cars were damaged from the heat.
I actually got paid to have these pieces of shit towed away, about 1% of what I paid for the cars.
The sound of the cars being dragged down the driveway was so disturbing. The bumper of the Hyundai dragged on the ground the whole time, and it was loud and screeching. Seriously, it's like the car was screaming.
Down the street, go the only two cars I have ever owned outright.
This is what's left. A mess of glass and burned rubber on my driveway. Thank you, Hyundai.