Audi is issuing an auto defect recall for about 75,000 vehicles due to a fire risk. According to a report on Fortune.com, parts of the vehicle fuel injection system could leak, and if the leaking fuel comes in contact with an ignition source, it could catch fire. The automaker is saying it is recalling cars, SUVs and sedans including A8 sedans model years 2015-2018 as well as A6, A7 and Q7 SUVs, model years 2016-2018. So far, no injuries associated with these defects have been reported to the federal government. Vehicle owners will be notified by mail around the middle of March. When the recall begins, Audi dealers will replace the right and left fuel injector rails at no cost to consumers.
Back in 2018, Audi had recalled nearly one million vehicles due to fire issues relating to electric coolant pumps that had the potential to overheat and catch fire. Audi had also hit other bumps on the road in the past several years relating to auto defects. Audi faced a $1 billion fine in 2018 as part of its parent company Volkswagen’s ongoing diesel emissions fraud scandal. In addition, Volkswagen has been affected by the ongoing Takata airbag inflator recall.
The Danger of Vehicle Fires
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year, from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States, resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths, 1,300 injuries, and $1.1 billion in property loss. These highway vehicle fires accounted for 13 percent of fires responded to by fire departments across the nation.
Statistics also show that approximately one in eight fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. About 83 percent of highway vehicle fires occurred in passenger vehicles. Also, 62 percent of highway vehicle fires and 36 percent of fatal highway vehicle fires originated in the engine, running gear or the wheel area of the vehicle. Mechanical failure was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of highway vehicle fires (45 percent).
What Drivers Can Do
There are a number of steps drivers and vehicle occupants can take if their vehicle catches fire. First, pull over as quickly as it is safe to do so. Use your turn signal to make your way to a safe location off the road such as a breakdown lane or a rest stop. Once you have stopped, turn off the engine and get everyone out of the car. Move everyone at least 100 feet away from the burning car and well away from the traffic, and call 911.
If you have been injured in a vehicle fire caused by a defective part, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to offer you more information about pursuing your legal rights.