On Your Side: Car catches fire after using remote starter
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:56AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:04PM EST
MONTREAL--Using a remote starter caused extensive damage, but may have saved a family injury after their car caught on fire.
Will Miller used his remote to start his Jeep Wrangler after a holiday dinner at his parents' house.
Minutes later the car was engulfed in flames.
"By the time we opened the front door the flames were coming out of the driver's side door. We could see flames inside the driver side cabin," said Miller.
Miller shot video of the fire, and it shows the window had blown out, the entire inside of the driver-side door was melted and part of the roof and driver's seat burned.
"I would say the damage is fairly extensive," said Miller.
He and his pregnant wife Amalie shudder to think of what would have happened if they and their one year old daughter had been inside.
"I don't know if we'd both be here if we were driving in the vehicle. It happened so fast and it was unbelievable," Amalie Flynn said.
The owner of the Chrysler dealership that sold Miller the 2011 model jeep had an inspector look at the damaged vehicle.
Jean-Francoise Demers said this is the first such fire he has heard of.
"The Jeep Wrangler, we saw a lot of them, and that's the first time we saw something like that," said Demers of the fire in Miller's car.
Jeep did recall 2010 Wranglers that were at risk of having a fire sparked by a catalytic converter, but that only affected vehicles sold in the United States.
"As far as I know in Canada it never happened," said Demers.
The dealership says Miller's vehicle can be repaired, and the door replaced, but Miller is reluctant to get back in that car.
"No matter what you always think what if... And I'm having a hard time sleeping at night. And I'm worried about driving," said Miller.
He would rather trade it in, and hopes to get the value of the car before it caught fire.
For its part, Chrysler Canada said it is investigating the fire.
The company issued this statement: "Chrysler Group and Chrysler Canada take seriously each and every customer complaint and endeavors to resolve same quickly and equitably."