A Desborough woman has told of her anger after car maker Hyundai refused to accept responsibility when her son’s car burst into flames while parked in their driveway.
Toni Proctor’s son Matthew bought a 16-month-old Hyundai i20 from the manufacturer’s Corby dealership, only for the fire to break out just one month later.
The blaze, in October last year, caused almost £25,000 worth of damage – the £8,7000 car which was burned to its shell, and £15,000 in damage to the house.
Hyundai UK says its investigation shows there was no mechanical faults in the car.
But Miss Proctor disputes that claim, saying the incident put lives at risk.
She said: “My son drove the car and after parking up, my daughter went back and noticed the car was full of smoke.
“She’s autistic so didn’t immediately associate that with danger but within minutes the engine was on fire.
“Firefighters told me this wasn’t arson and that it may have started in the engine, but it wasn’t left on.
“I was told there wasn’t enough of the vehicle left to find out what the problem was.”
Miss Proctor said she had found a similar incident had taken place in India with the same model.
She said: “This is quite a common car and it’s a massive worry that this has happened in one of the younger models.
“A quick Google search found that it had happened in India as well and Hyundai India refused to accept responsibility then.
“The fire not only ruined the car but burned the driveway, and damaged the conservatory and parts of inside the house from the smoke.
“Admiral, who were our insurers, have been brilliant and have paid out despite the dispute.
“If my kids were in the car for five minutes longer they would have been in the fire and I don’t think they would have got out.”
Hyundai UK says it took the case very seriously but a report showed no blame on its part.
A spokesman for Hyundai UK Ltd said: “Hyundai Motor UK Ltd is fully aware of the situation regarding Mr Proctor’s vehicle and has taken the case very seriously.
“It launched an immediate investigation to determine the cause of the fire as soon as it was made aware.
“Hyundai contacted Forensic International Support (FIS) – one of the leading independent forensic inspection companies in the UK – to ensure that a full inspection of the vehicle took place.
“FIS has subsequently provided a full 35-page report to Mr Proctor’s insurance company which concluded that no mechanical defect or fault could be found within the car that could have started the fire.
“In light of this report, Hyundai Motor UK Ltd does not accept responsibility for the loss.”