A Timmins, Ont. resident says she shouldn’t have to take the financial hit to replace her 2013 Honda Accord after it spontaneously burst into flames.
Linda Pasi says her 2013 Honda Accord became unexpectedly engulfed in flames in May, as it sat parked in a local city golf course parking lot. The vehicle wound up being a total write-off.
“I wasn’t really sure what happened … it only had 44,000 kms on it and it’s very well maintained,” she told CBC News.
“The fire looked to me like it started in the engine area.”
She says the the fire department later confirmed the fire started in the engine compartment area.
Pasi contacted her local dealer, who told her they had never heard of something like that happening before.
“My question was, ‘how could this happen to a newer vehicle in good condition?’,” she continued. “And no one could answer that.”
Pasi says she contacted Honda Canada, but the company said there was nothing they could do for her.
Ultimately, Pasi says was looking for assistance to replace her vehicle.
“I still owed $5,000 on the car … my car was totaled,” she said. “Even with insurance money at the depreciated value, to replace it with a car of equivalent model, I would be out $25,000.”
Honda came back with an offer of $3,500.
“They said there was no evidence put forth supporting the theory that this loss was caused by a mechanical failure or defect in the construction or assembly of the vehicle,” Pasi said.
“I didn’t think that was acceptable.”
Without any way to prove her claim, Pasi retained a lawyer — and held off making an insurance claim.
The lawyer suggested Honda would want the vehicle for forensic testing to verify what really happened.
“Because should something like this happen to somebody driving down the highway, somebody could be potentially killed, or several people could, or injured,” Pasi said.
But then, Pasi learned some shocking news, just last week. That’s when Honda announce the recall of 2.1 million Accord models made between 2013 and 2016 due to a fire risk with battery sensors.
“Three days before this I got a letter stating that there was no evidence supporting the theory that [my car’s fire] was caused by mechanical failure,” she said.
“Well I don’t think from Tuesday to Friday they did this recall … I’m sure they would have known this was an issue, and an ongoing problem they were trying to deal with.”
Waiting for news
Pasi says her lawyer has sent Honda another letter. But she hasn’t heard anything back yet.
CBC News contacted Honda for comment. A spokesperson with Honda Canada says they are “aware of the situation and will continue to work toward a satisfactory resolution with Ms. Pasi.”
In the meantime, Pasi says she remains optimistic.
“I’m hoping that, with this recall, Honda will open their eyes to see the issue and that I have sustained a huge loss because of them,” she said.
“I hope that everybody gets their vehicles fixed from the recall so that this doesn’t happen to somebody else.”