Family flee smoke-filled car seconds before it spontaneously burst into flames
Published 03/11/2015 | 02:30
A mother-of-five has told of her family's lucky escape when their Opel Zafira burst into flames shortly after she and her four passengers fled the smoke-filled car.
The vehicle caught on fire last April - months before problems with the Zafira B's ventilation and air conditioning system were reported elsewhere.
Maureen McCahill, from Lettermacaward, Co Donegal, said she was driving with her two daughters (aged 7 and 10), son (22) and his girlfriend, when it appeared as if the windows of the car had begun to mist up and she decided to pull over.
"If I hadn't pulled in when I did, I think it would have gone on fire with us in it shortly after," she told the Irish Independent.
Ms McCahill said she became concerned when she saw what appeared to be smoke coming from the dashboard.
"We pulled the bonnet and there were flames behind the glove box."
The fire spread quickly through the 06-registered people carrier.
"The car was burnt right down to its frame. I was completely shocked," she said.
Shortly after the incident, Ms McCahill called Opel Ireland but claimed the firm said it was not its responsibility at that stage and it had no record of anything being wrong with the car.
Since the problem with Zafiras gained national attention with dramatic footage of a car in Cork bursting into flames last week, she has contacted Opel again. It has taken her details.
An Opel Ireland spokeswoman would not comment on individual cases but said it was focusing its resources on investigating the cause of the fires. Owners with concerns are advised to go to their dealer to have their car checked.