Cars catching fire have become a very common occurrence in many parts of the country. While, in most cases, the occupants manage to escape unhurt, there have been cases where people have lost their lives too. In the last three years, Kerala has reported around 207 vehicle fires, and six people have lost their lives as well. A special committee was organized by the Kerala government to investigate these fires, and they have now come to the conclusion that most vehicle fires in the state were caused by three possible reasons.
The expert committee formed by the government has found that modifications, transporting explosive materials including fuel, and a type of insect are probably the reasons for the fires.
One common trend among many car buyers is to buy a lower variant of a car and get it customized as per their liking from an accessories shop outside. This way, the customer saves a lot and also gets the features that they need. However, there is a risk involved in this. In many shops, they often make cuts to the original wiring of the car to install new lights and other accessories. The quality of the wire used in such accessories and the unscientific method of installation often lead to issues. There have been cases where such cars with aftermarket lights or fittings have caught fire due to a short circuit. This is currently being assumed as one of the reasons.
Transporting Fuel in a Car
The price of petrol in Kerala is above Rs 100, and people are not very happy about it. The committee has found that the higher price of petrol is forcing many people to actually transport fuel from places where the price is comparatively less. This is actually dangerous, as petrol is extremely explosive, and even a small spark would lead to a fire in the car. It is okay to fill petrol in a car from a pump where the price is less, but transporting fuel in a car is extremely dangerous.
The third reason that the committee found in their studies is that a particular type of insect is actually attacking the fuel lines in many cars. This is usually seen in petrol cars mostly. The reason for that is ethanol. Most petrol pumps in the country are now dispensing ethanol-mixed fuel. The insect is attracted to the ethanol in the fuel and is biting the lines to access the fuel. There have been multiple cases where people have found holes in their fuel lines. Many cars have caught fire due to the same reason.
The committee will be conducting a detailed investigation into this matter in the coming days. Most of the fire incidents happened in petrol cars, and the committee will also be looking into EV fires in the state. They would be seeking help from forensic experts to conduct scientific tests on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of this month. After conducting a detailed research on this matter, the committee is expected to submit the report to the government within two months after the tests. The committee has also asked for permission from the court to conduct raids on shops that do customization and modification works on cars.