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Guest Message by DevFuse

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2001 LL Bean Driver's Side Door Electrical Fire :(

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43 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 12:24 AM

My 2001 LL Bean started giving off smoke through the gap in the window seals, pulled over to check out and the next thing it was aflame! 911, fire dept and it got towed away! The front end of the door panel above the power buttons and right in fron tof the lttle speaker is fried. A gapping nasty fried hole in my car. Just so happens that the tow guy was also a Fire Chief and he couldn;t believe what he saw. Definately electrical. Anyone hear of such a thing. I am horrified! :eek:

#2 Guest_drOutback_*

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 07:14 AM

no i've never heard of it. maybe a wire got caught in the window track and was sliced then it shorted out. it's odd that it would have come from the factory like that, did anybody have the door panel off? maybe to fix a switch or something?

#3 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 07:21 AM

no, never anything fixed on that side. I have about 40,000 on it. Have already had the brakes done. Basically, my heart is broken. This is my 2nd suburaru and my first brand new one. I always felt safe. I am so glad I was not alone and not behind the wheel at the time. I have a cold and didn't smell the smoke, glad my S/O did. The situation escalated so fast! I could have been fried!

#4 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 08:03 AM

My boss had a brand new Cadillac go up in flames a few years back. The car was only about a month old. He parked in his driveway. About 10 or 15 minutes later, the horn started going off (alarm). Something had shorted out. A few minutes later, there was a fire under the hood of the car. The fire deptment was there within minutes. By this time, flames were starting to lick out from under the hood. A fireman (with full suit on) approached the car with a crowbar so that they could pop the hood and get to the source of the flames. My boss told him, "Whatever you do, don't scratch the paint!". :lol:

I don't know if it was a write off or not, but it was a lease vehicle and being so new, he ended up with a replacement car.

I'm glad that you are ok, that's the main point. I just thought of something. With the move to 36V systems over the next several years, will electrical car fires be more likely or less likely? Makes one wonder if carrying a small fire extinguisher wouldn't be a bad idea. Hmmm...


#5 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the reply. I could use the humor! I am soooo glad I was not alone and YES that no one was hurt. Quick think on my S/O's part ( running into convienence store and grabbing baking soda off the shelf) and the kindness of a stranger who drove him home to get his car while I waited for the tow truck (2 hours). If this happened on one of the many country roads around here and my cell was out of range...the whole car would have gone up. With about 40,000 on it, I doubt I will be offered a new car.Let's see what buying the premier (100,000 miles) protection plan will do for me!

#6 Guest_SmashPDX_*

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Posted 08 September 2002 - 09:37 PM

Yikes, I take it you're the original owner, so there's no "did the last guy who had it do something to the electrical" questions?

I'd be reporting this one to the NTHSA...seriously... as well as Subaru of America... :(

#7 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 11:03 PM

The saga continues. No diagnosis yet. Here are pictures.



Check them out!

*** moderator edit -- made links clickable ***

#8 Guest_Sydfloyd44_*

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 05:37 AM

Had a customer last week that had a right rear regulator motor go up in smoke in a Grand Cherokee. No flames but LOTS of smoke. When she brought it in, there was a horrible burning electrical smell. I believe the regulator motor is in that area of the door. Maybe a little lower? Keep us posted. Thanks!!

#9 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 11:40 AM

Update: Lots of calls to Allstate SUBARU and Dealer. Last word (yesterday) is that Dealer told me Subaru will cover under warranty. (I am over 36,000). Guess this is an admission of resonsibility (product defect). Great! But I haven't heard that yet from SUBARU. And meanwhile, I am still driving my boyfriend's Tracker (arghh). Would be nice idf Dealer would offer me a decent Subie ( not a Beater) until this saga is over. :rolleyes:

#10 Guest_Witte_*

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 03:13 PM

It isn't an amission of anything. Its simply that they are willing to repair your car, as they find that they can't or don't want to deny the claim.

With as many cars out there with the exact same wiring, I am guessing that yours in a 1-1,000,000 screw up, where a wire or something else was mis-installed at the factory and so a wire could chafe on a metal surface, then causing a short.

#11 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 14 September 2002 - 08:53 PM

Yes, it is probably a long shot that it happened. I sincerely hope that it does not happen again to anyone. However, it did happen to me and it was downright scary. I could have had it fixed by now under my insurance.................I didn't RUSH to fix it because I wanted SUBARU to check it out and make sure that they do whatever it takes to see that it doesn't happen to anyone else. The point is I bought that car because I wanted to feel SAFE and have some luxury along with the safety and I am not sure I will ever feel the same way about my BEAN again. <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\">

#12 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 15 September 2002 - 10:40 AM

what system in the door would not be fused?
any thing causing that kind of damage must have taken a large amount of current to produce.

very interesting

did this "beaner" have tweeters located in this area?

#13 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 15 September 2002 - 03:22 PM

Yes skip, I believe it did. I got the premium sound system. Look at pic "damage 3" I posted. You can see a little speaker there.

#14 Guest_SmashPDX_*

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Posted 15 September 2002 - 05:12 PM

Could have been tied to the tweeter, but looks from here more like it had something to do with the hookup for the window/lock/power mirror controls. Maybe the power feed for the window regulator? There'd be more juice in there than anywhere else.

#15 Guest_remarcable_*

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 06:41 AM

Wait, you mean everyone doesn't carry a fire extinguisher in their car?

I've had one in every one of my cars since I first got my license at age 16.

#16 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 08:32 AM

Believe me, I have already decided to buy one!

#17 Guest_SmashPDX_*

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 06:00 PM

No fire extinguisher in my car, I figure if it catches on fire I should get the frick out, and if it's too close to get the frick out, I probably wouldn't be able to get my hands on the extinguisher :lol:

Seriously tho, hadn't thought about it. Not a bad idea all things considered.

#18 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 08:47 PM

Smash, I love your use of language. Maybe there is a part for you on the Sopranos. Maybe the whole episode was because someone put a put hit on me???? Hmm..... :lol:

#19 Guest_SmashPDX_*

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 09:34 PM


#20 Guest_Skip_*

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Posted 17 September 2002 - 04:59 PM

I still have a problem with it being a 12 volt circuit.
If it were to short out or go partially to ground
the current draw would excede the fuse rating taking it out - before a blaze started

now if the voice coil in the speaker got to turning cherry red
you know blastin' out some Tommy Dorsey big band tunes,
and the speaker cone went up, the fabric cover would get into the act, then possibly the plastic sheeting on the inside of the door

far fetched yes

who are the sapranos, I thought they were part of the church choir?

#21 Guest_whippet_*

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Posted 18 September 2002 - 07:33 AM

A friend of mine driving his restored '60 Vette down the freeway had a car honking and pointing at him. All he thought was 'yea I got a good looking car'. He checked guages and everything was OK. They kept honking and pointing. When he looked out the review mirror he could see flames coming from underneath his car. He pulled over and popped the hood and got his fire extinguisher that he always carries. Used the whole extinguisher before the flames were out but saved the car. The only damage done was the wiring and of course the smoke and fire extinguisher. He spent the weekend in my garage fixing it. It had a fuel pump go out and ground that sparked to ignite the fuel the fuel pump was spraying. He is a believer in carring a fire extinguisher and carries one at all times.
I had a '69 Mach 1 start a fire but lucky for me at was just pulling out of a garage after having a safty inspection. They put it out with the fire extinguisher in the shop.


#22 Guest_subyguy_*

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 06:18 PM

i have a budy who bought a car drove it out of the dealership and acrost the street (resteraunt ) he was eating when a person started yelling fire and low and behold his car was on fire it died(a caddY)

#23 Guest_msmalka_*

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 08:39 PM

This situation is getting very convoluted. Dealer tedlling me that Subaru Of America wants them to fix the car and sign a waiver that the dealer would be reponsible if anything else happens. Dealler tells me that it was the heated mirroe that was responsible;apparently when used in hot whether ( my sweetheart may have hit the button inadvertantly) it can overheat. He says it has happened before! He wants no part of a waiver and says he is working on putting together a deal for me to get a new car (not for free....he will get $ for me from Sub, buy back my car and offer me a new one at cost. This is getting pretty strange...don't you think?

#24 Guest_wrxsubaru_*

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 10:17 PM

riding in a car i had a electricle fire in the engine bay, all this black smoke started to come out, i pulled over and saw the flame, so i poped the trunk and there was a medium size electricle fire. i put out the fire and then the fire came back, then i disconected the battery and no more fires. the car was a 86 plymoth caravelle.

#25 Guest_wrxsubaru_*

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 10:20 PM

dosent seem that good, if you have to turn off the heated mirrors, or else they will cause a fire. i would carefull, subaru is not that nice about repairs.

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