A MUM-of-two’s new £8,500 BMW convertible erupted in a fireball just ten days after she bought it.
Caroline Rose, 46, and her fiance Jamie Burns, 40, both from Skegness, Lincolnshire, leapt from the smoking car 20 seconds before it went up in flames and captured the dramatic moment on video.
It is the latest report of a BMW vehicle bursting into flames while the engine is off.
Just last week another driver told how his BMW caught fire minutes after he left a car dealership and in the US more than 40 different BMW cars are reported to have caught fire with the engine cut out over the last five years.
The body piercer purchased the 2008 model blue BMW 320i from an Audi garage in Lincoln on 8 August and ten days later, on 18 August, took the car back as the engine warning light kept coming on.
She said: “They checked it over and said it should be alright and that if there were any other problems with it, I should take it to a BMW specialist.”
Caroline and Jamie were driving home late that night through the Lincolnshire Wolds when, at 11.30pm, she noticed strange “popping” sounds.
She recalled: “The car was making all sorts of funny popping sounds. I pulled over and the engine cut out completely.”
Caroline called the RAC and three minutes into the call she notice the bonnet of the car was smoking.
She said: “The bonnet started smoking and I told the woman from the RAC.
She said to me: ‘Put the phone down, get out of the car and call the fire brigade immediately.’”
Caroline and Jamie leapt out of the car and 20 seconds later the convertible burst into flames.
She said: “I got out of the car and within 20 seconds it went up in flames. I turned around to look at it and it was literally a fireball.
“If we hadn’t seen the smoke, we would have been in the car. There’s no doubt about it. I wouldn’t like to say what the outcome would be, but we would have been severely hurt.”
The fire brigade arrived 15 minutes later and put out the burning car, leaving a smouldering mass of twisted metal.
The police also attended and drove Caroline and Jamie home.
She said: “The fire brigade said that it looked like an engine fault and the police were kind enough to give us a lift home.
“I had been using Jamie’s phone and mine was still in the car so that was burnt up along with my Sat Nav and dash cam.”
The next morning Caroline called the Audi garage in Lincoln to complain.
She said: “I called them and vented about it but they were brilliant. They said they would investigate and they got me a courtesy car.
“I decided to ring BMW as if it was an engine fault, it must be down to the manufacturing.”
Caroline was not happy with how BMW handled the matter, saying that they didn’t “seem bothered”.
She said: “The gentleman at BMW said he was sorry and he was worried about anyone being hurt, but he didn’t hold BMW accountable. He didn’t seem bothered.
“My insurance company said because the car burned up they can’t find where the damage came from.
“I’m just worried that it could happen again and someone won’t be lucky and jump out of the car like we did.”
Caroline added that the experience had put her off BMWs and even driving.
She said: “I won’t buy another BMW again. I’m looking for an Audi now.
“I had to take two days off work because I was traumatised by what had happened.
“It has made me scared stiff of driving and I’ve been driving for over 30 years now.”
BMW has been contacted for comment.
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