Cars catching fire is not a new thing. But, a regularly serviced car, a Maruti Suzuki Baleno, which is well within the warranty period turning up in flames when you are driving with your family? It is a nightmarish situation that nobody would want to be in.

Mrs.Barnali Barman Banerjee, a resident of Kolkata brought a Maruti Suzuki Baleno on 24th of September 2017 from Alipur Nexa Showroom. The dealer running the showroom was Bhandari Automobile Pvt Ltd. Fast forward to May 2018. Everything was well when until one morning when the car wouldn’t start. The warning lights on the dashboard lit up. A puzzled Mrs.Barnali towed the car to the nearest authorized service center.

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno catches fire
Mrs. Barnali’s new Baleno, in 2017

After careful inspection, it was found that rodents were the cause and the repair work was done. The service center did not make replacements for any of the components, as per Mrs.Barnali. Now, this is what could have been the cause of the tragic incident that happened on the 6th of Nov 2018.

This is how the incident unfolded, according to Mrs.Barnali . Mrs. Barnali was returning from her relative’s house along with her family. Her chauffeur was driving the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. All of a sudden, they felt a burning smell inside the car. Before they could realize, fire and thick smoke billowed from the engine bay, from under the bonnet. Her chauffeur immediately applied brakes to try and stop the car, but, to everyone’s surprise, brakes weren’t working.

They had to jump out of the running car, with a 2-year-old baby in order to escape from the ball of fire the Baleno was turning into. Though fire tenders arrived at the scene, the Baleno was completely raged by the fire. Mrs. Barnali reached Maruti for a replacement of the car, which was still under warranty. She claims that the car was regularly serviced, and on time, in Maruti’s Authorized service center. But, Maruti has refused to Mrs.Barnali’s request, stating that the actual cause of the fire could not be established. As a goodwill gesture, Maruti is offering a cash discount of INR 30000 for the next Maruti car they purchase from any of the Authorised dealers. But, Mrs.Barnali is not satisfied with Maruti’s response with this matter.

We could not arrive at a conclusion at this point in time, as WheelBHP could not verify, neither the claims of Mrs. Barnali nor the findings of Maruti with respect to this incident.

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