In our nation, we've witnessed our fair share of vehicle combustion cases, with the most recent incident involving the Proton X90 - gaining national attention just a couple of weeks back - effectively throwing Proton in panic mode.
The most common causes of these vehicle fires include issues with the electrical wiring system, fuel system malfunctions, and mechanical failures. Other factors also may include overheating, friction, or other factors like full blown accidents - and not to forget arson.
The Selangor branch of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) has documented a total of 632 cases of vehicle fires in the state from January till yesterday. Unfortunately, of these cases, 12 cases resulted in injuries, while four reported fatalities.
Its director, Wan Md Razali Wan Ismail, stated that based on the available statistics, investigations have revealed that 70 percent of these incidents originated from electric wiring system.
"As per JBPM Selangor's investigations, the majority of vehicle fires, approximately 70 percent, were due to electric wiring systems," he mentioned during a phone interview yesterday.
Consequently, Wan Md Razali advised vehicle owners to ensure that every wiring connection and additional vehicle accessory installations are carried out by certified and qualified personnel.
Furthermore, he reminded vehicle owners to adhere to the specified maintenance schedules.
He also added: "Avoid smoking inside the vehicle as it can lead to fires, especially since the materials inside the car contain highly flammable substances.
"Equip the vehicle with suitable fire extinguishing tools and refrain from excessive installation of additional accessories.
"Avoid placing easily flammable materials inside the vehicle, such as electrical devices (like power banks), aerosol cans, and lighters," he said.
As we navigate the roads, it's evident that vehicle fires are not just a rarity, and they can erupt from a variety of causes, sending even the most reputable automakers into a frenzy. The recent incident, involving the high profile Proton X90, is a stark reminder of this reality.
Recent Proton X90 case
With the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department's revealing statistics pointing fingers at electrical wiring system as the primary culprit in a staggering 70% of cases, it's time vehicle owners pay more attention. "I know, I know, it's cool to add accessories and all". All we're saying is, get qualified people to do it for you.
Director Wan Md Razali Wan Ismail's advice serves as a caution. Remember, preventing these fiery dramas starts with responsible vehicle care, ensuring you don't become the next headline in a blazing automotive incident report.