Following several recent accidents where vehicles have burst into flame on impact, the Transport Minister Dipuo Peters recently said additional research needs to be done to ascertain why these vehicles burn on impact. Vishal Premlall, Director of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), says while this research will offer further insights, vehicle owners need to realise that there are many reasons why a vehicle will burn on impact and regular maintenance is the pro-active way to ensure the risk is reduced.
“One of the first tell-tale signs that you are in danger would be the smell of fuel in the car. This could mean that there is a fuel line loose or fuel pipe leak. However, there may not be a smell of fuel and the vehicle could still be at risk,” he says. “The regular maintenance of your vehicle at a reputable workshop is the best defence against a fire hazard.”
Premlall highly recommends having your car serviced when a service is due. “Regular servicing may be something you put off until the very last minute but you need to understand that your vehicle, just like any other machine, will succumb to wear and tear,” he explains.
Especially at this time of year when you may be planning a long road trip, Premlall says you need to ensure that your car has been serviced and any repairs done. “The heat, slippery roads, heavy traffic and driving long distances will all have an effect on your vehicle.”
If you are looking for a workshop, Premlall says it’s important to use an accredited workshop. “There are over 2400 independent, MIWA-accredited workshops around the country. By using an accredited workshop there is a channel for recourse should you not be satisfied with the job done. We need to be responsible to avoid any further tragedies on our roads,” he says.