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Total loss

1240 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jzchen
On December 5, 2022, 2 1/2 days after having my car serviced at the Honda dealer, my 2018 Honda clarity, plug-in hybrid had an explosion on the freeway and was engulfed in fire. Up until December 2, 2022. My car had been running fine. I had it serviced at the dealer that day. No one drove the car for an entire day afterwards. At 3 AM on December 4 my husband drove the car and as he was nearing his destination, the check oil light came on. When he checked, he realized there was no oil in the car. To protect the engine, he did with anyone would do, and put oil in the tank. It was our intention to go to the Honda dealer and request our money back for the oil change they claimed they did but did not. However, 24 hours later, again at approximately 3 AM in the morning December 5, while on the freeway there was an explosion in the car. The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree in the car froze. The steering wheel was hard to handle, but my husband, was able to pull over to the right from the left lane of the freeway. Luckily, my son and my husband were able to get out of the car before it exploded completely. The car caught fire and was soon engulfed in flames. My driveway showed no proof of oil leak Goudy Honda in Alhambra California will not take responsibility American Honda corporation will not take responsibility, they claim it is due to the vehicle being compromised by putting oil in it. My husband has put oil in our vehicles all his life. No other vehicle has ever blown up or caught fire. This is a problem with the car itself possibly the servicing was done wrong or the manufacturer did wrong. I would like someone to take responsibility for losing my four-year-old car.
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Approximate mileage? Any notes on the receipt about issues that weren’t resolved/declined?
Let your insurance company deal with the dealership and Honda America. They have the lawyers and knowhow to subrogate claims like this.
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Oil in the tank? You mean the engine, correct?
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"as he was nearing his destination, the check oil light came on. When he checked, he realized there was no oil in the car. To protect the engine, he did with anyone would do, and put oil in the tank."

How long was it driven with the oil light on?

If it was shut of immediately and oil was added there is a good chance it did not get damaged.
If however, it was run for a minute or 2 after the light came on the crank bearings would have been overheated and damaged.
That could explain the blow up the next day.

Question remains, why did it run out of oil in the first place?
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Has anyone checked to see if the oil pan plug was replaced? It really sounds like the plug wasn't replaced. In the intervening time was the car only run EV? I could see how once the battery was depleted and the engine started it would trigger the warning. Was 1 qt. of oil put in and was the level checked? if the drain plug wasn't replaced the oil would have coated the parts as it flowed down to the pan and the oil in the pan would have been pumped through until it all flowed out. These are legitimate questions, and inquiring minds want to know.
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Good point on the engine kicking in after the charge ran down. Even the tech at the dealership would not have known driving it of the lift.
Lots of questions unanswered on this one.
Per official oil change instructions, (supposedly what the dealer tech should follow):

After changing the oil and filter one is to start the engine in maintenance mode, and verify there are no leaks, prior to putting back the metal plate and prior to driving off.

Now I know I’m personally guilty of not always doing that in the last few oil changes…
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