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Another local Kia owner says his car caught fire without being in wreck

Another local Kia owner said his car caught fire without being in a wreck

Lamar McLaughlin said he bought a 2015 Kia Optima used, took it home the next day and had it home a whole hour.

“Backed it in my driveway, sitting in it, loving it, can’t wait to clean it up,” he told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke. “Didn’t smell nothing, didn’t feel nothing. Nothing was overheating. I got out (of the) car, went in my house.”

“And my phone ring(s). I don’t know who it is. I answer the phone. ‘Hey, your car (is) on fire!’ I run downstairs, drop the phone, run downstairs, the car’s literally on fire,” he said. “It needs to be some type of justice because I didn’t even have a fair chance."

Kia told Stoogenke it hired an inspector to figure out what caused the fire but is still waiting for the report.

But there’s hope for McLaughlin. Kia recently agreed to settle lawsuits involving noncrash fires. The company agreed to pay customers with certain vehicles $758 million, and McLaughlin’s year, make and model is one of them. The court hasn’t approved the settlement yet. Stoogenke will tell you if it does so you can apply for that money.

Stoogenke’s been covering Kia and Hyundai noncrash fires since 2018. Usually, alleged victims have pictures and videos to show him, not the actual vehicle. This was the first time someone, McLaughlin, had the actual car to show him.

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