Kia bursts into flames on 288; one of hundreds of fires across country

Kia bursts into flames on 288; one of hundreds of fires across country
This Kia is just one of hundreds of reported fires across the country. (Source: Bailey Belcher)
This Kia is just one of hundreds of reported fires across the country. (Source: Bailey Belcher)
Kia fire on LBJ freeway in Dallas, reported in October (Source: NBC News)
Kia fire on LBJ freeway in Dallas, reported in October (Source: NBC News)

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - There have been hundreds of fires involving Kia and parent-company Hyundai vehicles. One of those near-death fires happened in Central Virginia.

It happened July 13 on 288 in Powhatan. 19-year-old Bailey Belcher was headed home from work when he noticed bright orange flames coming out from underneath his 2012 Kia Soul.

Belcher says it only took about five minutes before his car was engulfed in flames.

It also happened in Dallas last October. The same thing happened in Orlando.

The Belchers are now out of a car and missing out on a family reunion they planned for the weekend.

"Kia had said to bring it in. They'd look at the engine if it were still under warranty," said Belcher.

Now the Belchers say Kia told them this is an insurance issue now that the car is totaled - and they won't take any responsibility.

More than a million Kia and Hyundai cars are under recall for engine failure, involving 2011 through 2014 models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not ordered a recall for a fire danger, even though it has more than 400 reports of fire.

The administrations own inspector general says the agency is failing to ensure critical safety recalls are even completed.

Kia told NBC News if the fire is a result of a quality issue, it will work with a customer to come up with a resolution. If a design issue is to blame, it'll talk to the safety administration about conducting a recall.

The Belchers say something has to be done - and fast - because this is a car that many young people are likely attracted to because of how affordable it is. They say it's only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

At last check, the Belchers insurance said they'd only pay $5,000 on the car. They said the Belchers are on their own for the remaining $6,000 to pay it off.

Kia has yet to respond to comment from NBC News.

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