Automotive Fire Investigations
We are appointed to investigate many vehicle fires, the origin of the majority of which lie within the brake assemblies. 
 
As the cause is usually unknown to the person requesting the investigation, we found ourselves arriving at many vehicles where ignition of the fire due to issues including electrical failures, oil leaks on to exhausts, poor repair workmanship etc etc etc.
 
More than ten years ago, we realised that while there are many specialized fire investigators offering their expertise to the Industry, there are few with specific vehicle systems knowledge, this prompted some basic training provided by a very experienced member of the Johannesburg EMS in evaluating the evidence remaining (which is usually not a lot) and combining this with our knowledge of the componentry of the vehicles to arrive at a level of competence in this field that has developed into a sizable portion of the business. 
In the case of the car transported seen below, we had already submitted our report to our client detailing how it was our opinion that the fire was started by an electrical fault caused by a poor repair to the permanent cable that supplies power to the trailers' electro-hydraulic system. This was disputed by another expert investigator appointed by one of the parties involved.
 
The matter was heading for dispute resolution at the Ombudsman or maybe even Court when by chance a camera phone video was spotted on a social media page of a eye witness to the event.
 
The video supported our version of events and the huge expense of arbitration or litigation was avoided. 
 
We were appointed by the OEM manufacturer to investigate the reason for two fairly new truck tractors bursting into flames with the cause apppearing to be similar on both vehicles.
 
The operators' Insurers repudiated the claim after their expert stated that both fires were due to an engine fault, laying the blame at the door of the manufacturer.
 
A lot of wiring schematic reading and chasing of what wiring was left, we were able to pin point the source to a poorly installed vehicle tracking system, resulting in the reversal of the repudiation of the claim for the operator.
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