Another Local Driver Comes Forward After Her Kia ‘Exploded in Flames'

She was driving down the freeway when another driver spotted flames under her car

NBC 5 has heard from another North Texas driver who says her car went up in flames. She believes Kia is not moving quick enough to address the problem.

Last October, Linda Creech and her son were driving down the LBJ freeway when another driver started flagging them down.

Creech said they pulled over and noticed flames coming from underneath her 2014 Kia Soul, so they ran.

"And the next thing the car just exploded," said Creech. "Like a mission impossible movie without Tom Cruise."

Creech said she took her car in a week before it exploded.

She said she noticed a pink light come on near her radio, so she took it in to her local Kia dealership.

"They had heard an irregular noise," she said. "They kept it almost five days and at that time they gave me the advice just drive it and see what happens."

But a week later, she said her Kia exploded in flames.

"I think that my story and the pictures speak for themselves," Creech said.

She called the NBC 5 Responds team after hearing Amy McDade's story.

"I open my door to get out and there were flames all underneath the car," McDade explained.

In a matter of seconds, her 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid was covered in flames.

"I was just shocked. I was like, how can this be happening. I just had this car fixed," she said. "I could have burned alive in that car."

Like McDade, Creech said she reported the incident to Kia but didn't get a response until months later.

In an email, the general manager at her local Kia dealership apologized for the delay and said it was being handled at the corporate level "…so our local people really don't have anything to do with it."

Creech said she also reached out to Kia's corporate office and was given a case manager and a number but didn't hear anything else from Kia.

"You are vacating. You are leaving your customers high and dry. What you are doing is so wrong," said Creech.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) expressed these concerns to Kia and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this year.

"We have asked NHTSA to get on the stick and find out what is the problem," said Nelson.

NHTSA responded. In a letter, NHTSA confirmed that it is currently investigating 618,000 Kia vehicles for engine failure issues, many of which were reported to NHTSA as having resulted in non-collision fires.

While Creech and McDade's vehicles are not currently a part of this investigation, NHTSA says it "will not hesitate to formally initiate a separate safety defect investigation and take action as warranted and based upon the data."

Kia claimed it didn't receive the information from Creech until after it informed her that they were closing her case due to lack of response.

Creech said that isn't true, and believes the automaker is turning a blind eye to a serious issue.

"Acknowledge it and take care of it and do something right by the people who have had a problem," Creech said.

Creech said her insurance ended up reimbursing her for the car, minus her deductible.

Kia said it contacted Creech's insurance and was told an inspection had been completed and they couldn't determine the cause of the incident.

As for McDade's vehicle, Kia sent someone to inspect her totaled vehicle on Tuesday.  McDade said she's anxious to hear about their findings.

Not all Kia models are part of NHTSA's investigation.  To see if your model car is on the list, click here.

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