Cadillac owners reporting vehicle fires caused by seat heaters

Owners of some Cadillac models are reporting vehicle fires caused by the seat heaters. Cadillac issued a recall for some models over the problem.
Caption
Owners of some Cadillac models are reporting vehicle fires caused by the seat heaters. Cadillac issued a recall for some models over the problem.

Credit: Photo provided by Delecia Douglas

Credit: Photo provided by Delecia Douglas

Several drivers are reporting their vehicles caught fire, and they blame electric seat warmers.

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Delecia Douglas drives a 2013 Cadillac SRX. She said she started her SUV to warm up and walked away.

"I just kept smelling something was burning," Douglas said. "It was full of smoke in here."

Victor Florez drove a 2016 Cadillac ATS-V. He used to be a firefighter. He was driving on the highway when his vehicle started on fire.

"As soon as I was starting to pull over, fire and flames started pouring out from underneath the seat," Florez said. "(I slammed) the car in park. By the time that this all happened, there was actually flames going up and over my head. I barely had any time to get out before the car just fully engulfed in flames."

Mercedes Guevara drove a 2013 Cadillac SRX. She has three daughters, ages 11, four and a baby.

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"I was driving -- just taking a ride to Target with my three daughters," she said. "And I smelled something burning. So I pulled over, got out of the vehicle, and I looked down at my seat and I saw that the seat was on fire. A lot of tears came out, for sure. Me and my kids were very emotional."

She said it burned a hole in the sweater she was wearing.

Last September, Cadillac recalled 53,000 2014-16 CTS models because of the "risk of fire" involving the seat heaters. But, that recall didn't cover Douglas', Guevara's or Florez's vehicles. All three reported the fires to Cadillac.

"I'm not really looking to get anything out of this," Florez said. "I'm just wanting people to know that there's a potential issue with these cars."

Jason Levine runs the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C., and called for action on Cadillac's part.

"The best way to move forward would be for Cadillac to inspect, make transparent, make clear what is going on for these consumers," he said.

He'd also like to see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigate. Levine says all of that could lead to another recall.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else. Someone could get seriously hurt," Guevara said.

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Those drivers who experienced fires say they hope another recall is coming in the future.

"It's a very big safety concern that I have," Florez said. "I just don't want this to happen to anybody else."

Cadillac officials said in a statement, "We take these reports seriously. Safety is of the utmost importance, and we appreciate the opportunity to follow up with these customers to determine what might have happened."

If your vehicle catches fire, get to a safe spot and make sure you document the case. Take pictures and write down any facts you may forget later.

If you think there was a defect, tell your car company and NHTSA.

You can check your vehicle for any recall here.