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09 Aug 2022

Car that exploded in Limerick petrol station was subject to a 'recall'

Car that exploded in Limerick petrol station subject to a "recall"

The scene of the incident in Ballyneety

THE CAR that exploded in the forecourt of a filling station in Ballyneety was subject to a recall, it has emerged.

Antoinette Nash, the motorist behind the wheel, took to the airwaves to 'Talk to Joe' this Wednesday after the story appeared in the Limerick Leader.

Ms Nash was invited on Liveline to talk about what happened on December 27 and the pre-cursor to it.

She told Katie Hannon, standing in for Joe Duffy, she got a letter on Christmas Eve from the main dealer for the car she has on hire purchase that there was a recall on the cooling system. The letter was dated November 25.

This was read out by Ms Hannon. It included the lines, "If driven without sufficient coolant may result in the engine cylinder head overheating. The overheating may cause cylinder head to crack allowing oil to leak onto a hot surface and that could result in a potential fire risk in the engine compartment".

The letter advised the recipient to telephone any authorised dealer who will "arrange this important work to be carried out". 

Ms Nash said she googled and then rang a dealer on Christmas Eve.

"They said they wouldn't be able to do it until the New Year because a part would have to be ordered. They never never told me not to drive it," said Ms Nash.

Ms Hannon asked in hindsight does she think she should have driven the vehicle.

"Probably not but if I was told I was not to drive it, that it is a major, major hazard within a couple of days, nobody in their right mind would drive the car. Nobody told me not to drive it," said Ms Nash.

A woman from the leasing company then joined the conversation on Liveline. She said they received the letter on December 20 and posted it out to Ms Nash "that day".

She said they are surmising that the focus of the recall was the cause of the fire.

"We are jumping to conclusions. That has not been established. The insurance company will send a fire expert," she said.

Ms Nash also relived her terrifying ordeal live on air.

"I could smell terrible burning in the car and then all this black, billowing smoke came out of the bonnet and a little bit of a fire started. Thinking back now where I pulled in was ridiculous, stupid. It was a petrol station. I panicked.

"I ran into the shop. The staff were absolutely amazing. I asked for a bucket of water, the young fellow said you can't put water on a fire in an engine. The flames started getting bigger. 

"The car was in between the petrol pumps and entrance to the shop. Thanks be to god two passers by pushed the car away from the petrol pumps up a little further and then the car blew up. It was like fireworks," said Ms Nash.

She said only for them the whole forecourt and "God only knows what else would have went up". Ms Nash wishes to find out their names so she can thank them for their brave actions.

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