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Hyundai bursts into flames on I-75 in Pasco County

Posted: 1:07 PM, Dec 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-23 15:14:12Z
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PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Drivers in Pasco County experienced a long commute on Saturday morning after a driver's Hyundai Sonata caught fire.

Our I-Team investigator Jackie Callaway has been following the increasing number of Hyundai and Kia vehicles spontaneously catching fire. The U.S. Attorney's Office in New York has launched an investigation into the car makers and whether they've handled recalls properly, according to reports.

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Police tell us 56-year-old Homer Watson, of Georgia, was driving in his 2011 Sonata alone when he noticed smoke coming out of the engine. When he pulled over and raised the hood he found the engine in flames.

Officials tell us Watson recently had the fuel pump in his vehicle replaced. The fire burned everything in the vehicle down to the bare metal, but Watson was able to save his Christmas presents from the blaze. He was also able to walk away with no injuries.

Traffic was backed up on I-75 for over an hour as firefighters put the fire out.

The Hyundai Sonata is among the list of vehicles the Center for Auto Safety is concerned about for spontaneous fires. State police have asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate the vehicle for a potential defect and/or recall.