WJBF Investigates: Augusta woman’s car catches fire weeks after purchase

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Rachel Boyd says last September, a car salesman walked into her work and started handing out business cards.

“He was like, ‘hey, are you looking for a car’ and I was like, ‘wow, yeah, I’m looking for a car for school,'” Boyd said.

The 22-year-old says the salesman worked at AutoPlex on Washington Road.

The next day, Boyd stopped by. There she bought a 2008 Saturn VUE with 109,000 miles on it for $9,500… however, the next day, she says the car started having problems.

“Power steering. I mean, when it rained, it got really bad. It was raining that same day and the steering wheel was so tight that I couldn’t turn,” Boyd said.

The Augusta native says she brought it back to AutoPlex, but says a manager told her it was up to her extended warranty to fix it.

Boyd says the warranty company ended up repairing it.

Weeks after buying the car, she was driving down I-20 when it caught fire.

She actually had to jump out of the car as she was going 30 or 40 miles an hour.

The car spun out and ended up in a ditch.

“Out of nowhere flames just came up from the hood and went literally in my face. So the fire was coming up and it was going on top of the car. And that’s when I freaked out and I jumped out,” she said.

Luckily, Boyd wasn’t injured, however, her car was a total loss.

The 22-year-old says the warranty and insurance companies worked to pay off her car loan, but they didn’t pay off all of it.

“The bank has been contacting me about this money that I don’t have. It’s not like I can get another job because I don’t have a car,” she said.

She says she owes the lender $1,600 despite the car getting junked.

Boyd says she’s learned her lesson about buying used cars and is now warning others.

“If they understand what I went through and that it was not my fault, they should take that off my credit. I should have a clean slate,” Boyd said.

We did reach out to AutoPlex about these issues.

The dealership says each situation is unfortunate and that they only know how a car performs while it’s on the lot.

Once it’s purchased, it’s up to the consumer or the extended warranty company to fix it.

AutoPlex recommends that all its customers purchase an aftermarket warranty.

The website, EDMUNDS.com, has some great tips on whether you should do that.

The link is here.

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