A Dacia Spring electric city car caught fire in Romania and burned to a crisp in what is the first incident of its kind in Romania and the second one in Europe involving the Chinese-built EV.
The owner of the vehicle posted about the incident on the Dacia Spring Romania Facebook group and included photos showing the aftermath of the fire. He said the fire broke out at around 5 p.m. on May 11 as the car was being driven by his wife in the vicinity of their home in Timis county, western Romania.
Ionel Carnu said the wife, who was driving their son back from school, panicked when she heard a loud noise from underneath the vehicle, a combination of hissing and squeaking, as she was some 330 yards away from home. She called her husband and told him thick smoke was starting to come out from underneath the car, from the area where the drive battery is located.
She continued to drive the car until she reached home, where she pulled over immediately and got out of the vehicle together with her son. "Fifteen minutes after that, the car was completely engulfed in flames," Ionel wrote on Facebook, adding that his Dacia Spring burned to a crisp.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found the car had been completely destroyed by the fire. They identified a short circuit as the initial cause of the incident, but they did not determine whether it involved the battery or electrical system components.
The owner said he had owned the car from new for a year and a half and was extremely satisfied with it during this time. He also noted that he always charged the vehicle at home. Fortunately, the car still has 18 months of warranty left and is fully covered by insurance. The vehicle had 36,000 kilometers (22,400 miles) on the odometer.
In a later post three days after the unfortunate event, Ionel offered more details, including the fact he's convinced that the fire originated in the battery pack.
"I've already submitted to authorities and Dacia representatives photos and videos of the horrific incident that clearly show how the thick smoke is coming out strictly from the battery pack area," he said. Having witnessed the car catching on fire, he believes there's no other possible cause in this case.
Obviously, that's for experts to determine, and a team of engineers from Dacia's main plant in Mioveni, Romania will come to see the wreck in the coming days and carry out a technical expertise. Dacia also informed the owner the team will be speaking to his wife and ask for statements regarding the circumstances before and after the event.
Needless to say, a tragedy could have happened had the car caught on fire while driving at high speed or while parked in a garage. The Carnu family say they've been traumatized by the event and would never drive a Dacia Spring again. We contacted Dacia and parent company Renault for an official statement regarding this incident and we'll update this space when we hear back.
The first reported incident involving a Dacia Spring occurred in Italy in November 2022 when a vehicle caught fire in a parking lot during charging.