New Mercedes-Benz EQE EV Loaner Car Catches Fire and Destroys Home in Florida

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, Mercedes-Benz, News

Local to our Automotive Addicts hometown in Jacksonville, FL, a family is regrouping as they have potentially lost their home to a fire allegedly caused by a new Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 parked in their garage.

The new 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 was given to the homeowner as a loaner car while her own Mercedes-Benz was undergoing service.

The unfortunate event occurred on a Wednesday morning when the EQ E350+ was parked in the family’s garage. According to the homeowner, Mrs. Ruotolo, the car had been stationary in the garage for approximately 22 hours before it suddenly caught fire. She was at work at the time, but her husband was present when he heard a hissing sound followed by a loud pop. Rushing into the garage, he was met with billowing smoke, and soon after, the car erupted in flames and exploded.

Remarkably, the car wasn’t even charging when the fire started. The extent of the damage caused by the fire was extensive, engulfing the entire garage and spreading to the attic and second floor. The severity of the damage led the family to believe that their home might be a total loss.

Mercedes-Benz had already issued a recall for 2023 EQE 350 models before this incident due to concerns that the cars might fail to alert drivers to battery malfunctions. As the St. Johns County Fire Marshal conducts an investigation into the exact cause of the fire, authorities are highlighting the potential risks associated with lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.

Mrs. Ruotolo expressed her dismay over the incident, stating that she wishes she had never brought the loaner car home. As a loaner vehicle from a reputable brand like Mercedes-Benz, she had expected it to function properly and be safe. She went on to share her doubts about the readiness of electric cars for the market and recommended against buying one in the near future.

The damages to the Ruotolo’s home were estimated to be over a million dollars, but she expressed gratitude that her husband and puppy were unharmed. The near-tragic outcome has left the family facing a significant challenge but thankful for their safety.

News4JAX, who first broke the story, reached out to Mercedes-Benz corporate headquarters for a response, but at the time of reporting, they were still awaiting a statement. It should be noted that Mercedes-Benz had issued the battery recall for EQE 350s a few months prior and claimed no knowledge of any accidents or injuries caused by battery malfunctions.

This incident has raised concerns and sparked discussions about the safety of electric vehicles, particularly when it comes to battery-related issues. As investigations continue, manufacturers and regulatory bodies may need to reassess safety protocols and communication systems in electric cars to mitigate potential risks.


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