My £58k Range Rover exploded like a bomb before blaze destroyed my house

A mother has described the horrific moment her three-year-old Range Rover exploded on her drive causing flames to "completely engulf" her home.

The car, which had a full-service history through Land Rover, burst into flames on Lauren Griffiths's driveway shortly after a warning sign on the dashboard said the vehicle was "okay to drive with caution".

The mum-of-two said she was driving home from work on Friday, January 21, when the power in her Range Rover Velar cut out.

She managed to drive the vehicle back to her home – escaping just minutes before the explosion.

The car, which was purchased in November 2018, was quickly engulfed in flames and the blaze spread to her home leaving it completely gutted.

"I was about two-thirds along the road and the car just seemed to lose power," said Ms Griffiths. "A yellow warning message came up on the dashboard just saying: ‘Okay to drive with caution, restricted power’.

"I just limped home as I was only about five minutes away, pulled it onto the drive, and then my son opened the door to greet me and said: ‘There’s all smoke coming off the grille'."

The 37-year-old said that by this point the engine of the car wouldn't turn off and a "banging noise" was coming from the engine.

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"My son was screaming at me: ‘Mum get out of the car, there’s all blue and white sparks’. I was pressing the start/stop button for the engine but nothing was happening."

Ms Griffiths said she was on the phone with the RAC giving them the details of the problem for around two minutes before the car completely caught fire.

"I opened the front door and it was just as intense heat straight away – the whole front bonnet was just engulfed in flames," she said.

"We had to be hauled over a fence from our back garden to our neighbours. They had to get out of their house as well because the houses are so close.

"You could just hear popping come out of the car as we’re running through their doors.

"This almighty explosion – it was like a bomb going off."

The car was parked quite close to Ms Griffiths’s home, and fire quickly took hold in the house as well.

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"It’s completely destroyed my house inside – nothing is salvageable. Everything is either burnt, melted, or really badly damaged.

"It’s not like it’s just damaged one part of the house – our house is completely gutted.

"The neighbours to the right of me their house has also been damaged. And considering we’re not joined – there’s a gap and a fence – that’s how ferocious it was.

"It took three fire engines the best part of two hours to put the blaze out."

Ms Griffiths claims that Land Rover, manufacturer of the Range Rover Velar which costs in excess of £45,000 to buy new, have told her they won't be investigating the incident directly themselves.

"The dealership in Swansea has been really helpful and have managed to keep me mobile because if it wasn’t for that I couldn’t have got my children to school this week and I would have been really really stuck," she said.

"Land Rover themselves have been no help – they said they won’t be investigating it and told me that ‘these things happen’."

"I’m sorry," she said. "I just don’t buy that ‘these things happen’, not on a car that’s just turned three with a full-service history."

A Land Rover spokesman has confirmed the company is aware of the incident, "the cause of which is yet to be determined", and said the firm was "willing to support an investigation by the insurer – the process for which requires the insurer to investigate first to avoid any adverse effect on Ms Griffiths’ home and vehicle insurance policies”.

Ms Griffiths says that her family is effectively homeless due to the fire: "If it had just been the car I could think: ‘it’s just a hunk of metal and the insurance will cover it’ but the fact it’s the house and everything we have ever owned as well – I have lost everything."

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