Our fusebox caught on fire - do we have any recourse as we've only owned it five months?

We've owned a 2013 Volkswagen Passat for the past five months. This morning, while my wife was driving to work, she heard a crackle and thought it was the radio. Then smoke started to pour into the cabin via the air vents on the driver's side and from the fuse box. She got out of the car and rang me, and I was with the car within five minutes. I could see the inside of the car full of smoke and smouldering plastic on fuse box cover. I ripped off the fuse box cover and was met with a small fire which had melted all the fuses and wiring harness. With the fire out, smoke then started to come from the bottom of the seatbelt, by the pre-tensioner I ripped out the trim and the smoke disappeared. We disconnected the battery and called rescue service. This is the first decent car we have owned. Have you come across this problem before? Car had 76,000 miles on it when bought and 8500 miles later this happens. It's an ex-fleet car with a full service history.

Asked on 21 September 2017 by ruairi50

Answered by Honest John
Back to the dealer who sold it to you. He is liable for any faults that could have been present or developing on date of sale for six months from date of sale. A fire that starts in a fusebox is usually due to a fault with a fused component and if a fuse had been replaced with a higher capacity fuse than it is supposed to have that could be the reason. Your rights here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
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