• WATCH: Woman frantically flags down I-4 driver who was oblivious SUV was ablaze

    By: Kelly Healey , Racquel Asa


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A woman frantically tried to get the attention of a driver on Interstate 4 in Orange County last month after she saw flames coming from beneath the Kia Sorento in the next lane.


    Meredith Olinger said she watched in disbelief as she watched a burning SUV traveling next to her on I-4 near State Road 535.


    "I did what I could to get her attention by yelling and honking," Olinger said.


    The driver of the Kia, Susan King, pulled over and got out just before the flames engulfed the SUV, ABC News reported.


    "I'm grateful to be alive and unharmed," King said.


    Watch: Woman yelling for driver to 'Get over!'


    The SUV belonged to Tyla Kennedy, a close friend of King’s, who said she didn't know that her 2012 Kia Sorento was one of more than 500,000 cars that were recalled for a possible engine defect.


    Check here to see if your car is on the recall list


    The automaker told ABC News it sent the recall notice to the owner’s last known address and promptly updated it when informed it was incorrect.


    Download: WFTV mobile apps


    Investigators have not said whether the fire was a result of the recall issue.


    Kennedy said she plans to store the burned vehicle at an insurance lot until she learns what caused the fire.


    "I just want the awareness to be out there so that people who don't have their address on file like myself can get the proper engine replacement on their car," Kennedy said.


    She said she hasn't had luck resolving the issue. She said her insurance covered some of her remaining car loan, but she still has to pay $2,000 for a  she can't drive.

    Tyla Kennedy
    Tyla Kennedy

    "After I sent them the video and the pictures that they requested, they said the engine was so seized there would be no way to tell what caused the fire at the end of the day," Kennedy said.

    Kia provided Channel 9 with the following statement:

    "Kia Motors America (KMA) is grateful that no one was injured and commends all involved for their ability to remain calm during the incident. Kia is proud of its strong safety record and the integrity of our products and all Kia vehicles sold in the United States meet or exceed all federal government vehicle safety standards.

    "A vehicle fire may be due to any number of complex factors which must be carefully evaluated by trained technicians to determine its cause. KMA has not been granted access to inspect the vehicle and therefore is unable to determine the cause of this particular incident. Based on DMV records received, KMA sent the recall notice to the customer’s last known address and promptly updated its records upon notification by the customer of the incorrect mailing address.

    "KMA will work with the customer and her insurance company, and if the fire is determined to be the result of a Kia engine quality issue, KMA will work with the customer to reach a satisfactory resolution to the issue.

    "Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact KMA’s Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia)."

    Click here to learn if your vehicle has been recalled.


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