The $12,500 damage caused to Mark Healy's one-year-old Triton after it caught fire.
The $12,500 damage caused to Mark Healy's one-year-old Triton after it caught fire.

Not good enough, NRMA/Mitsubishi

SOME stories cross the news desk and they seem too far-fetched to be true.

The account of a near-new Mitsubishi Triton catching fire while parked in a driveway this week was one of those.

It wasn't the car catching fire that made me think "no way", it was Mark Healy's account of the response from Mitsubishi and his insurer NRMA that seemed unbelievable.

Mr Healy's car caught fire at a recognised mechanic's workshop while in for a standard service. There was CCTV footage of it suddenly smoking and then catching fire. But when it was towed to a Mitsubishi dealer, the response was "contact your insurer".

Which he did and ultimately the NRMA's response was "we'll pay it out". But he would pay the excess and lose his no-claim bonus and there seemed to be no attempt to investigate what caused the fire.

He could also be without a car for up to three months while waiting for a part to arrive from overseas. A car can be built in less than that time, surely?

My disbelief turned to frustration when I contacted the Mitsubishi dealer, Mitsubishi head office and NRMA to confirm what Mr Healy was saying was true.

NRMA said it would investigate and, if Mr Healy was not at fault, he won't pay excess or lose his bonus. But why should an owner go through such a palaver to find out why his near-new car caught fire?

He went to the media more than a month after the incident and only then, it seemed, were there some answers.