Florida driver alerts woman car is shooting flames, later engulfed by fire

Posted at 5:43 AM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 08:22:25-04

(WESH/CNN) - Startling video showed an Orlando woman driving down the interstate with flames shooting out of the engine of a vehicle she later learned had been recalled.

With flames shooting out from under the SUV, the woman was taking cellphone video and frantically trying to get the woman to pull over.

Seconds later the SUV pulls over and the 2012 Kia Sorento was engulfed in flames -- totaled in a matter of minutes.

Meridith Olinger recorded the video and saved the driver.

"I felt like I helped someone who really needed help that day," said Olinger.

The Kia Sorento is owned by Tyla Kennedy but was being driven by her friend, Susan King, at the time of the scary incident.

“I got out and suddenly the car was engulfed in flames. She saved my life. I'm incredibly grateful and she was my angel that day. It was surreal,” said King.

Many of Kennedy's personal possessions were burned or destroyed by the SUV fire.

She was shocked to later find out that her vehicle was under a safety recall involving an engine defect.

Did that cause her car to incinerate?

She called Kia and said customer service told her it had no valid address to send a recall notice.

When she asked for a replacement vehicle after the fire, she said Kia refused.

"I said, 'Hey, what would be nice is a car to replace my vehicle that burnt while my best friend was driving it and nearly killed her.' There's no compensation until I can prove that it was the recall that blew my engine up. I said, the fire is shown on the video from the start of the car. I don't know how much proof you need that the engine caught fire," said Kennedy.

All three women are simply glad, no one was seriously hurt.

To find out if your car is under recall, using your VIN number and visit  From there, every recall associated with your vehicle will be displayed.

Courtesy WESH via CNN Newsource

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