Insurance pays out after car engine explodes on way home from Tampa dealership

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Twenty-year-old Emmalee Wyatt is still trying to move on after the first car she ever bought burst into flames as she drove home from the car dealership in April.

But now, she finally has her down payment back after Geico processed the claim. Medical bills are currently being processed, she said.

It’s welcome news for Wyatt, who turned to Better Call Behnken for help when she says she wasn’t getting information on the claim after five weeks.

“I’m so happy I can move forward now,” she said.

Wyatt says she saved for years to put down $8,000 on her dream car, a sporty 2013 Subaru BRZ. Less than an hour after she purchased the car, however, the engine caught on fire while she drove home from the dealership.

“I got to feel the excitement of owning my very first dream car for not even an hour before it was just taken away,” Wyatt said. “It all literally blew up in my face.”

Subaru records show Wyatt’s car had a recall for engine stalling but that had been repaired. The recall spurred a class action lawsuit.

We obtained a fire marshal’s report that shows the fire was “determined to have originated due to a mechanical failure within the engine compartment.”

Better Call Behnken reached out to Geico on Wyatt’s behalf and then things changed quickly. Wyatt says Geico refunded every penny of her $8,000 down payment for the car. She says she was told her medical bills will be covered, too.

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