IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Saab best European car when looking at vehicle fire

Last winter there were a couple of incidents where new Saab 9-5's caught fire. The Swedish car magazine Teknikens Värld mentioned these incidents in December of last year:

Two new Saab 9-5 is burned in a short time
In a short time, two new Saab 9-5 have caught fire in the engine compartment, and both incidents occurred in Linköping. No people were harmed.
On Friday a new Saab 9-5 (pictured above) began to burn while driving in Linköping. The fire in the car, which was test drive car, started in the engine compartment (note the hole in the hood). This was reported by Östgöta Correspondenten. The driver managed to drive the car to the side and call the emergency services which came and extinguished the fire. No people were injured.
The fire is not the first that has occurred in a new Saab 9-5. Shortly before Friday's incident another fire occurred, reportedly also this one in the engine compartment and even here it was in Linköping. No people were harmed.
According to unconfirmed information, Friday's fire occurred in a 9-5 BioPower while the other fire occured in a fully equipped 9-5 Aero XWD Turbo6. It has been mentioned that the two cars were equipped with retrofitted electric engine block heaters of various types and makes, but it is unknown if these were the cause of the fires.
According to an anonymous tip to, the two block heaters which were used are not approved by Saab. Which may seem a bit strange considering that one of the cars was a Saab dealer test drive car.

I have not read how the workshops or insurance companies concluded after investigating the two fires.

But anyway, let's get to the main point of this post: How often does a Saab catch on fire compared to other car makes?

To answer this question I turn to the Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige Forsikring. They have collected statistics of car insurance cases concerning vehicle fire.

Car make
Fires per 10,000 vehicles per year
All makes20
Source: Gjensidige Forsikring, table published by VG.
The figures are an average from 2008 and 2009. The statistics are based on makes with at least 12 reported fires during the two years.

From the table we can read that 16 out of 10,000 Saab cars catch on fire each year in Norway. That is more seldom than the average, which is 20 out of 10,000 cars. The average for Norway is the same as for the UK, which could indicate that the statistics for Norway is transferable to other European countries with the same car makes and models.

Furthermore, Saab is the best European car. Only five Japanese makes and one Korean make do better. Compared to Saab's premium competitors, Saab is better than Volvo and a lot better than BMW. Mercedes-Benz and Audi can't even compete!

Conclusion: Yet another good reason to be satisfied with choosing Saab!