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Pontiac Grand Prix Engine fires 3800 series II 1996-2003



  • Got a call from my 18 y/o daughter who drives my 1999 Grand Prix 3800. While driving yesterday she noticed the engine starting to smoke as she was pulling into the driveway. Withing minutes of exiting the vehicle she noted flames under the car. Immediatley placed a call to the fire dept but while on the phone the entire car ignited, blowing out all the windows and tires went shooting away from the vehicle. The fire dept. declared it a total loss. As with most who have older model vehicles, only liability insurance was carried, thus it is a total loss! I'm just ever most grateful to know she was not still in the car unaware of the fire brewing below and did not blow up with it!! GM needs to be made fully aware of this life threatning issue! Next time it could be someone's daughter who is lost not just a car!! Keep us posted about the Oprah topic.....we have pics too and would definitely be interested in submitting information.
  • saint3saint3 Posts: 4
    I had a 2002 Grand Prix GTP 40th Anniversary and I took excellent care of it but on 3 Jan 2007 while I went into a store it burnt its own engine. I had bumper to bumper coverage from the dealership that did nothing for me, and after my insurance having my car for five months the offer of book value from GM was just as my insurance. They know there is a problem but if people do not report it to then they do not have to issue a recall so if this happened to you please take action, and good luck
  • I think almost everyone that has posted here has reported it to NHTSA
  • I have a 2000 that just caught on fire tonight. It was caught early and put out, so the damage is relatively minor, but I am afraid to let my daughter drive it. I would be interested in speaking with anyone at GM about it.

  • Add me to the list as of last night. My 99 GTP had been sitting in my garage for a couple of days. I drove it about 5 miles in 30 degree weather and parked it. About an hour later, the police came into the school I was at and asked for me. When I went outside, the fire was coming out from under the hood. By the time the firemen put it out, everything had burned except for the trunk. Just glad it happened outside and not while it was in my garage. I took extremely good car of this car but she's gone now. Maybe time for a GXP.
  • You should file a complaint with the NHTSA (link title). I did and the next day I got a call from a guy at the Federal DOT wanting more information for the ongoing investigation. The fire was caught very early so there's very little damage. He is driving up from DC tomorrow to look at it and has invited GM to send a rep also. All of these postings are scary. I'm pretty sure that, even if they fix it, my daughter won't be driving it anymore and it will never be parked close to my house!
    :sick: :lemon:
  • I filed a complaint with the NHTSA this morning. I doubt they'd bother to come visit because there isn't much left to see. Hopefully I get a call though, I'll give them any information they want. Good luck with you visit, I hope GM sends a rep. You might want to print a few of these posts for the rep to read.
  • :mad: I have a 1998 GTP with 260,000Km on it.

    2 Days ago we had a huge snow storm. I was trying to get my car unstuck.
    The car was idling and I was outside digging out the car, and my girlfriend was sitting in the car, she said it was smokey inside.

    I just thought it was overheating, and it got worse and worse.
    I finanlly thought, OK this just isnt overheating, so I shut the car off and popped the hood.

    The whole rear of the engine was on fire. I got the fire out and managed to save the car.

    About 6 months ago I had a engine light come on and the code said Small EVAP Leak.

    He said it was my Cold Air Intake and my Gas cap. So I replaced the gas cap and drove around with the engine light on, not knowing that there was a acutal EVAP leak.

    So it was coincidental that the engine light came on 2 days after I put my Intake on.
    And also it was coincidental that it happened on the day with all the snow.

    So my mechanic said, that I did have a pinhole leak, and that the sparks from the Altenator ignighted the vapors. Also the foam underneath the engine cover acted like a spunge sucking in the all fumes and then boom.

    He said it was an engineering flaw.

    What can I do about this?
  • First you should file a complaint online with the NHSTA (the link is in several of these posts, including my earlier one. Make sure you indicate in the check-box that you are ok with them notifying the manufacturer. The DOT is very actively investigating these fires, and GM was very cooperative in my experience. Both came to my house and looked at my car (I’m reasonably close to DC). They gave me the impression that they were close to figuring out a common cause. They wouldn’t say for sure what that conclusion was, but I think they’re leaning toward a leaky valve-cover gasket allowing oil to drip directly onto the exhaust manifold. That would allow for the fact that some of these happen in the front of the engine (like mine), and some are in the back like yours.

    GM ended up buying my car so they could tear it down and study it. 10 year-old cars with 200,000+ miles on them aren’t worth much money except to a person who gets good use out of it, so don’t expect too much. Then again, they really don’t want to lose loyal customers, so maybe they will want to work with you – what have you got to lose?

    Good luck!

  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    You are lucky you got GM to do anything bout your car....When I reported my car fire in March, 2006, they sent some so-called expert to the local dealership where I HAD to have my car towed at MY expense, he never picked up a wrench and 3 weeks later they tell me that they cant determine the cause of the fire and they are not responsible. No one has done anything about my car.
  • My 2000 GTP had both valve covers leaking oil at 94000 miles. Had both gaskets replaced. I had noticed oil on my exhaust manifolds from the oil leaking from the valve covers.Then after that was fixed I notice the oil leaking and coolant pooling around the fuel injectors as they enter the engine around the valve covers. My intake manifold was leaking both oil and coolant at 96000 miles. Had that gasket replaced. No leaks now. So have my fingers crossed no fires....

    Spoke with the service manager, about the engine fires. He was under the belief that the fires were being caused by a wiring harness that the supercharge engine uses that differs from the non-supercharge engine.
  • Ok i am having some serious problems with my 1997 Grand Prix GTP ... Lately the starter has been hesitating to turn the engine over and today, i was driving down the street and the car just died. so i coasted into a parking lot (the car is still sitting there) i tried to start it up and it ran for about 2 seconds.than i tried again and the starter could not turn the engine enough to fire up. the battery is good.
    also in the cold kansas weather my abs light comes in sometimes and the steering gets real tight until i turn the car off and back on. can these problems tie each other together somehow? please help me out

    it feels almost as the the motor ceased up.
  • Sounds like two unrelated problems. First I'd say you just need a new starter. Secondly they have a system to where the faster you go the tighter the steering gets, to help with road feel. I'd say something in this system has mal-functioned. Get it checked, probably a rack & pinion failure.
  • did you switch keys. i had one made at lowes and went to use it and it would only run for 2 sec and shut off. the security system would turn the fuel pump off. try a different key
  • i am having a problem with my car... i replaced the battery yesterday, and now the car starts up for a few seconds and dies... no check engine light or anything... is there anything i need to reset ?
  • i am having a problem with my car... i replaced the battery yesterday, and now the car starts up for a few seconds and dies... no check engine light or anything... is there anything i need to reset ?
  • I had a 99 grand prix and on december 14 i was sleeping and my man had taken the car to town and came back and parked it and left in his truck and about 15 minutes later i woke up to something popping and it was engulfed in flames and had caught the front of our house on fire!!! Gm really needs to get these engines fixed before someone dies from a fire
  • My grand prix was running great. I went to start it and the engine caught on fire. My brother saw me and we put out the fire before the fire department got there but now i have a beautiful car that i can't use anymore. Very sad. I only had liablity insurance. There must be something I can do since this was my only means of transportation.
  • i just forgot to add that it was a 97 grand prix gtp
  • i have a 2000 pontiac grand prix gt and a few weeks ago mine caught fire i drove it to the store and back home and about 5-10 min later there it was on fire. my dad bought it new and i got it a year ago. it was the best car i've had and the only car i have. i called gm and they sent it to thier insurance i dont know what to do and thier slow about calling me back! *JODI* :confuse:
  • they called me back and said that some one would be here in a few days. do you think they'll help???
  • tommy231tommy231 Posts: 27 lled-due-to-engine/

    I want to thank everyone for their patience while this problem was root-caused. I want to believe our diligence helped bring closure to this long-standing concern. Well at least it is potential closure for those of us that haven't had a fire yet.
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    I am glad they are finally recalling them but what about those of us who have lost our vehicles to fires? What do we get?
  • jodi 84

    My car also caught on fire. I haven't been able to contact anyone besides NHTSA. Who did you contact?
  • gtp03dawgtp03daw Posts: 16
    So has anyone heard anything about those of us that had a total loss where GM did nothing ? They also denied my "mechanical failure" claim under my so called bumber to bumber warranty when it went up in flames in '03. And whats a "comming" recall in the link on # 151 ?

    It's been almost 2.5 years since I notified NTHSA...
  • bedensbedens Posts: 23
    the NTHSA contacted me and has done nothing. It has been 2 years since my grand prix burned. My brother works for a GM dealership and he told me this morning the only ones they are recalling are the supercharged grand prixs. Mine wasn't supercharged. I want to know what they are going to do about those of us who have already lost our vehicles.
  • jmac74jmac74 Posts: 10
    My car caught on fire in Feb of 06' while I was driving was a super-charged 2000 GTP and it was a total loss...I have talked to several of you on-line through the past two years and we have been ignored as if we don't even exist. It is time to show the big company that we do exist. All of us who have lost our cars and have nothing to show for it should be entitled to some sort of compensation because of this recall. This proves that GM made a bad piece and we probably have a better chance in court now. We should aggressively work together and form a class action, I think we have a better opportunity now. There is proof that something was wrong with their product. Who's with me!!!!
  • jpstax1jpstax1 Posts: 197
    I just read this in my daily newspaper:

    The important message in the article is do not park your car in a garage until the problem is fixed.
  • msschm22msschm22 Posts: 5
    I lost my 1999 gtp to a fire in jan 2006 and I have not seen a thing from it other than a well we dont know of anything going wrong apology back then I am in Parker Colorado and am wondering if anyone is getting anywhere or if we all need to do a class action.
    I can be reached at m s c h m i t t @ impact elecom. com Please note there are not really any spaces but had to do that to get it in here. I think all of us need some way of coming together as there is strength in numbers.

    I am willing to try and keep a list and be a head of this if you all want to send me emails, I will try to keep a distribution list going for us all to keep in touch
  • I'm so glad they have finally recalled these vehicles. I hope the one's that still have the cars get the money they deserve. In my case I didn't have it long enough (15 days) for it to be in my name, so I couldn't proceed on getting anything done. Good luck to you all. It's funny they say it's from a oil leak, I have been a mechanic for 17 years and checked this thing over from head to toe and never had any leaks what-so-ever. But I did run the crap out of it right before I parked it and it burned. So it could be under hard braking that it leaks. No way to tell when its burned up.
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