The owner earlier stated that there were no modifications made to the six-month-old XUV700 SUV.

Mahindra Automotive has released an official statement regarding the XUV700 SUV that caught fire on the Jaipur National Highway recently. The company stated that it has conducted an investigation and initial findings reveal that the wiring of the car was tampered with, which could have led to the fire. 

  1. The XUV700 owner stated no modifications were made
  2. Mahindra says aftermarket illuminated scuff plates, ambient lights were fitted

Mahindra XUV700 fire: the incident 

In a Twitter post on May 21, Kuldeep Singh shared that he was driving his six-month-old XUV700 with his family on the Jaipur National highway, when the car caught fire without any prior warning of overheating, which is usually a telltale sign that things could go wrong. Luckily, no passengers were injured and they managed to escape before the fire engulfed the vehicle.

The fire can be seen concentrated in the engine bay region, and when asked by a Twitter user if he made any modifications to the car, Singh said that none have been made since the vehicle was relatively new.

A day after Singh’s tweet, Mahindra released a statement saying the original wiring harness was tampered with to add aftermarket accessories, which could have led to the incident. However, the carmaker had then not clarified what exact accessory was added to the vehicle.

On May 24, Mahindra Automotive released an updated statement, pointing out that the owner had installed “after-market illuminated scuff plates and four ambient lighting modules by tampering with the original wiring circuit of the vehicle. The additional wiring connections which are not originally engineered have been connected to existing points causing a thermal incident.”

Mahindra’s updated statement on May 24

Aftermarket accessories, a fire hazard

In its statement, Mahindra also advised existing customers against adding aftermarket electrical accessories or making modifications to their vehicles from unauthorised sources.

In April, a Tata Nexon EV in Pune caught fire, following which Tata Motors released a statement saying that a headlamp was replaced at an unauthorised workshop which led to the short circuit.

While aftermarket accessories can be significantly cheaper than factory options, there is a degree of risk involved in going down this path. Manufacturer warranty and vehicle insurance can even be deemed void in some cases if the company discovers the addition of aftermarket accessories. 

It is important to keep in mind that components like wiring harnesses can only take a certain electrical load before experiencing failure. Adding more electrical accessories like aftermarket touchscreens and upgraded audio systems could cause failure due to overload or improper installation. Modern cars are better equipped from the factory and hence diminish the need for aftermarket installations. 

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