Charlottesville man searching for answers after his BMW exploded

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — A Charlottesville man is searching for answers after his BMW exploded Sunday afternoon.

Jesus Alvarado said he thought his neighbor was joking when he handed him a fire extinguisher and told him his car was smoking.

"He told me 'Hey, your car is on fire' and I thought he was playing and he wasn't, you know,” said Alvarado. “Then I just realized that was true."

Next thing he knew, his 2004 325ci BMW had exploded. Alvarado said his girlfriend called the fire department and they came quickly, but the car could not be saved.

Firefighters told Alvarado that it looked like the fire had started from behind the steering wheel. It only took about four minutes for the entire inside of the car to be completely burned, and for the windshield and sunroof to be shattered.

The car did have one safety feature that triggered the front windows to go down, but it did not help much in this situation.

"I just would like some answers from BMW to at least tell me what went wrong,” said Alvarado. “I think at least I deserve that."

He said he had his battery replaced recently and his airbags were worked on only about two months ago due to a past recall. The local BMW dealership on Pantops said there are no current recalls on the vehicle.

"There's a lot of questions without answers. I called the insurance and they told me it's all on my side right now because I have to call BMW,” said Alvarado.

BMW of North America has not yet responded to WCAV.

Alvarado said he is thankful nobody got hurt.

"I'm so glad I was not driving,” said Alvarado. "If this car was in a garage with kids around, that would be worse."

He said he just wants BMW to find out why it exploded to prevent it from happening to someone else.

"It's pretty dangerous like this,” said Alvarado. “You don't know when this is going to happen again."

Alvarado is riding his bike to work for now. He started a GoFundMe, here, for some help with buying another used car.

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