Battery-driven toy car burst into flames and killed two cats

The purpose of this post is to warn people of the potential danger of what appears to be an imported battery-driven toy car that caught fire. Rechargeable batteries in toys and scooters appear to be a potential serious hazard if poorly manufactured. These are often cheap products. The manufacturers should not skimpt on safety when it comes to large rechargeable batteries as they are a potential, serious fire hazard. We are not told the name of the toy or manufacturer. It would be helpful to know.


Two cats killed in apartment fire caused by exploding rechargeable battery in a toy car
Two cats killed in apartment fire caused by exploding rechargeable battery in a toy car
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The Daily Mail issues a warning today about a battery-driven Fiat 500 toy car which caught fire while it was being charged. At the time the mother had just gone to bed and left the toy unattended for 20 minutes before the smoke alarms were set off. The toy had exploded in her living room in her flat in New Milton, Hampshire.

The mother, Molly Austin, 21, was unable to extinguish the flames and rushed her young daughter to safety as the windows to her flat smashed behind her as she ran from it.

‘I handed my baby to my neighbour but I was desperate to go back for my cats, Snodge and Shelly. They are my babies too.’ 

Molly Austin

She then attempted to retrieve her two cats, Snodge and Shelley but was unable to save them. They were curled up under her bed. We are not told how they died but it was almost certainly smoke inhalation. She was told about their passing by one of the firefighters and she burst into tears.

The firefighters wrapped her cat in a towel for her to say her goodbyes and she was devastated. The fire was put out two hours later and she realised that she had lost everything.

Ms Austin is now living in temporary council accommodation. The toy was a gift to her daughter, Aria, 2. The retailer, as I understand it, has taken the toy off its shelves and halted sales.

There must be quite a big discussion on insurance issues, compensation et cetera. A lot of damage was caused by the faulty manufacturing of this battery driven Fiat 500 toy car. Clearly it was unsuitable for sale to the general public as a toy.

It was not fit for purpose. It was clearly in breach of all the current sale of goods legislation and my advice would be for Ms Austin to see a good solicitor if required in order to obtain full compensation.

It depends on the extent of her insurance but the problem is that domestic cats, particularly non-purebred cats, are valued well below their true value to their owner.

RELATED: Awarding fixed damages for emotional distress on criminal damage to cats and dogs

Lesson: don’t buy these cheap battery toy cars especially if they’ve been manufactured in the Far East – probably China – the consumer products manufacturer for the world. You just cannot guarantee the quality and when it comes to chargeable batteries, quality is vital. There have been many instances of chargeable batteries on scooters exploding. This would be the same problem. Cheap products like these are attractive but can you guarantee that they are safe?

2 thoughts on “Battery-driven toy car burst into flames and killed two cats”

  1. I bought one of those battery/rechargeable floppy fish and it began to smoke. I unplugged it and threw it away. I don’t buy those cheap rechargeable toys any more. I buy only toys where you have to take out the batteries and recharge them or buy new batteries.

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