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Hey all, been a while.

Was driving my car home from work the other day, and started smelling smoke and thought that was odd (but I was going through construction so I chalked it up to that initially). 15 seconds later smoke started billowing out of the dashboard, just above my left knee - where the fuse box is. Luckily was driving right past my dealer when this occurred, but significant smoke smell inside now and they're chalking it up to water damage.

Pretty much EVERYONE I've talked to (many trustworthy mechanics) says that water cannot cause a fire or smoking to an electrical system. The only thing that causes a short in a wire is something touching, causing it to ground. From the pics I took and from what I saw there were absolutely no tell-tale signs of corrosion (blue-green stuff you see on batteries and you know, corroded wires), so the "water damage" excuse is a tough pill to swallow. Both "water damage" and the "wiring harness" are not covered under even the most expensive, extensive warranty they sell (which I bought, called the "Peace of Mind" warranty LOL), so it seems like they're trying to point to the most obvious (but still wrong) reason for the electrical fire, because this way Nissan isn't responsible.

This happened Wednesday night and the car is still just sitting in their lot, because I've indicated to them I'm not paying a cent for any repairs and that I intend to call whoever I have to in order to get Nissan Canada to own up to faulty wiring. The car isn't even 2.5 years old! I did make the call and have started an investigation, but I feel as though I might have a fight on my hands.

Can anyone here at all lend me any advice/stories of their own?

PS There were a few wiring-related problems that were non-emergency that I was coincidentally getting my car looked at (scheduled for the next day) prior to the fire:

1) No seatbelt sensor light on the dash when my seatbelt wasn't on.
2) Intermittently the "door ajar" light would come on and off.
3) No left signal, interior or exterior, and no ticking noise. Right worked fine.
I imagine these were all symptoms to the problem that compounded when the junction box decided to burn and melt.
 

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Hey all, been a while.

Was driving my car home from work the other day, and started smelling smoke and thought that was odd (but I was going through construction so I chalked it up to that initially). 15 seconds later smoke started billowing out of the dashboard, just above my left knee - where the fuse box is. Luckily was driving right past my dealer when this occurred, but significant smoke smell inside now and they're chalking it up to water damage.

Pretty much EVERYONE I've talked to (many trustworthy mechanics) says that water cannot cause a fire or smoking to an electrical system. The only thing that causes a short in a wire is something touching, causing it to ground. From the pics I took and from what I saw there were absolutely no tell-tale signs of corrosion (blue-green stuff you see on batteries and you know, corroded wires), so the "water damage" excuse is a tough pill to swallow. Both "water damage" and the "wiring harness" are not covered under even the most expensive, extensive warranty they sell (which I bought, called the "Peace of Mind" warranty LOL), so it seems like they're trying to point to the most obvious (but still wrong) reason for the electrical fire, because this way Nissan isn't responsible.

This happened Wednesday night and the car is still just sitting in their lot, because I've indicated to them I'm not paying a cent for any repairs and that I intend to call whoever I have to in order to get Nissan Canada to own up to faulty wiring. The car isn't even 2.5 years old! I did make the call and have started an investigation, but I feel as though I might have a fight on my hands.

Can anyone here at all lend me any advice/stories of their own?

PS There were a few wiring-related problems that were non-emergency that I was coincidentally getting my car looked at (scheduled for the next day) prior to the fire:

1) No seatbelt sensor light on the dash when my seatbelt wasn't on.
2) Intermittently the "door ajar" light would come on and off.
3) No left signal, interior or exterior, and no ticking noise. Right worked fine.
I imagine these were all symptoms to the problem that compounded when the junction box decided to burn and melt.
Water can become a problem with the electronics if the car has gone through water deep enough to cause the wiring harness to be submerged, or the other instance would be if the water was salty or brackish. If your car is still under warranty, Nissan should cover the repair unless they can prove that it was operator error, such as driving into water too deep, or intentional abuse of the vehicle. I live in the states, so I the warranty coverage may be different.
Good luck
 

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What actually burned? the fuse box, relays? instrument cluster?

Sounds to me like a relay. I'm not an expert on Nissan wiring, but my experience with the germans would lead me to an overloaded relay.
 
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