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Lawsuit filed after rented Ma Soul caught fire on the H-3, severely burning driver

By Lynn Kawano

Posted August 14, 2019

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jordan Carlton, 33, remains at Straub Burn Center more than six weeks after he suffered third degree burns on most of his body.

Carlton was driving a 2019 Kia Soul rental car on the H-3 heading toward the Windward side of Oahu on June 30, when cell phone video shows the car on fire, flames shooting out from the lower part of the vehicle.

Carlton's mother, Rebecca Carlton, 56, jumped out of the moving car and rolled.

"Jumped out probably at 40-45 miles an hour," attorney for the family, Rick Fried says Jordan became trapped.

Good samaritans helped pull him from the burning vehicle and put out the flames.

Cell video of Kia Soul on fire on the H-3 on June 30, 2019

Fried filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Kia Motors America, Inc and the rental car company, saying both should have known that hundreds of non-collision fires have been connected to the engine used in Kia cars.

Earlier this year, the company recalled half a million vehicles because of the risk of engine fires but that only included models from 2012 - 2016.

Federal investigators have expressed concern over the engines of the South Korean automaker's cars.

"I'm very angry," says Robert Carlton, Jordan's father, "It upsets me greatly to know that this has been going on for years."

Doctors gave his son a 1% chance of survival. Jordan has so far, beaten the odds. He is conscious but unable to speak.

"Jordan's injuries are life altering and there comes a time when something has to be done," his father says, "Something has to change."

All of his fingers had to be amputated and most of his toes. He continues to undergo painful skin grafts, but the family remains optimistic that they will be able to take Carlton back to Oklahoma one day.

Carlton graduated in the top ten from the University of Oklahoma and went on to get a master's degree. He was working for the Dallas Independent School District as a teacher recruiter when he and his mother decided to vacation in Hawaii.

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