Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked concerned agencies to speed up investigations into the mysterious vehicle fires that have happened across Vietnam since 2010.
According to a report on the government's website Wednesday, the PM asked the Ministry of Science and Technology to accelerate studies on suspicions that bad quality gasoline was the main culprit in the "abnormal phenomena" of vehicle fires.
The ministry needs to cooperate with the ministries of trade and transport in checking gasoline quality and strictly punish violators, the PM said.
The trade ministry has been ordered to join hands with other agencies to tighten control over the quality of fuel from when it is imported into Vietnam to when it is sold at filling stations.
The PM has also asked the transport ministry to review the technical standards of vehicles' compartments, especially those that are assembled locally, the report said.
He told the Ministry of Public Security to quickly clarify causes in cases where no conclusion has been drawn yet.
In 2010 and 2011, Vietnam recorded 324 vehicle fires and explosions, mainly in cars, of which 209 cases have had their causes identified, according to a press conference held by the ministries on April 26.
They had announced then that 56 samples of gasoline and oil have been taken from burned vehicles and gas stations where the vehicles' drivers had bought fuel before the incidents.
However, none of the samples were found to carry combustion additives like methanol and acetone that were believed to be a main culprit.
"No evidence has showed that gasoline was the direct cause of recent vehicle fires and explosions," the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality said at the conference.
In related news, a Nouvo motorbike, made by Yamaha, caught fire and exploded in Hanoi on Tuesday, Vietnamnet reported.
Witnesses said the motorbike was parked next to a house in Kham Thien Market, Dong Da District when it caught fire suddenly.
With the bike's owner absent, locals extinguished the fire, but the bike was totally destroyed.
Local agencies are investigating the fire.