Toyota Yaris meltdown
Several years ago I received an assignment to inspect a customer's vehicle for engine and transmission failure. According to the customer, they were towing the vehicle behind their motor home and decided to stop along their route and eat. While returning to their rv and toad, they reported "seeing some children running from the car." Sometime later, while driving, they were motioned to pull over by a motorist who had been following them for some time to inform them smoke was coming from the towed Toyota.
When I arrived at the Toyota service dept. I was directed to the vehicle, which was on a hoist for access. Upon my inspection of the vehicle I saw the engine pan was missing and the crankshaft and rods were clearly visible. The mounting surface for the oil pan showed signs of high heat as determined by the melted engine block. Also, the pan for the transaxle was missing, as was the rear side of the case. According the the tech, someone had shifted the vehicle into gear and the vehicle was subsequently towed, providing no lubrication or cooling to the engine or transmission.
The amount of heat generated was such that it melted the engine and transmission, but also left virtually no oil residue on the undercarriage of the vehicle. Surprisingly, there was no other damage to the vehicle. Needless to say, an engine and transmission were required to repair the vehicle.
Surmising the mischievous children shifted the vehicle into gear, the loss was covered under the comprehensive [vandalism] coverage of their policy.
Word of advice, always lock your toads while on the road... Yeah... I know...