Army technical officers have been tasked to examine the auto and the road remains closed to traffic.
She was not in the vehicle when the device went off around 8.30am just off the main Belfast to Bangor road.
The Army bomb squad have been called to the scene.
According to local media, the fire was caused by the partial explosion of a booby trap bomb underneath the auto.
A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "Following initial inquiries at the scene, ATO (ammunition technical officers) have been tasked to conduct an examination of the vehicle".
It is believed the driver of the auto was a former PSNI officer.
The former female officer escaped without injury as she was not in the auto, believed to be her personal vehicle, at the time.
Paisley said that a suspected booby trap device was placed under the auto.
However, the incident is no longer believed to be sinister in nature.
DUP leader Arlene Foster MLA had expressed concern for the former policewoman, describing reports as "very disturbing".
"If so that's a huge relief and I hope those involved are uninjured", he tweeted.
The road remains closed while the investigation into the circumstances of the incident continue.