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Product liability lawyer backs action on Vauxhall Corsas

Second Vauxhall model potential fire risk

Car dashboard

21 December 2016

Product liability lawyers at Leigh Day have reacted with concern to an investigation carried out by The Sun newspaper into reports that car owners have reported car fires in Vauxhall Corsas.

The Sun highlighted the alleged risk of fire in Corsa D and E (current models) cars after commissioning an independent engineers’ report from forensic collision firm GBB which identified a potential problem with the wiring loom in the heater system of the model.

In 2015 Vauxhall recalled over 200,000 Zafira models thought to be at risk of catching fire because of a faulty wiring loom in the heating system.

In July 2016 managers from Vauxhall appeared before the Commons’ Transport Select Committee and reported that the company had first recorded car fires in Zafiras in February 2009.

In November 2016 the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency announced that Vauxhall would replace vacuum pumps and other related faulty components in the Corsa D models which had led to some car fires.

Vauxhall has said that has received no confirmed reports of vehicle fires starting in the vehicle heating and ventilation system of the Vauxhall Corsa D/E.

Speaking to trade journal, Fleet News, the chair of the Commons’ Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman, said:

“Vehicle fires can be terrifying for occupiers and other road users, and constitute a serious threat to their safety.

"When we heard from Vauxhall earlier this year about fires in the Zafira B model, we made it clear Vauxhall must do better in identifying and rectifying any safety risks. That reports of fires in a different Vauxhall model are now emerging is a matter of deep concern.

“We will be keeping a close eye on the responses of both Vauxhall and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to this latest issue and we want to know how they are ensuring the safety of drivers and their families.”

Leigh Day product liability solicitor Jill Paterson said:

“Car manufacturers must do everything they can to reassure consumers that the cars they are using are safe.  

“The role of the Transport Select Committee will be important in holding Vauxhall to account. Drivers are right to expect that the cars they use are fit for purpose.”

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