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Product safety lawyer welcomes criminal investigation into Vauxhall Zafira fires

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has launched an investigation into Vauxhall

Zafira car fire

4 May 2018

Product safety lawyer, Zahra Nanji, has welcomed a criminal investigation into Vauxhall Zafira fires. 

The Common’s Transport Select Committee heard in 2016 that the manufacturer first recorded a car fire in 2009, a number of years before owners of Vauxhall Zafiras were told about the possibility that their vehicles might catch fire.

Vauxhall first launched an investigation into Zafira fires in 2009, after receiving reports of 161 car fires. A recall of 200,000 Zafira B cars was issued in November 2015, and a second recall for 234,000 cars in May 2016.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that it will be working with Luton Borough Council’s trading standards officers to investigate the car manufacturer.  

Vauxhall, whose headquarters are in Luton, says that 92% of the models affected have been recalled. 

The DVSA said:

"We have made it clear to manufacturers that to protect consumers, they should swiftly rectify problems and meet their obligations under the code of practice.

"DVSA will take the necessary action against any manufacturers who fail to comply with their obligations."

MPs in the Transport Committee concluded in their report that Vauxhall had shown "a reckless disregard for safety" of drivers.

Product safety lawyer at Leigh Day, Zahra Nanji, said:

“The DVSA needs to have more stringent powers to ensure manufactures act swiftly where there is a significant risk to consumers.  Measures and systems need to be put in to place to protect consumers from manufacturers who are not expeditious in taking action when safety concerns are raised about their products. It is time that the safety of people is the paramount consideration when looking at whether a product is dangerous and needs to be recalled.”

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