Almost 250,000 Vauxhall Zafiras in new fire risk recall

Time 9:20 am, May 19, 2016

MORE than 234,000 Vauxhall Zafiras will be recalled for the second time over a problem that has seen the cars burst into flames.

Vauxhall took the decision despite a first recall in December 2015 to correct the issue, which the manufacturer said was caused by improper repairs to the people carrier’s blower motor resistor.

Described by the carmaker as ‘preventative action’, the latest recall will involve ‘improving the overall robustness of the system’ as opposed to simply replacing the resistor and its fuse, which the firm started doing last year.

In November 2015 the London Fire Brigade said it attended 71 Zafira fires – not including arson attacks – since 2013, compared with just 38 in the previous four years.

In December, Vauxhall wrote to all 234,938 Zafira B owners regarding the problem.

It said improper repairs of the blower motor resistor and its thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the blower motor system, could lead to overheating of the system’s electrical components and the potential for a fire.

Announcing the new recall today, a spokesman said: ‘While the current action achieves the objective of returning vehicles to their original condition, after extensive investigations, we have decided to go further and improve the overall robustness of the system.

‘We will therefore be initiating a second recall to replace the current soldered fuse resistor with a wax fuse resistor so reducing the opportunity for manipulation.

‘When the recalls are complete, all vehicles will have a new wax fuse resistor, a new blower motor and a new moulding at the base of the windscreen to address water ingress.’

Both recalls have been free for car owners and the company will be writing to customers soon with information. Letters inviting them into dealerships for the second recall are expected to go out in August.

Drivers who have not yet had the work from the first recall completed should still take their cars to dealerships, Vauxhall said.

Our pictures shows firefighters extinguishing a Vauxhall Zafira which caught light near a level crossing in Manor Road, south-west London, last November.

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