Vauxhall may 'recall' Zafira cars after more than a 100 drivers report their vehicles spontaneously burst into flames

Company said it took its customers safety 'seriously' and that it was investigating the incidents

Rose Troup Buchanan
Thursday 22 October 2015 11:00
One of the Zafira models that allegedly spontaneously caught fire
One of the Zafira models that allegedly spontaneously caught fire

Vauxhall is considering recalling some of its vehicles after a number allegedly spontaneously burst into flames.

More than 130 owners of the Vauxhall Zafira B model, launched in 2005, have reported problems with the car’s heating and ventilation system to the manufacturer.

The company has allegedly been investigating the issue for several months, but has seen only a fraction of the cars that have burst into flames, Sky News reported.

Facebook group Vauxhall Zafira Car Fires for owners of the model has more than 5,000 members – with several claiming their seven-seat vehicles had caught fire while there were children inside. Terrifying pictures shared on the group showed a number of vehicles ablaze.

One picture of a Vauxhall Zafira which allegedly spontaneously caught fire

Sue Freemantle, 37, from Ivybridge, Devon, started the group after her Zafira model caught fire. In the past few days the group has gained a huge amount of attention, with thousands of new members.

“I’m gobsmacked by how many others have been through what my family have had to endure,” she told Auto Express.

Jason Williams, 39, said he was in his Zafira B with his three-year-old daughter on Fabien Way, Swansea, when suddenly his vehicle "was on fire".

“I was punching the window which resulted my knuckles being smashed,” he told The Independent. He and his daughter only got out of the car safely when a passing man stopped and helped him break the window and escape. He wants Vauxhall to fully compensate all its customers.

The inside of the car following the fire

Vauxhall told customers they are conducting an investigation and advised drivers to take their Zafiras to a dealership, free of charge, if they have concerns.

“When we find the root cause we will take the next step. That could be a recall, whatever, we've just got to get to that root cause, that's a key thing for us,” a spokesperson said.

"Book the vehicle in for a check and the vehicle will be inspected professionally and we'll look at the component we think may be faulty,” the spokesperson told Sky News.

But Mrs Freemantle told the Plymouth Herald the company’s response so far had been “rubbish” and “not good enough”.

In a statement released on Wednesday to increasingly concerned customers, the company claimed “While the number of incidents is very low compared to the number of vehicles on the road, we take this issue very seriously, as customer safety is our number one priority.”

They added they believed the fires were due to “previous repairs being performed improperly, or from the use of non-genuine parts.”

Vauxhall did not return The Independent’s request for comment.

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