Second recall for Zafira B vehicles

On 19 May 2016, Vauxhall announced a second recall on Vauxhall Zafira B models.  Owners would be invited to bring their vehicles back to Vauxhall dealerships so that preventative action could be carried out to protect the vehicles from the risk of fire.

In December last year they wrote to all 234,938 Vauxhall Zafira B owners to make them aware of an issue which could affect their vehicle.  Vauxhall issued a report stating that their investigations had found evidence of improper repair of the blower motor resistor and its thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the blower motor system.

Vauxhall stated that these “improper repairs”, which they suggested may have been conducted without the owners’ knowledge, could lead to overheating of the system’s electrical components and the potential for a fire, advising that resistors should never be repaired, only replaced.

From December Vauxhall have been conducting a recall programme designed to return vehicles to their original condition, which involved replacing the resistor in every vehicle inspected and the blower motor and pollen filter in many thousands of vehicles.

In the statement issued on 19th May, Vauxhall said whilst issuing the first recall they would be considering additional actions they might take, and have been in constant contact with the Driver Vehicle Safety Agency (DVSA).  They subsequently presented a status update to the DVSA on 9th May when additional action was agreed.

While the action in the first recall was aimed at returning vehicles to their original condition, but now Vauxhall are advising that after extensive investigations they have decided to go further and improve the overall robustness of the system.

Vauxhall will now 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.  All work will be undertaken free of charge and Vauxhall will be writing to all customers.

The Sun newspaper meanwhile has stated that they handed a “dossier” to Vauxhall which they said revealed that repaired vehicles were still bursting into flames.  The newspaper had commissioned forensic engineers to compile the report which they say shows a design fault causes the blower motor in the heating system to rust prematurely.  As it begins to stick, they found that it pulled in more current and created conditions for a fire.  Both Vauxhall and the DVSA have disputed the report but the Sun claims that in April all Vauxhall garages were told to carry out visual inspections of the blower motor.

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