Vauxhall Motors Statement – Vauxhall Zafira Fires - second stage


Vauxhall have announced that owners of Vauxhall Zafira B models will be invited to bring their vehicles back to Vauxhall dealerships so that a preventative action can be carried out to protect the vehicles from the risk of fire.

In December last year we wrote to all 234,938 Vauxhall Zafira B owners to make them aware of an issue which could affect their vehicle. Our 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. These improper repairs, which may have been conducted without the owners’ knowledge, can lead to overheating of the system’s electrical components and the potential for a fire. Resistors should never be repaired, they should only be replaced.

Since then we have been conducting a recall programme designed to return vehicles to their original condition. This has involved replacing the resistor in every vehicle we have inspected and the blower motor and the pollen filter in many thousands of vehicles. 

All of this has been free of charge to the customer.

At the time of the recall we said we would consider additional actions we might take and we have been in constant contact with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). On May 9th we presented a status update to DVSA and agreed the additional action we are announcing today.

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.

Again, this work will be conducted free of charge.

We will soon be writing to all customers to inform them of the second recall action and provide appropriate advice. Subsequently we will write to customers on a staggered basis to invite them in for the second recall.  It is planned to commence sending these letters during the month of August.

Owners of vehicles which have not yet had the initial recall completed should still bring their vehicles to their dealership to have them returned to their original condition.

Advice to Zafira B owners

If you’re concerned about using your vehicle, or notice any unusual characteristics with the heating and ventilation system (such as a squeaking noise from the dashboard), please arrange for your Retailer to inspect your vehicle. This will be done at no cost.

Is your car affected?

Our investigations relate to Zafira B models built between 2005 and 2014 and equipped with manual air conditioning (not Electronic Climate Control).

1. If you have the Zafira B model below, your car could be affected

If your Zafira B has Electronic Climate Control (ECC), it’s not affected. Please note that both manual air conditioning and climate control have similar-looking controls. However, climate control models have an ‘Auto’ button at the top-left of the unit, as shown.​

Do I need to get my vehicle inspected?

Customers should contact their Vauxhall Retailer and book their vehicle in for a free inspection if any of the following apply;

  1. Customers have any concerns about using their car
  2. Customers notice unusual characteristics with their heating and ventilation system (for example, a squeaking noise from the dashboard)
  3. Their vehicle heating and ventilation fan does not work in positions 1, 2 or 3
  4. Customers are aware of previous maintenance work on their vehicles heating and ventilation system
  • In the event of the above, until the vehicle has been inspected, customers should set their fan speed to zero (0) on the heating and ventilation system. If necessary they should use Level 4 only for the time needed to demist the windscreen.
  • Retailers will look to give priority to inspections where a customer’s vehicle has a fan not operating in positions 1, 2 or 3, the heating and ventilation system exhibits unusual characteristics (for example a squeaking noise from the dashboard), or if customers are aware of previous maintenance work on their vehicles heating and ventilation system.
  • All customers that have vehicles that could be impacted will be written to inviting them in for a free vehicle inspection. If customers have already had their vehicle inspected and the Retailer has returned the vehicle safe to drive they do not need to get their vehicle inspected again.

Customer mailings started in November 2015.

What will the inspection entail?

  • The inspection and any part replacement related to this specific check and inspect procedure, and its fitting, will be free of charge
  • The Resistor, Pollen Filter, Heater Fan Motor and wiring harness will be replaced only if the checking procedure shows that the part needs replacing
  • During this 'check and inspect' phase of Vauxhall's investigation all replacement components and their fitting related to this specific check are free of charge to the customer.

How long will the vehicle be at the dealer?

  • Two distinct measures are considered: first the inspection, then the rectification.
  • Inspection should take 30 to 60 minutes
  • Rectification time will depend on the corrective action required.

Q and A

Q. Which Zafiras are affected?

A. Only right-hand-drive Zafira B models are affected, built between 2005 and 2014. Only vehicles fitted with manual air conditioning, or that have no air conditioning, are involved.

Q. Are there any exceptions in this group?

A. First owners of these cars who have never experienced a problem with the heating/ventilation system, and have never had repairs made in this area, should not be at risk of fire.

Q. What about the Zafira A and current Zafira Tourer – is there a risk to these models?

A. No, these models are not affected.

Q. What is causing the fires in Zafira Bs?

A. We have found evidence of improper repairs to blower motor resistors and their thermal fuses, which are designed to protect the blower motor system. However, analysis is still ongoing to get to the root cause. We need to analyse a significant number of vehicles in order that a robust fix can be generated based on facts.

Q. What action has Vauxhall taken to deal with this problem?

A. A cross-functional task force was established as soon as we were alerted to the scale of the fires. Through general awareness from Watchdog reports and social media activity, customers have been visiting Vauxhall dealers for inspection of the heating and ventilation system free of charge. Suspect parts have been replaced.

Q. What is the next step?

A. We are now writing formally to all 220,000 relevant Zafira B owners, using name and address data provided by the DVLA. The letter will ask owners to arrange to visit their local Vauxhall dealer for an inspection of the vehicle’s heating and ventilation system. Any suspect parts will be replaced free of charge and the vehicle returned to the customer in a safe operating condition. If a part is not available, and the vehicle has to be left with the dealer, we will consider the customer’s onward mobility requirements.

Q. How soon will customers receive this letter?

A. Letters will be sent from November 12th in a staged process. However, due to the number of vehicles involved it will take a period of time to inspect every vehicle.

Q. What will happen when you have finally found the root cause of the problem?

A. If any further work is required as a result of our investigations into the root cause, we will contact customers again and ask them to bring their vehicles into dealerships.

Contact Dickens:

Email: sales66@dickensgroup.com

Wrexham 0843 178 3594

Mold 0843 178 3597