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.
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.
Our investigations relate to Zafira B models built between 2005 and 2014 and equipped with manual air conditioning (not Electronic Climate Control).
Customers should contact their Vauxhall Retailer and book their vehicle in for a free inspection if any of the following apply;
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.
Wrexham 01978 290077Mold 01352 752200