UK

Vauxhall Corsa Fires: Car Manufacturer Responds To Reports

Dozens of owners have reported blazes in their Corsas.

07/12/2016 09:19 GMT | Updated 08/12/2016 08:12 GMT

There are reports of risks of fires staring in the heating and ventilation systems of some Vauxhall Corsa models.

According to The Sun, expert analysis of a burnt-out Corsa D found the fire had broken out in its heater system where there were similar components to the Vauxhall Zafira B and the Hummer H3, a 4x4 manufactured by parent company General Motors (GM).

The Zafira B and the H3 were subject to recalls in the UK and the US after a series of vehicle fires were blamed on faulty wiring in the heating systems.

David Cheskin/PA Wire
Vauxhall says it has received 'no confirmed reports' of fires starting in the heating and ventilation systems of some Corsa models 

A Vauxhall spokesman told the Press Association: “Vauxhall confirms that there is a different vehicle heating and ventilation system configuration in Corsa D/E to the Hummer H3, inclusive of a different connector.

“This is why the risk assessment applied to the Hummer H3 cannot be applied to Corsa D/E.

“Vauxhall has no confirmed reports of vehicle fires originating in the vehicle heating and ventilation system of the Vauxhall Corsa D/E.”

The Sun commissioned research by GBB, an automotive forensic investigation firm, after several Corsa owners reported their cars had caught fire. It claims up to one million Corsas are at risk of bursting into flames.

In a report, lead engineer Philip Hoyes said “resistive heating” associated with failure in the Zafira B “has also been identified in the heater wiring harnesses of Vauxhall Corsa D models”.

“A fire-damaged Corsa D, with a history of wiring harness damage, was examined to reveal an origin of fire in the region of the heater system,” the report also said.

“The wiring harness and the failure mode identified in Corsa D models appears similar to those of GM vehicles Hummer H3 where a risk of fire led to recalls in 2015.

“I recommend that Vauxhall consider that the resistive heating that affected the Hummer vehicles produced by its parent company General Motors is also occurring in its UK Corsa model.”

According to campaigners, more than 300 Zafiras have caught fire in recent years, leaving their occupants with just a few seconds to escape.

In May it was announced that more than 234,000 were to be recalled for a second time to improve the electrical components in the heating and ventilation system.

It followed action in 2015 by GM to recall nearly 200,000 H3s in the US over concerns of fire breaking out in a similar area of the car.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “DVSA’s first priority is to protect everyone from unsafe vehicles and drivers.

“We are investigating reported faults with Vauxhall Corsa D and E models. Anyone who finds a serious safety defect with their vehicle should report it to us.

“We’ve also made it clear that it’s vital that Vauxhall should be doing everything possible to ensure the safety of its customers and their families. We’re also working with the Department for Transport to consider further action.”

Iain Stewart, a Tory MP who sits on the Commons transport committee, said Vauxhall should either immediately arrange for a recall and fix of affected cars or “be upfront and demonstrate beyond doubt why there are no grounds for concern”.

He added: “I shall be discussing these allegations with my colleagues on the committee and we may decide to reopen our inquiry into this matter.”