Vauxhall under scrutiny after series of Corsa fires

3rd November 2016 SWVaux

Vauxhall faced criticism in Last nights (2 November) episode of BBC Watchdog for a series of fires that have afflicted its Corsa hatchback. The BBC handed Vauxhall details of seven such incidents ahead of the broadcast.

Vauxhall states three of the seven affected Corsas have a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 2,767 of its cars with this engine are already subject to a safety recall. Corsas built between July 2012 and September 2014 in Eisenach, Germany, may have faulty wiring for their vacuum relay pump, which can potentially cause a fire due to water ingress.

The recall affects Corsa Ds with the 1.4-litre turbo engine in SE, SRi and Black Edition trims. All affected owners have been written to, and Vauxhall says 36% (just under 1,000 cars) have been repaired.

More worryingly, four of the seven cars highlighted in the Watchdog programme haven’t yet been subject to a recall. It’s not clear whether they fall outside the production dates covered, but they do have different engines from the 1.4-litre turbo; either way, Corsa owners will want to know whether their cars pose a potential danger.

Vauxhall inspected one of the seven cars featured in lastnight’s story and found the fire was indeed caused by the faulty vacuum relay pump’s wiring. The company has had difficulty contacting the cars’ owners in some cases, while in others it’s in the process of trying to arrange an inspection.

Vauxhall is keen to highlight there are over 18,000 vehicles fires a year in the UK across all brands, and the seven cars covered in tonight’s show make up a tiny fraction of that number. The carmaker was previously aware of nine Corsa Ds with faulty relay pump wiring, two of which caught fire.

This story comes relatively hot on the heels of a recall prompted by a spate of fires affecting the Vauxhall Zafira ‘B’. In that case, Vauxhall recalled over 200,000 Zafiras following another investigation by BBC Watchdog.

If you’re a Corsa owner concerned by this latest issue, visit the DVSA’s recall checker for more information, or contact Vauxhall’s customer care team on 0800 026 0867.

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