Vauxhall chairman and managing director Rory Harvey has released a video (watch it below) addressing customers about the recent reports of its Zafira model bursting into flames.
In the video, Harvey apologised for the issue and said: “Our investigation has found evidence of improper repairs of the blower motor resistor and its thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the blower motor system.”
Motoring Research has discovered hundreds of cheap Vauxhall Zafira blower motor resistors being sold on eBay. While it’s not confirmed if they’re linked to the fires, the internet parts are unlikely to be genuine and will correspond with Vauxhall’s implication that cars have been repaired incorrectly.
Harvey added: “At this stage, further analysis is ongoing towards verifying the root cause of the fires. This leads me to why it has taken some time to find the root cause and provide an answer.
“Unfortunately, fires in cars can provide a major challenge to investigators as many are damaged beyond investigation. As such we need to get to the root cause through a detailed analysis of a significant number of vehicles.”
But owners have reacted sceptically to the issue. Darren Lee McCarney posted in the Vauxhall Zafira car fires Facebook group, which originally highlighted the fires, saying: “Vauxhall has made a statement heavily guided by a legal team. That video wasn’t a man concerned for people lives, that was a video of a well-prepared legally-versed puppet promising nothing more than we are already getting.”
Stephen Mitchell added: “He doesn’t want to speculate only facts, yet he is blaming non-genuine parts. Says are cars are safe after the checks but doesn’t know the root cause! What about cars that have had genuine parts fitted and gone up! A carefully worded statement about what we already know to try pull wool over our eyes to make them look good!”
Only Zafira B models, built between 2005 and 2014 are affected, and only those fitted with the standard air conditioning unit, rather than the similar-looking climate control system.
Vauxhall is now writing to 220,000 owners asking them to take their Zafira to their local dealership for a free inspection. Any suspect components will be changed free of charge.
The manufacturer is yet to confirm if any other models are affected.