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Fiery incidents prompt concerns for Vauxhall Zafira owners

By raccars Published

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Used Vauxhall Zafira owners are being advised to get in touch with their nearest dealership in the wake of fresh fire incidents.

Zafira owners voice fire fears

Vauxhall is taking steps to address complaints about its Zafira range of people carriers after it was reported that some used models were being engulfed in flames with no obvious cause.

The manufacturer has said that anyone who is concerned should call one of its dealerships. And this story is all the more compelling because it gained momentum following a social media campaign spearheaded by a trio of mothers from different parts of the UK.

The affected Zafira models are believed to be those sold between 2005 and 2012 and it is thus far estimated that approximately 100 incidents of apparently spontaneous combustion have been reported across the UK.

Troubling reports

Those who have experienced the infernos at first hand state that the fire itself is preceded by tell-tale smoke pouring into the car’s interior, all of which seems to emanate from the engine compartment by way of the dashboard. In several cases the Zafiras in question were recent purchases.

A spokesperson for the group of women who started the Facebook campaign said that their intent was not to claim compensation from Vauxhall, but rather to encourage the company to take action so that more of its customers are not put in harm’s way, according to Auto Express.

Air con culprit

Although Vauxhall is still in the process of investigating this issue prior to any formal response, it has given some clues as to what might be causing the fires. Specifically the 20 variants of the Zafira range under scrutiny all feature manually operated air conditioning. This may or may not ultimately prove to be the source of the problem but is apparently a common factor linking the incinerated vehicles.

The Zafira is one of the UK’s most popular compact people carriers, so the number of vehicles which have been affected by the problem is tiny compared with the total number sold, according to a Vauxhall spokesperson. This suggests that the vast majority of Zafira owners are unlikely to encounter the problem.

The spokesperson went on to emphasise that the manufacturer is keen to get to the bottom of this issue and that, in fact, the source of the fires may be attributable to faulty repairs being carried out by third parties, or through the use of after-market parts during routine maintenance.

There is a clear suggestion here that Zafira owners would be wise to take their cars to an official Vauxhall dealer for any servicing or maintenance requirements; a position one would expect the manufacturer to adopt.

Call for assistance

While a mass recall of used Zafira models is not believed to be on the cards, there are some things to look out for according to Vauxhall’s investigative team. These include any odd behaviour involving the ventilation system of a car which falls within the affected age range, most notably any unexplained or uncharacteristic noises coming from within the dashboard itself.

Any concerned owners who want to have their Zafira checked can do so at their nearest Vauxhall dealership. The firm has said that it will conduct any such inspection free of charge. Clearly, until the source of the problem has been confirmed, the outcome of any inspection will by no means guarantee the absence of a latent problem.

Meanwhile, anyone who is thinking of buying a used Zafira should check the car's history to determine where servicing, MoTs and repairs have been conducted, with a full Vauxhall history likely to be more desirable.

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