Back in 2013 my parents helped me buy a new Vauxhall Zafira, what we thought was a nice safe family car. It turns out we were wrong, we had actually purchased what could be a deathtrap, the B model. Potentially deadly fires have started spontaneously in Vauxhall Zafira B cars since 2009 but for some reason it took you till 2014/15 to realise there was a problem.
I’m not sure why it wasn’t looked in to sooner? You openly admitted to the Commons’ transport committee last week that you first recorded a case of a Zafira suspected of catching fire over the issue in February 2009. Yet you continued to do nothing, continued to make the cars and sell them to families. The fact it is a family car does make it worse, it means there are likely to be children in the car, more than one child which is why people buy larger family cars. All children in the car may be young enough to not be able to get out of their car seats by themselves in the case of an emergency. I don’t know even if my eldest at 8 would be able to get out of the boot quickly and safely in a panic. How are you mean to remove yourself and children from the car in seconds, a minute? How long exactly does it take for the cars to go up in flames?
It’s even more scary that it appears you don’t actually know what it is that’s causing them. After the first recall we were told our cars were now safe to drive, but they weren’t were they? After fires happened in the recalled cars you are now doing another one. So will it be safe after this one? I bought a car with air conditioning so I could use it, not have the fan set to 0 or 4 with no air con on. Is it even safe like that?
My car is still being paid off through finance through yourselves and is worth much less now than it should be thanks to all of this. Will you be providing financial compensation to all your customers, the ones directly affected by the fires and the ones who now have a worthless, unsafe car? I know I wouldn’t buy one now. This means thousands of families are in the same situation we are, unable to sell and buy a new, safe car to put our families in.
My real question is this, would YOU, Peter Hope, drive one with your family in it?
I bet your answer is a no and in that case why are you letting the 234,938 cars you sold to families drive on the road? It’s only a matter of time before something awful happens.
We are driving the car to Devon at the weekend and I will be travelling the whole way with my fingers crossed that nothing happens.
Images were kindly provided to me by the owner of the above car.