Tag Archive | "Vauxhall"

‘DAMNING’ REPORT INTO ZAFIRA FIRES PUBLISHED

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‘DAMNING’ REPORT INTO ZAFIRA FIRES PUBLISHED


The Transport Select Committee has published its long-awaited report on the spate of Zafira car fires and Vauxhall’s reaction to it.

The report follows last year’s hearing, in which a panel of MPs grilled GM bosses on the issue. In it, the committee is damning of the VMs original claim that the fires were caused by ‘improper repairs’ carried out by the aftermarket. “A fire cannot occur in a Zafira’s heating and ventilation system solely because the resistor controlling the speed of the blower motor has been improperly repaired; another fault, such as corrosion of the blower motor due to water ingress, would also need to be present” read the opening paragraph of the report’s summary.

The document is particularly critical of Vauxhall’s apparent reluctance to accept the part that corrosion in blower motors in the affected models has played in causing the fires, noting that Vauxhall’s initial investigation did not identify all the failings that could cause a fire.

An executive summary adds: “Vauxhall does not appear to have grasped the seriousness of the issue, placing the blame on third parties and addressing the problem, in the first instance, through a non-coded action rather than a recall”.

The report explains that while Vauxhall blamed the problem on ‘third party repairs’ the car-maker made no effort to find out where such ‘dangerous practices’ were carried out. However, the strongest words in the report were reserved for Vauxhall’s decision to let people to continue to use their cars after the first recall turned out to be infective ineffective amounted to ‘a reckless disregard for safety’. “This is particularly damning given its admission that it should have notified customers earlier”.

You can read the summary, recommendations and the full report here

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MILLBROOK GROUP ACQUIRED FOR £122m

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MILLBROOK GROUP ACQUIRED FOR £122m


millbrook bus

Millbrook Group, the UK’s primary testing ground for vehicles, parts and tyres has been acquired by Spectris PLC for a reported £122m.

The acquisition means that Spectris, a company involved in metering and measurement equipment, can look to providing Millbrook with modern hardware and software suitable for testing components and systems that will be fitted to coming generations of hybrid and electric vehicles.

The deal also includes a subsidiary business called Test World. This operation is based in Finland and specialises in testing snow tyres and winter products in the Arctic Circle.

Under the previous ownership of private equity group Rutland Partners, Millbrook has seen its stock rise over the past few years. Rutland acquired the facility from General Motors in 2013 and introduced a new senior management team lead by CEO Alex Burns with an eight-fold increase in underlying earnings following a £20m investment. Burns and his team will remain in place under the new owner.

Eoghan O’Lionaird, Business Group Director at Spectris, said: “Millbrook represents our largest purchase to date of a pure testing services business. It is closely related to our existing instrumentation businesses and, as such, the acquisition is an important step forward.”

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ANGER FROM AFTERMARKET OVER NEW ZAFIRA RECALL


Recall for Zafira B models

Recall for Zafira B models

Vauxhall has announced a recall for Zafira B cars after an electrical problem caused some of the vehicles to burst into flames. This follows on from the VM’s voluntary check earlier in the year, for which it blamed the problems on ‘improper repairs’.

The latest call back has caused more confusion for who’s to blame for starting the fires with the VM’s previous claims highlighting third parties had carried out improper repairs to the vehicle’s blower motor resistor.

According to the VM, the recall will focus on “improving the robustness of the system” instead of replacing the resistor and its fuse, which the firm started doing last year. The recall will also involve replacing the current ‘soldered fuse resistor with a wax fuse resistor to reduce the opportunity for manipulation’ according to a statement.

When the recalls are complete, all vehicles will have a new wax fuse resistor, a new blower motor and a new moulding at the base of the windscreen to address water ingress.”

Stuart James, Director of the Independent Garage Association, responded to the allegations: “I have not seen any evidence that indicates that it’s a third party repairer fixing the faults. They’ve made an allegation but no evidence has been produced at this stage”.

Although the aftermarket has come under fire from the previous allegations, James is confident that this shouldn’t affect independent garages going forward: “Whilst the media have picked up on repairs being carried out by the aftermarket, I don’t think most consumers will take much notice. It’s just one party blaming another and I think consumers are smarter than that”.

Comments on social media seem to back this theory up. One poster on the Mail Online website said: “My local ‘stealership’ hardly has the motivation to do what’s on the service schedule let alone go off on a tangent and play around with the electrics. Vauxhall, your excuse is rubbish! I think the words you’re struggling to find are ‘poor design on our part.’

Vauxhall advises all drivers who haven’t had work completed from the first recall to take their cars to their nearest dealership for servicing.

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