Last night Vauxhall announced a second recall of dangerous Zafiras after an investigation revealed that cars were still catching fire after being checked in the first recall.
Another five drivers have had their cars catch fire - despite having gone into a Vauxhall dealership after the first recall and being given the all clear.
The car manufacturing giant had previously claimed that the reason their B model cars were exploding was because of maintenance fixes rather than a design fault, but since then four Zafira owners who haven’t had any work done on their cars have also their vehicles go up in flames.
The Sun newspaper commissioned research by forensic engineers GBB, which found that there was a design fault in the Zafira B model cars – the heating system rusts prematurely and pulls in more current as it begins to stick creating the conditions for a fire.
Jacqueline Young, head of group litigation at Slater and Gordon, said: “If the findings are true, at best, Vauxhall has been woefully incompetent; at worst they have sought to conceal a potentially life endangering technical fault – the public deserve to find out which is it.
“Will this prove to be yet another scandal where major motor manufacturers show scant regard for their consumers and prioritise profit over safety and/or performance?
“The situation also begs questions about the efficacy of the DVSA (the Government agencies dedicated to monitoring manufacturing or design defects, highlighting safety concerns and monitoring safety recalls). In the current circumstances, it is difficult to view them as anything other than a toothless tiger.
“The fact that more than 100 Vauxhall Zafiras have burst into flames gives a clear signal that something is very amiss. This has been recognised by Vauxhall (despite their failure to take responsibility for the fault) and they have issued a recall of the Zafira model.”
In November, the London Fire Brigade said it had attended 71 fires in Zafiras - not including arson attacks - since 2013, compared with just 38 in the previous four years.
Offering her advice on what Vauxhall Zafira customers should do Jacqueline, said: “Customers are advised to contact their local Vauxhall Authorised Repairer to arrange a free safety inspection and repair. In light of the findings of The Sun any such repair should include the faulty blower motor.
“For the unfortunate people whose cars have burnt out, they will likely have been compelled to make insurance claims for the damage and loss. This will undoubtedly have the effect of increasing their insurance premium on renewal and they may lose the benefit of any ‘no claims bonus’ accrued.
“They will also potentially be out of pocket for any uninsured losses. If Vauxhall is responsible, these losses can viable be claimed from them. Any customers who have suffered a fire should explore these issues with their insurers.
“Additionally the insurance companies who have to date met any claims brought in respect of the burnt out vehicles, could seek to exercise their rights of subrogation, which would effectively allow them to reclaim such sums from Vauxhall.”