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Vauxhall calls for more data to prevent vehicle fires

Date: 04 November 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Vauxhall has called on the fire and police services to provide manufacturers with greater access to vehicle fire data so they can detect problems more quickly.

The suggestion comes after a Watchdog investigation found that a number of its Corsa models fitted with a 1.4-litre petrol engine and built between 2008 and 2014 had caught fire.

Vauxhall said it had received reports of two cases which resulted in fires, and that it generally finds out about fires following media reports.

A recall to address this issue was launched in April by the car maker, and follows on from a large-scale recall for its Zafira MPV in 2015, following a number of fires.

"When customers report a fire to us we explain that an inspection may be necessary but that we need the permission of their insurance company before we can proceed. This avoids the risk of the customer's insurance policy being invalidated," the company said in a statement. "Our preference is to conduct a joint investigation with the customer's insurer but for a variety of reasons this is not always possible.

"For example, in some cases the insurance company has already conducted an investigation. In other cases the vehicle may have already been scrapped," it added. "Following the Zafira issue we strengthened our processes but even so it is not always possible to arrange an inspection.

"What's more, the destructive nature of fire can make the process of identifying a pattern of fires with a common root cause very challenging."