Opel has not ruled out a recall of thousands of its Zafira family cars after one of the vehicles burst into flames in Passage West, Co Cork.
The car had been about to board the Passage West to Cobh ferry yesterday morning when the fire started in the dashboard area. The driver managed to escape but soon the front of the vehicle was engulfed in flames and it was destroyed.
Reports in Britain suggest there have been up to 130 similar incidents affecting the Vauxhall equivalent and a recall there is also being considered.
A Facebook page, entitled ‘Vauxhall zafira car fires’, has been set up by concerned owners in Britain. By yesterday evening, it had 10,580 members.
Last night Opel said it was carrying out an investigation “following reports of fire in the area of the heating and ventilation system in a number of Opel Zafiras”.
It said the Zafira B model, launched in 2005, was affected, not the current Zafira Tourer.
“While the number of incidents is very low in proportion to the number of vehicles on the road, we take this issue very seriously and will take further action,” the company said.
The manufacturer also said it will be working with local authorities in Cork to identify the cause of the “thermal incident” reported in the Zafira in Passage West, as part of its investigation.
“The safety of our customers is the number one priority,” it said.
“Our investigations to date have found that a number of incidents have occurred due to previous repairs being performed improperly or using certain non-genuine parts.”
Opel said that any Zafira owners concerned about driving their car because of the incidents, or who notice any unusual characteristics with the heating and ventilation system, such as a squeaking noise from the dashboard, should contact their Opel dealer and arrange for the vehicle to be inspected.
“This will be done at no cost,” it said. “Opel will consider further actions as appropriate. For further information customers should call Opel Customer Assistance on 01 5339818.”
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