Vauxhall is to recall some of its Zafira models, after 130 of the cars were reported to have burst into flames.
The British car manufacturer is investigating the problem, which is affecting some vehicles made between 2005 and 2014.
Denis Chick, Vauxhall’s director of communications, said 225,000 of these were sold in the UK, but the firm will have “no idea” how many are at risk until further inquiries are made.
He said “there will be a recall when we get a root cause” and, until then, concerned owners are advised to book an appointment with their local Vauxhall dealer for a free inspection.
Chick said: “In some cases, there’s no advance warning [of the fire].
“Smoke comes through the dashboard vents and within a few minutes the car’s on fire. People, fortunately, have got time to pull over, stop and get out of the vehicle.
"We haven’t had any cases yet of an accident or injury, to our knowledge, as a result of all of this, but, yes, of course it’s serious.”
Vauxhall has identified potential problems with the heating fan, pollen filter and resistor in cars that have been repaired using “a non-Vauxhall-approved component”, Chick said.
The resistor will be replaced in every vehicle, free of charge.
“The reason we’re going to do that is we have found a number of cases where the resistor is a non-Vauxhall-approved component, it’s a copycat part,” said Chick.
“We want to see how many of those are in the system. We want to see whether that’s potentially an issue.
“It’s just one line of inquiry, at the moment, but that’s why we’re going to take them all out, so we can actually look at them carefully.”
Chick added that a lot of the vehicles made since 2005 are on their second, third, or fourth owners.
“People go to all sorts of independent operators, backstreet garages, to get their cars serviced, or if they have a problem,” he said.
“We’re finding a number of these vehicles have not got a full service history. We have no idea how many vehicles may be affected by an issue until we see more.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved