Vauxhall tries to pour cold water on Corsa fire risk claims after concerns raised over heater systems

Rebecca Smith
Vauxhall said it had
Vauxhall said it had "no confirmed reports" of vehicle fires (Source: Vauxhall)

Vauxhall has made an effort to reassure customers by refuting claims models of its Corsa have a potential fire risk.

An investigation by The Sun claimed heater wiring in Corsa Ds and Es built since 2006 is susceptible to heat damage.

The newspaper commissioned a report by forensic investigation firm GBB, after several Corsa owners reported their cars catching fire.

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The report said it found the heater wiring harnesses of the cars is similar to that in Hummer H3 vehicles - made by Vauxhall's parent company General Motors.

Last year GM recalled 164,993 Hummer H3s after 42 fires since 2009. Vauxhall recalled 220,000 last year Zafira B cars after a series of fires too.

An investigation in November by BBC's Watchdog programme then found there had been fire issues in Corsa Ds.

Lead engineer at GBB Philip Hoyes, who authored the report for The Sun, said: "The resistive heating associated with Zafira B failure mode 2 has also been identified in the heater wiring harnesses of Vauxhall Corsa D models.

"A fire damaged Corsa D, with a history of wiring harness damage, was examined to reveal an origin of fire in the region of the heater system."

In response, a company spokesperson said:

Vauxhall confirms that there is a different vehicle heating and ventilation system configuration in Corsa D/E to the HUMMER H3, inclusive of a different connector.

This why the risk assessment applied to the HUMMER H3 cannot be applied to Corsa D/E.

Vauxhall has no confirmed reports of vehicle fires originating in the vehicle heating and ventilation system of the Vauxhall Corsa D/E.

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Transport Select Committee member Iain Stewart had called on Vauxhall to either recall models of its Corsa or "be upfront and demonstrate beyond doubt why there are no grounds for concern".

Earlier this year, the company issued a Vauxhall Corsa recall for 2,767 vehicles. Owners of the fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa D reported cases of it catching fire.

In April, Vauxhall identified a fault with the braking system in some models where water was able to seep in and interfere with the electronics, sparking a fire. It then issued the recall.

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said:

DVSA’s first priority is to protect everyone from unsafe vehicles and drivers.

We are investigating reported faults with Vauxhall Corsa D and E models. Anyone who finds a serious safety defect with their vehicle should report it to us.

We’ve also made it clear that it’s vital that Vauxhall should be doing everything possible to ensure the safety of its customers and their families. We’re also working with the Department for Transport to consider further action.

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