Zafira car caught fire in road the day Vauxhall told owner it would be recalled


A Vauxhall Zafira owner received a letter telling him his car would be recalled on the same day it burst into flames.

Damian Fisher, 43, was driving in Bromley, south-east London, when he noticed smoke coming from an air vent next to the dashboard.

He stopped the car, got out, and was inspecting the vehicle when the fire began.

"It literally took five minutes from start to finish," Mr Fisher said.

"I went into hysterics. The fire brigade turned up and said I was in shock so they got me some oxygen.

"To make matters worse when I got home there was a letter on my doorstep from Vauxhall recalling the car because it might catch fire."

Figures released last month by London Fire Brigade (LFB) show it has attended 120 Zafira fires since 2013, including 14 this year.

More than 234,000 Zafira B cars are being recalled for a second time over the issue.

Vauxhall took the decision despite a first recall last December to correct the issue, which the manufacturer said was caused by improper repairs to the people carrier's blower motor resistor.

Described by the car maker as "preventative action", the latest recall will involve "improving the overall robustness of the system" as opposed to simply replacing the resistor and its fuse, which the firm started doing last year.

Mr Fisher, a driver manager at rail firm Southeastern, called for Vauxhall to speed up the work after the letter he received said the recall would begin in August.

"They need to be doing this now," he told the Press Association.

"I've got two big dogs, that's why I've got the car. They're normally in the back. I wouldn't have got them out (in time) if they'd been in the car.

"I've got a three-year-old granddaughter who's sometimes in the car."

Announcing the latest recall in May, a Vauxhall spokesman said: "While the current action achieves the objective of returning vehicles to their original condition, after extensive investigations we have decided to go further and improve the overall robustness of the system.

"We will therefore be initiating a second recall to replace the current soldered fuse resistor with a wax fuse resistor so reducing the opportunity for manipulation.

"When the recalls are complete, all vehicles will have a new wax fuse resistor, a new blower motor and a new moulding at the base of the windscreen to address water ingress."