Dad sues Vauxhall after burning Zafira traps him and his young daughter
A Swansea trawlerman is suing Vauxhall after claiming that he and his three year old daughter were left trapped in one of the brand's vehicles – as it went up in flames.
Jason Williams, 41, owned a Vauxhall Zafira – a model with a well-documented fire risk. The company was forced to recall 235,000 models of the second-generation Zafira, after over 200 cases of spontaneous combustion were reported.
The problem was put down to a faulty heater resistor, and the brand came under criticism for its slow response to the situation.
Williams was trapped in one such fire with his three year old daughter, and told courts that the vehicle's central locking failed, leaving the pair trapped inside.
He said that he attempted to smash a window to climb out of but was unable to do so, and only escaped when a passer-by pulled the door open from the outside.
He said: "I thought I was going to watch my daughter die. There had been reports and Vauxhall could have done more.
"I pulled up... and took the seat belts off my daughter and tried to get her out. The doors were basically locked and I couldn't get her out at all. I was punching at the glass to try and break the window.
"I had hold of my daughter's hand because at one point the smoke was quite thick in the car. There's a release button on the dashboard which opens the central locking. Obviously because of the fire, electrics burning, it wasn't working...terrifying, really petrifying."
Williams suffered damage to his hand, while his daughter was treated for smoke inhalation. He's attempting to sue Vauxhall for £500,000, but the company disputes his claim on 'very substantial grounds'.