1. ITV Report

Zafira campaigners say Vauxhall should be prosecuted over fires

Campaigners believe around 300 Zafiras have caught fire in recent years Credit: Lisa Taperek

A damning report by MPs says Vauxhall had a "reckless disregard for safety" by not stopping owners of Zafira B vehicles driving, despite knowing they were a fire risk.

A parliamentary report also accused the motor manufacturer of being too slow to begin a full investigation into the risk.

The report by the Commons' Transport Select Committee found the firm then acted prematurely in attributing the problem to improper repairs by third parties.

  • The affected cars are right-hand drive Zafira Bs.
  • They were built between 2005 and 2014.
  • All the models have manual transmission or no air conditioning.

Campaigners claim more than 300 Zafiras have caught fire in recent years - some serious enough to destroy entire vehicles.

In some cases, drivers were left with just a few seconds to escape.

Fire crews tackle the blaze in Sue Freemantle's Zafira in Ivybridge Credit: Sue Freemantle

Sue Freemantle from Ivybridge in Plymouth has never given up putting pressure on the firm to take action. She filmed the moment her car burst into flames and then discovered hundreds of other drivers had been affected.

She and fellow Zafira owner Claire Wheatley then took on Vauxhall, rallying other owners to the cause through Facebook.

Sue Freemantle is in no doubt that Vauxhall should be prosecuted over the issue.

I think how Vauxhall has handled this has been disgraceful from the start. I would like to see that from the report today that Vauxhall are prosecuted for what they've put the customers through.

– Sue Freemantle, Campaigner

Jo Hunt from Taunton is also campaigning about the Zafira Bs. She also thinks Vauxhall should be prosecuted. She told ITV News that she wants peace of mind about the vehicle because people are still experiencing problems.

ITV News asked Vauxhall about these concerns. This is the firm's response.

We have done everything we can to keep our customers safe. Investigating fires is one of the most difficult things to do. There is little to work on, vehicles are completely burnt out. You have to be 100% sure of the root cause before you take action, you can't take guesses.

The first recall reacted to a major issue, that of manipulated thermal fuses - a 2.5% incidence. It is unfortunate that we found a second root cause, that was due to ongoing rigorous inspection of fires. The result of that second investigation is the second recall which will provide a robust solution to the problem.

Safety continues to be our number one priority, we know why the cars are catching fire and through the second recall we will provide the solution.

– Vauxhall Motors spokesperson