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Vauxhall cars in new fire risk alert

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

The boss of Vauxhall has told ITV News the company is today writing to hundreds of thousands of vehicle owners warning of a new fire risk.

This will be the third time the same Vauxhall Zafiras have been recalled over similar dangers. We’ve had dozens of reports where the cars have burst into flames, often leaving owners terrified.

In an exclusive interview, the company’s managing director told us he rejects MPs' claims the manufacturer has been “reckless over safety”.

Around 235,000 Zafira B vehicles manufactured between 2005- 2014 are to be recalled yet again.

The same cars have previously been recalled for fire risks in 2015 and 2016, following at least 67 fires confirmed as being caused by a fault identified around five years ago.

Vauxhall boss Stephen Norman spoke exclusively to ITV News. Credit: ITV News

Letters are being sent to vehicle owners today, alerting them to this new problem and offering a free repair, which will take around an hour per vehicle.

Vauxhall has confirmed to ITV News that there have been 10 incidents of "overheating" of components caused by this latest problem and one confirmed fire in a vehicle.

Anyone concerned that their vehicle may be in the recall batch should click here for full details or call 08000 260866.

In an exclusive interview for ITV News, Vauxhall's Managing Director Stephen Norman told us: "It is because safety and security is paramount that we wish to make this third recall- and of course it is inconvenient - and yes I do apologise for that inconvenience."

The company insists that the first two recalls have provided a "robust solution" to the fire risks identified in 2015, but the new alert concerns a different problem only identified recently.

The same cars have previously been recalled for fire risks in 2015 and 2016. Credit: PA

After dozens of car fires, MPs on the Transport Select Committee investigated Vauxhall's previous recalls of the Zafira B and concluded that the company had "reckless disregard for safety" and had a "sluggish approach".

Stephen Norman has rejected accusations that the firm put its business and reputation ahead of safety, telling ITV News earlier recalls "happened as soon as the root cause had been identified".

However the Vauxhall boss conceded: "The two initial recalls, it would have been better if they had been managed more speedily had the root causes been identified earlier.

"In this particular case I am convinced the speed of reaction is faster then anything done before."

Owners will want reassurance this wont happen again - but Vauxhall cannot rule out further recalls.

It says safety comes first - even if that means further action in future.

Mr Norman has since apologised "unreservedly" for any risk and inconvenience caused.