Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/20/self_combusting_corsas/

Vauxhall recalls self-combusting Corsas

ABS fault provokes 'thermal incidents'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 20th August 2007 10:57 GMT

Vauxhall will re-recall over 200,000 Corsas suffering a fault in the anti-lock brake system which can provoke spontaneous combustion, the Evening Standard reports.

The company last March recalled model Cs, Tigra Bs and Combo Cs with registrations beginning 53, 54 or 55, having deduced that water penetration into the cars' ABS could cause a "short circuit and potentially a fire" - euphemistically described as "thermal incidents".

The fix evidently failed to address the problem, since owners continued to complain that their motors unexpectedly went up in flames. Last October, 51-year-old Rosemary Dent of Blacko, Lancashire, watched helpless as her £8,500 example burned furiously on her driveway, taking out hubby Neil's £15,000 Saab 9-5 in the process.

Mrs Dent recounted: "It was horrific. The first we knew was when we saw flames shooting higher than the house from the bedroom window. My car was completely ablaze. My husband had just put £50 of petrol in his car and we were frightened it would explode. Fortunately it didn't. But it was very frightening. If the car had been in the garage, our whole house could have gone up - with us in it."

A Vauxhall spokesman reassured: "The safety and quality of Vauxhall products remains our highest priority. We therefore consider any fault unacceptable. Further design improvements have been identified to address this condition.

"Vauxhall will contact all owners at the earliest opportunity recognising that a recall of this size must be completed in phases to ensure proper care of its customers, who are advised to continue using their vehicles in the normal manner." ®