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Thousands of Opel cars may be recalled over fire concern

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
The fire in Cork this morning (Credit: RTE)
The fire in Cork this morning (Credit: RTE)

Thousands of Opel Zafira vehicles may have to be recalled over a fire concern.

A series of fires have occurred in the Zafira model both in Ireland and the UK. The latest occurred in Cork this morning. 

Emergency services were called to the scene after a man was forced to abandon his car when it caught fire. He was about to board the ferry from Passage West to Cobh when a fire started in the dashbaord of his car.

The man managed to escape the car but it was subsequently written off. 

Opel this evening released a statement this evening.

"Opel is currently carrying out an investigation following reports of fire in the area of the heating and ventilation system in a number of Opel Zafiras (Zafira B model launched in 2005, not current Zafira Tourer).  

"While the number of incidents is very low in proportion to the number of vehicles on the road, we take this issue very seriously and will take further action. Opel will be working with the local authorities to identify the probable cause of the thermal incident reported in an Opel Zafira in Passage West, Co. Cork today as part of this investigation."

Those who bought the Zafira model between 2005 and 2014 to contact their local garage if they have a concern. 

"If you are concerned about operating your vehicle or if you notice any unusual characteristics with the heating and ventilation system (for example a squeaking noise from the dashboard) you should contact your Opel dealer and arrange for your vehicle to be inspected. This will be done at no cost."

In the UK, Vauxhall have committed to recalling thousands of Zafira vehicles following a large number of fires. 

The British equivalent of the Opel brand under which GM sells elsewhere in Europe, said it was aware of at least 133 cases reported via the group, which have been dealt with by insurance companies, alongside 20 cases which Vauxhall itself had been inspecting. 

The company said it was writing to Britain's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to seek a full list of current owners and their addresses, a necessary step were the company to write to drivers in the event of a recall.
 
Vauxhall said only some right-hand drive models, sold primarily in Britain, were affected, alongside smaller numbers in markets such as Ireland, Malta and Cyprus.
 
“The design of the heating and ventilation system on left-hand drive cars is different," the spokesman said.
 
The fault is occurring within a system which only has three components: a resistor, fan motor and pollen filter, a spokesman said, noting the company did not yet know the cause.
 
"Logically (the fault) it's in there, or the way they are interacting, or the way the way they are aging, or the way they've been maintained," a spokesman said.
 
"When we get to the root cause, then we will take the necessary action, which could mean a recall