Concerns over second-hand Vauxhall Zafira sales

Concerns have been raised over potentially illegal sales of Vauxhall Zafiras by used-car dealers, the BBC reports.

Safety recalls were issued for more than 234,000 Zafiras made between 2005 and 2014 in order to prevent them bursting into flames. As a result of the safety issues, the cars should not be sold to new owners until repairs have been carried out.

However, BBC Radio 4’s consumer programme, You & Yours, has discovered that some sales have occurred without the necessary repairs done and without buyers being informed about the problem.
Vauxhall issued a safety recall, saying they wanted all models to be returned to garages to be checked over and, if necessary, fixed free of charge to prevent them catching fire.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s guidance for the used-vehicle trade, outstanding recalls need to be checked if you are selling a vehicle to a consumer and any safety recalls must be attended to prior to the consumer purchasing the vehicle.

Lead officer for the motor trade with the Chartered Institute of Trading Standards, Tim Milsom, said: “It’s really important for any motor dealer that is having a Vauxhall Zafira that is affected by this recall on their forecourt to actually have this work done prior to exposing it to sale. “If they fail to do that then they might be constituting a possible criminal offence.”

Legislation for civil and criminal law dictates that any product sold in the UK must be safe for consumer use.
Milsom cites the Sale Of Goods Act, General Product Safety Regulations 2005, Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations and, in the case of cars, the Road Traffic Act.

“Stating or otherwise creating the impression that a product can be legally sold when it cannot is also an offence. But it is important to say that only a court of law can interpret the law,” Milsom explained.

On 28 May this year, Zafira issued a second safety recall for model B Zafiras as the first “fix” failed to solve the problem. However, the vehicles have continued to be sold by some used-car dealers, despite not having the second recall work done.

Consequently, some consumers have unknowingly bought Vauxhall Zafiras subject to two outstanding recalls as work from the initial safety recall in December 2015 has also not been carried out.

Owners are being informed by Vauxhall to get affected vehicles booked in for the latest remedial work. Until they are fixed, the manufacturing company says it is “very important” owners set the vehicles’ heating and ventilation system only at fan speed zero or four in order to prevent the risk of fire.

The fire risk affects 234,938 Zafira B models. While there is no official number on how many have caught fire, it is reported that the figure stands at 300.
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