Vauxhall will recall and repair Zafira B models. Ironically, the HVAC fires have been the result of heater fan resistor repairs done by unauthorised workshops

Vauxhall will recall and repair Zafira B models. Ironically, the HVAC fires have been the result of heater fan resistor repairs done by unauthorised workshops

General Motors' UK unit Vauxhall has agreed to recall previous generation Zafira MPVs even though the fault, which has caused a number of vehicle fires, has been acknowledged by regulatory body The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) as an "improper repair of the thermal fuse of the resistor in the heating and ventilation system, undertaken outside of the automaker's authorised service and maintenance processes and schedule".

The agency has, however, requested the inspection and rework programme, already under way, be reclassified as a 'safety recall' which has no impact on Vauxhall's action. The automaker-authorised rework replaces the resistor pack and other faulty components and returns the heating and ventilation system to its original design state.

"We recognise that owners may have vehicles which have been improperly repaired without their knowledge or before they bought the vehicle," said Vauxhall chairman Rory Harvey. "Safety is our priority and we have been working tirelessly in the past weeks to find the root cause and contact owners to explain the situation and our actions. The DVSA's acknowledgement of the root cause is an important milestone but the important thing now is to ensure that all Zafira B owners bring their vehicles in for inspection and rework."

All 234,938 Zafira B owners in the UK have been contacted by letter to inform them of the issue and explain how they can remain safe pending inspection. So far, dealers have inspected and repaired about 45,000 vehicles. The goal is to have all cars inspected within 10 to 12 weeks.

The automaker has assured owners whose heating and ventilation system is functioning well, and never been repaired in a specific area, their cars are safe. Otherwise it has advised limited use of the ventilation fan (top speed [4] only, bypassing the fan speed controlling resistor), until the car has been checked by a Vauxhall dealer. 

Dealers will replace resistors regardless and will also test the blower motor and inspect the wiring harness and pollen filter for damage. Additional water protection installed below the windscreen scuttle panel will minimise water leaks following improper refitting after removal, the automaker said. All work will be done free of charge.