British consumer magazine Which? (a UK Consumer Reports equivalent) claims “furious motorists” are demanding that Vauxhall takes action after a spate of incidents in which parked cars have rolled away but the car maker says there is no issue to solve.
Drivers are blaming the car’s handbrake, which they say has released itself after they have left their vehicle. Which? claimed to know of “more than a dozen” cases involving both Vectras and Signums (a stretched hatchback variant) that have careered into other cars, trees and houses.
But Vauxhall countered that there was no problem, having tested a number of cars.
GM UK spokesman Dennis Chick told just-auto that the company would, however, write to owners reiterating handbrake application instructions already contained in the owners manual.
He noted that another manufacturer had recently done the same thing, though no faults had been found with its vehicles, either.
The Which? magazine article, surprisingly, failed to give Consumers Association members any advice about safely car parking cars, such as leaving them in gear (manual) or in Park (on automatics, and usually impossible not to do as most late UK models have a shift lever interlock controlled by the ignition key which cannot otherwise be removed).
Chick noted that such advice, including the suggestion front wheels be turned towards the kerb when parking on hills, was in the UK road code for drivers and GM owners’ manuals. One case cited by Which? included a car that rolled away down a member’s 45-degree driveway.
UK government car safety watchdog, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, (VOSA), told Which? it was investigating several cases but to date has found no problem with the design or construction of handbrakes.