Rob calls for better industry cooperation after Vauxhall fire Select Committee inquiry

Stoke-on-Trent South Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Rob Flello, says insurers, manufacturers and regulators must do more to share vital information about dangerous car defects.  Rob was a member of the influential Commons Transport Select Committee before the election was called.  The committee has just released its report into 120 fires in Vauxhall Zafiras caused by faulty design and inadequate repair.  He says many of the fires could have been prevented if information was shared more quickly and effectively.

Rob says, “There’s currently no method for collating and sharing information where the same problem occurs over and over again with a particular model.  The insurance industry treats them as one-off cases where they could be noticing more quickly if a pattern emerges.  Vauxhall recalled vehicles once it knew there was a problem but made inadequate improvements so some of those types of car still caught fire, which, as the report says, was ‘gambling with people’s lives.’  If a database of fires was collated by the insurers and shared with the DVSA [Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency], the fire services, the wider motor trade and the Department for Transport, everyone would have realised much more quickly that the problem hadn’t been properly dealt with.”  

Rob also says significant repairs should be inspected as part of the MOT process with the kind of attention to detail expected in aviation.  “Before an aircraft takes to the skies it has to have a certificate of airworthiness to make sure it’s safe.  The whole point of an MOT test is to have the same certainty where motor vehicles are concerned, so it stands to reason that critical repairs and modifications should be checked out. Rob would like to see safety-critical repairs needing to be signed off by the MOT inspector as having been done properly and safely.