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Additional Summary Steps

Further summary steps, as also outlined in the Clio Action Group - a Google Group solely set-up to discuss this "bonnet release" subject in more detail:

Clio Action Group | Google Groups

1. Contact Renault Customer Services
Renault, as a responsible manufacturer, want to know when a bonnet flies open on one of their vehicles. It is not clear what they do with this information - but they do want to know. Renault Customer Services can be contacted on 0800 072 3372. As an indication of how seriously Renault take this recurrence, expect to be passed to a Customer Services Manager. The Customer Services Managers that tend to deal with Clio cases are:

* Nicky Glasscott
* Alex Phelan
* Dan Hawkes

They are extremely helpful, they tend to ask four questions:
  • Was anybody hurt in the accident?
  • When did you last open the bonnet?
  • Have you maintained the bonnet catch mechanism?
  • Have you received your 'reassurance letter'? (See #)

# -- a reassurance letter is a way of inviting you for a free service to attend to a part that 'isn't defective', but goes wrong because the silly owners forget to maintain, in this the bonnet catch mechanism. It even helps you by providing you with a new page for your vehicle handbook, so you don't forget again! The reassurance letter looks like this: reassurance letter. The benefits of using a reassurance letter are that it is not a formal recall, and you don't have to notify other countries in the EU via RapEx (EU Rapid Exchange System - see here) that you have a dangerous product on the market - unlike a formal recall.

We have found they have been informed by Renault that they do not accept liability for the this common occurrence - and accused the owner of "not closing the bonnet correctly" in the prescribed manner (referencing the owner's handbook) or had not "maintained the latch correctly". Expect to be told to contact your insurance company to arrange for the car to be fixed.

Important - offer Renault the chance to perform an engineers report on your vehicle. If it gets to court, Renault have been stating they were not offered the opportunity to examine the vehicle.

2. Tell people about your experiences
Send an email to the Clio Action Group and a forum thread set-up here on - there is also a questionnaire which can be completed to capture the reported incidents.

We are collating information to gather how many people this has happened to, the average cost to the individual.

3. Tell BBC Watchdog
Watchdog regularly feature this problem on their show. Make sure they realise the problem hasn't gone away. They have stated on air they receive about 6 new incidents a week - make sure you are included in this figure as it could be more. Watchdog can be contacted on . Watchdog don't have time to reply to everyone - but they are keeping an eye on the situation.

4. Tell VOSA if you are not happy with the situation
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) are the government agency responsible for ensuring the roadworthiness standards of vehicles. This included recalls and MOTs. VOSA was formed on April 1st 2003, you'll know this date as April Fools Day - some of our members think this is fitting. VOSA and Renault stand united on the issues of bonnets flying open on Clios - in fact - they often use the same language, even the same sentences in the same order - we don't know who writes them though!). A Freedom of Information request to VOSA yielded this standard response.

VOSA can enforce a recall, but have chosen not to on this occasion. VOSA are confident there is no safety defect, because they looked at three Clios in a car park, and there was nothing wrong with any of them. At this point, VOSA noted "the bonnet catch and release mechanism is a non-servicable item.", however have concluded that failures in bonnets are due to the failure to maintain this part. Why not read this report for yourself VOSA Report - 28th April 2006.pdf.

VOSA, to make sure they had not made a mistake, they looked at three more Clios. By now, they were so confident in their original findings, they didn't document their findings!! In case you are surprised by this, don't worry - it's VOSA standard practice not document investigations. This is because they are ad hoc examinations. They also looked at 10 Clios randomly - again ad hoc, so no need to write anything down. By now, VOSA engineers have probably stumbled on more Clios randomly, so expect a different number if you ask VOSA the number of checks they have completed.

To make sure they had not missed anything in their random approach to engineering, senior delegates from VOSA have watched a video produced by Renault - which proves that this occurence is down to maintenance. They watched it several times to make sure. Read about the VOSA investigation VOSA Investigation.pdf.

Read the latest position from VOSA on Renault Clios, sent in a Briefing Note to the Department for Transport. Note how the VOSA Briefing Note states that VOSA have been informed that Clio owners should have received their Reassurance Letter by now.

If you have not received your Reassurance Letter, why not send a letter to VOSA, Renault and Jim Fitzpatrick - Minister for Road Safety telling them this - at the moment they believe all Clio owners have been warned. They can be contacted at:

and CC

A petition was set-up at the PM's office. Read the latest government viewpoint on this at: faultycliobonnet - epetition response

5. Sign the VOSA Independent Review Petition
This is exactly what it says on the tin: do it here: Petition to: Commission an independent committee of MPs to look into VOSA’s activities.

6. If you are not happy with the Government response... ...highlight this to them and the opposition spokespersons on transport:

Minister for Road Safety
Jim Fitzpatrick MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5085/6215
Fax: 020 7219 2776

Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport:
Theresa Villiers MP
163 High Street
T: 020 8449 7345
F: 020 8449 7346

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson
Suite 302
Parkway House
East Sheen
SW14 8LS
Tel: (020) 8876 8914


Aaron Brigatti
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