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post #955 of (permalink) Old 29th March 2010
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Re: BBC Watchdog report :: Faulty Renault Clio bonnet catches

The letter I published in late February to Renault-Nissan group, as below:

"I do believe that the timing of this letter cannot come at a better time, as we are see a spate of "high-profile" safety issues being noted around the world; with one notable exception, no formal recall has been published to resolve the Clio-2 Bonnet catch mechanism failure safety issue that are still apparent.

What is more surprising is that after 4+ years after I filed the first formal report to Renault of my Clio bonnet flying up and smashing my windscreen whilst I was driving (without warning), we still hear incidents being reported. The continuous increase of reported cases is extremely concerning, and all efforts have to remain on ensuring the root-cause of the issue is fully resolved for the sake of all Clio-2 owners.

Let’s quote an article in the recent US Congress hearings into the massive Toyota recall – there are some synergies to your own safety concerns:

• Toyota "consistently dismissed" the possibility that electronic failures could be responsible for acceleration problems

• the report that Toyota commissioned to look at potential electronic problems appeared to have "serious flaws" and the company was too slow in initiating it

• Toyota's public statements about the adequacy of its recent recalls appeared to be "misleading".

It is clear that the comments raised by the US Congress refer to the same context for Renaults own bonnet catch safety concerns. You may also realise that in the UK the DoT VOSA definition is as follows:

• the evidence indicates the existence of a safety defect in the vehicles; and

• the defect appears to be common to a number of vehicles; and

• some of the vehicles involved have already been sold for use in the UK.

What evidence would a manufacture require to confirm that an issue exists, your Engineer’s and VOSA quoted corrosion was present affecting a part that was design / manufactured as maintenance-free? If there is a chance that a mechanism that acts as a safety device that does not operate in 100% of cases, then this is a defect, the catch is simply not fit for purpose. A report which you published jointly with VOSA outlines that there are known contributable factors which can result in the mechanism failing to function effectively.

I call upon you as the Global Head of Renault Group to respond directly to the concerns raised and the risk that continues to exist with your vehicles in the UK and around the world. Your lives of your customers continued to be put at risk; surely this alone goes above all other points and policies, common-sense should prevail in this particular safety concern. Please issue a recall and replace the defective parts."

I received a standard response, advising that they completed a thorough and joint-investigation with VOSA, which confirmed no safety defect existed...lalalalalala! Usual rubbish!

My subsequent letter back in mid-March just resulted in a "thank you for your letter, acknowledged, but no further comment to add". Hmmm... head back in the sands methink! Will they ever learn?


Aaron Brigatti
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