The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency has acknowledged the root cause of the fires affecting Vauxhall Zafira B models.
An improperly repaired thermal fuse in the heating and ventilation system, potentially affecting some 234,938 vehicles, has been identified as the cause for concern.
Vauxhall has contacted all Vauxhall Zafira B owners and has already rectified the fault in more than 45,000 units, and it aims to have completed the recall within 10 to 12 weeks. The recall has also been reclassified as a safety recall due to the nature of the fault.
More than 230,000 Vauxhall Zafira B models are being recalled, after some customers reported fires breaking out in the dashboard.
Vauxhall says the potential issue only relates to vehicles with manual air conditioning or no air conditioning built between 2005 and 2014 - in effect, the Mk2 Zafira, known as Zafira B. The first generation and the current Zafira Tourer are not affected, nor are Mk2 Zafiras with automatic climate control.
The problem was first highlighted in October, prompting Vauxhall to begin an immediate investigation into the cause of the fires. Although these investigations have been hampered by the fire damage, ongoing research has highlighted possible irregularities with the blower motor resistor and the thermal fuse, which is designed to protect the system. However, Vauxhall has suggested that the problem only manifests itself when improper repairs have taken place.
"If you are the first owner and your system is functioning well, there should be no risk," said Rory Harvey, managing director of Vauxhall
Vauxhall will now write to all owners of affected vehicles, with letters requesting them to go to a dealership going out from November 12. Concerned owners can also contact a helpline on 0800 026 0034, email email@example.com or find further advice at www.vauxhall.co.uk/zafiracustomeradvice.html.
Harvey added: "We are very sorry that this situation has arisen. Safety is our key priority. We have been investigating this issue with the utmost priority."