Parliament's Transport Select Committee described Vauxhall’s failure not to warn customers sooner as “morally reprehensible”.
The British car manufacturer was also deemed too slow to take action over the fires, which came to prominence in 2015, and was also too quick to blame garages for improper and unauthorised repair, said the report. It also alleged that no efforts were made to trace the poor repairs.
Vauxhall said there were “lessons to learned” from the Zafira fires.
Vauxhall sold more than 230,000 Zafira models with manual or no air conditioning between 2005 and 2014. The first report of a Zafira fire was noted by the car maker in 2009, Five years later, in 2014, concern was raised within Vauxhall that these fires had a distinctive pattern, but it wasn’t until August 2015 that Vauxhall started to investigate. At that time, 161 fires were logged.
Vauxhall’s first recall over the issue came in December 2015. In February 2016, it was made aware of the first fire in a recalled vehicle, but did not launch its second recall until May 2016.
The report heavily criticised Vauxhall in letting people continue to drive vehicles that had been recalled and returned to owners when it knew that the Zafiras could still catch fire, saying: "Vauxhall's decision to continue to let people drive affected cars amounts to a reckless disregard for safety. This is particularly damning given its admission that it should have notified customers earlier".