Vauxhall announces handbrake actionMove comes after Which? revealed roll-away problem

17 January 2008

Vectra

Vauxhall: discount saves the day

Vauxhall has announced it is to modify the handbrakes on a quarter of a million cars – six months after Which? revealed it had a problem with runaway vehicles.

Owners of 250,000 manual transmission Vectras and Signums produced from 2002 will be told to contact their nearest dealer for a free modification.

Since last July we’ve revealed how dozens of Vectra and Signum owners have been lumbered with expensive repair bills after their parked cars had rolled away.

Partial release

In some cases, people have even been injured when they were in the way.

Vauxhall said at the time that it couldn't find a fault with the handbrake mechanism and instead wrote to Vectra and Signum owners about how to apply the handbrake.

However, following tests, now it’s found that if you apply the handbrake by depressing the release button, it’s possible that the mechanism will be left partially released.

Modification

The car giant still maintains that the handbrake system used in the Vectra and Signum is safe.

But it says it has decided to modify the mechanism to ‘reduce the possibility of a partial release when incorrectly setting the handbrake’.

The modification will be carried out on a phased basis and the exact timings will depend upon the availability of parts.

Contact Vauxhall

Vectra and Signum owners who have concerns about their car should call Vauxhall Customer Service on 0845 090 2044 or via email at vauxhall.customerassistance@uk.gm.com.

Vauxhall has again advised drivers about advice in the Highway Code when parking on a slope.

The code says drivers should use the gearbox to secure the car: if facing uphill, select first gear, or reverse if facing downhill.

Automatic vehicles should be left in ‘Park’. It’s also a good idea to point the front wheels so that the car will roll into the kerb, should the handbrake fail.