Citroen is recalling more than 20,000 right-hand-drive C3 Picassos after the BBC Watchdog show discovered that the brakes could be applied by a passenger without the driver’s knowledge.
A cleaning company detected the problem after experiencing surprise braking on the motorway. The firm’s C3 Picasso allegedly ‘screeched to a halt’ at 70mph without the driver applying the brakes.
Watchdog investigated and found the fault that caused this was evident on other C3 Picassos it looked at on car dealer forecourts. Citroen has thus issued a voluntary recall in the UK.
Want to know more about car recalls? Read our investigation into the UK recalls system.
Fault caused by right-hand-drive conversion
Watchdog discovered the fault is only evident on right-hand-drive cars. Due to the conversion from left-hand drive, a brake cable remains in the passenger footwell. Passengers can, Watchdog found, lean on this with their feet and apply the brakes. It is this that seems to have caused the cleaning firm’s dramatic motorway braking incident.
An independent engineer told Watchdog the cable was only covered by a thin felt cover. Citroen’s rectification involves fitting a more rigid cover over the braking system cable.
Citroen says that, although there have been no reported incidents like the Watchdog case, it will conduct a recall due to the ‘remote possibility that the conditions could be replicated’.
The carmaker also said: ‘We expect the work to take approximately one hour and it will be completed free of charge. We wish to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to our customers.’
Owners of the Citroen C3 Picasso, of which there are 22,000 in the UK, can get further information from the Citroen Contact Centre on 01753 475862. Alternatively, owners can email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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