Citroen minimized the problem saying the pretensioner had done its job - for no reason admittedly - producing the same effect as if a rear seat passenger had grabbed the belt and given it a sharp tug. An official statement from the firm said: 'We are conducting the recall according to the code of practice for recall operations agreed between the motor industry and the Department of Transport to replace pretensioners and airbag components on certain ZX models.'
The Vehicle Inspectorate said there were in fact two recalls going on together. ZX models with TRW branded front belts would get replacement belts made by Autoliv, Citroen's other supplier. That recall, said a spokesman, involved 6,272 vehicles manufactured between November 1994 and March 1995. The 25,367 vehicles are being recalled because of a faulty driver's airbag control unit which could fire the bag for no reason. These cars were manufactured between October 1994 and September 1995.