Fleet News

Makers hit back over recall accusations

FIVE manufacturers singled out by Lease Plan for the number of vehicles being recalled have hit back at the accusations. Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Renault and BMW were named by Lease Plan following a survey of its 72,000-strong fleet as being the worst offenders for the number of vehicle recalls being made.

The Windsor-based company labelled the recall figures this year as 'unacceptable and dangerous' and claimed that, on average, 20 vehicles had been recalled every day over the past six months. Simultaneously, Lease Plan called for tougher testing by manufacturers of vehicles during their development stage. But all five refuted the claims, with Renault saying it had issued only one recall in the last six months to replace a servo in the braking system on its diesel-engined cars and some vans.

A spokesman for the French manufacturer said: 'Would Lease Plan prefer us not to recall vehicles? There will be recalls, as we have to look after our customers and make sure they are safe in our vehicles.' A Vauxhall spokesman added: 'No one likes to issue a recall but if something comes up which hasn't come to light in design and testing, we are the first to recall the model.' Ford said it 'preferred to err on the side of caution and put the issue right with the minimum of fuss'.

BMW claimed it had completed 76% of the recall made in May on 16,500 new 3-series models for modifications to the side airbag and brake linkage pin. Peugeot said it had recalled 11,215 306, 406 and 806 models this year and added that recalls were 'part of being a manufacturer that cares about reliability and safety of its vehicles and making sure they are performing at their best'.

According to Lease Plan, 3,532 vehicles in its fleet have been recalled over the past six months and in July alone 1,438 were recalled, including 651 Vauxhalls, 496 Renaults, 108 Fords and 69 Fiats. Lease Plan managing director, Howard Thomas, said: 'The situation is a little bit more than safety issues - it is basic flaws on vehicles such as the door latches on Fords and power steering problems on Peugeots.

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