10/02/2017 Select Committees


Recorded coverage of the Transport Committee's session on Vauxhall vehicle fires, with evidence from GM Quality Europe, from Monday 6 February.

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Welcome to the transport Select Committee. Could we have your name


and organisations, please. Good afternoon. I am director for global


safety Anfield investigation and certification for General Motors,


Europe. Good afternoon, I am the vice-president for GM quality in


Europe. Good afternoon. Helen Ford head of Government relations and


public policy for general moaters in the UK. Thank you very much.


How many fires in the Zafira model B are you aware of, who can tell me,


how many? Let me check. Maybe I can take this. There are


about 287 fires associated to heating and ventilation systems. How


many fires in total are you aware of? For ZafiraB? We just wanted to


confirm which model you were referring to? I think it's a pretty


obvious question to start with, isn't it? This is the reason that


you are here today. The first simple question is how many fires are you


aware of in ZafiraB? Well, we are aware of the 287 fires that have


brought to our attention. 276 fires. Right. -- -- 287. How many of these


have been fully investigated by our engineers? Well, we have


investigated a large number by the engineers. How many? I have to come


back on this one, please. You know, it's a little odd, you have come


here to talk about this subject and this is pretty straightforward


information, isn't it? How many fires, how many have been


investigated by your engineers, you don't know? Well, actually there is


59 cases I know that have been investigated. So 59 out of, what did


you say, 28... 287. Doesn't sound a lot, does it, what's happened to the


others? Maybe what we can say on that one, before the media attention


we were only informed about very few of these cases and after the media


we got within, I don't know, four to six weeks, we got aware of more than


100 additional cases which we have not had a chance to inspect on. That


was sometime ago, wasn't it? The media attention was sometime ago. So


how many have you investigated? Can no one tell me how many have been


investigated by your engineers? The recalls were older vehicles and they


had been scratched before we could investigate them. The figure that


was referred to, the 49, the 59 vehicles of the 59 vehicles that we


have investigated. We have been able to see ourselves. What's happened to


the others? 59 you have investigated and what is that over 200 you


haven't investigated. So what's happened to those? Several of those


vehicles, number one we couldn't get access to. A lot of the vehicles are


even scrapped before we can get there. So, for instance, I know


about one case where we sent out our fire investigation team but actually


the vehicle was scrapped before we could get access and really do the


detailed analysis. When you said you couldn't get access to them, what


does that mean exactly? In what way couldn't you get access to them?


First of all, if there is a fire case and the customer needs to ask


their insurance company and permission for them, for us to do


the inspections, without that permission we can not do the


inspection. Did you seek permission? Yes. Was it refused? In some cases


it is refused, that's right, yes. Who was it refused by? Sometimes by


the customers, sometimes if we approach the insurance companies,


the vehicles are already scrapped and especially in the Zafira cases a


lot of cases were old cases which were brought to the attention later


on there could be no physical inspection realised any longer. So


how big a problem is this that you weren't able to get access, how many


cars did you try to get access to? Well, I think... We should really


think about the cars we want to get access to. How many did you try to?


The recall and to really get the repair. It's very important for us


to truly reach out to our customers. I am asking how many cars did you


try to get access to? I didn't give you that figure. It's strange that


you have come here to answer questions on this topic and you


can't tell me how many cars you tried to get access to. I think it's


very important that now that we have identified a final fix for our


vehicles that we reach out to the customers. It's all right talking


about reaching out, I am asking you a direct question, not reaching out.


I am asking what you have done and you can't tell me how many cars you


tried to get access to after these fires have occurred? As soon as we


get aware of fire cases we actually reach out to the customers and ask


them for permission in order to inspect those vehicles. A lot of


those cases actually were historical ones which happened over, not just


in 2016, and we have sent out our team to inspect wherever we could


get access to those vehicles. But it's a bit odd you can't tell me how


many you tried to get access to and failed to, it's very, very odd.


You talked about 59 out of 287. You have said that you didn't have


access to all of those, how do you know those 287 have indeed had fires


that were related to the heating and you described some other fault, if


you haven't got them how do you know it's 287 that you referenced a


specific reason why they went up in fire if you have not had access to


vehicles? There is descriptions which we get from our customer,


contact centres which have been talking to our customers on how the


fire evolved. I think we have a clear indication that this is a very


strong part. To confirm you have never seen those cars with the


exception of 59. So you are going on someone else's say so? What we are


saying is that after the media response we got a lot of calls in


our call centres and they informed us later on they also had to... They


were no longer available, this is where the number is coming from.


Again, perhaps you can help, you said it was 287 where there were


fires caused in the heating or something else. Heating or


ventilation system. Right. That's quite specific. You yourself haven't


been able to acertain that's really where the fire started. How can you


rely on that data? It's specific to expect the customers... This is the


problem with the data reliability and this is what we are shooting


for, we need better data for us and for the whole industry to rely on.


Often we just get not aware of it, if a vehicle fire occurs and the


customer is approaching insurance and the insurance is paying him out


and in most of the cases we never get any information about that one.


Therefore, we need a better data source where all this information is


collected so there are data collection in the fire services, in


the insurance companies. When you came before us last time we went


through this. Have you had any fires since this committee met with the


team that you sent? After the second part of the recall we did not have


any additional fire in these vehicles. Any since we last met up,


which I think was last July? I would have thought after that you would


have moved heaven and earth to get hold of those vehicles and strip


them apart, have you done that because the impression you are


giving is you doesn't know, doesn't feel like anything's changed?


Actually what we have been doing is, from the first recall we had parts


sent back to us in the technical centre and we had about 1,000 parts


from the first recall which we then actually did investigate and I think


we have seen first indication for recourse but we have also seen that


there is a second part of a root cause which is the effective use and


that's why we have initialiated the second recall on the 8th August,


2016. A quick question before I come back,


chair. Could I ask each of the panel


members just to very quickly tell me of the 287 customers who have been


affected with the fires how many have you personally met with? Each


of you, if you could tell me. I haven't met with any of those


customers affected, it's not the line of job I am employed. Actually


there are colleagues who have personally met them, I have not a


chance to meet them. Same as with me. So none of the panel have met


any of the families whose cars went on fire. We have not had the


opportunity. Not had the opportunity? It's been quite a


while. Some of our colleagues have done. And the customer care team and


their responsibility... I am looking at the biographies. We have the


vice-President of GM Quality Europe, the director of global safety


Anfield investigations and the head of Government relations and public


policy, that makes up the panel before us. None of you have thought


to take half a day to meet any of the people who have been affected by


it? Just a couple of hours? OK. Thank you, chair. I will probably


want to come on to suggestions about how we better have a data management


later in this session, but I am confused at the minute, of the 200


and so fires you are aware of, I understand that some of them you


wanted to investigate but couldn't because they had already been


scrapped, the insurer had written them off. I would - if I was an


insurance company and I started seeing a pattern that there was a


fire in a particular model of car, I would want to be starting to ask


some questions. So, in all the cases that you are aware of has the


insurer just said it's been on fire, we are going to write it off, issue


a cheque to the owner, or what steps did they take that you are aware of


to acertain the cause of the fire in the first place? I think you are


bringing up a very good point. First of all, there are multiple numbers


of fire cases in the UK. Last time I think we came to see you we had a


figure of about 18,000. Now there is data which goes up to 100,000.


Whatever data source we believe I think it would be really beneficial


if insurance companies would share their data with us if Fire Brigades


would share their data with us and I totally agree that it will be much


more beneficial for us to have that data so we could send our people to


really investigate those cars at the point where that fire is going to


take place and not maybe two or three years later where it comes to


our at this answerings and that is I think one of the key proposals that


we would like to make, not just for the benefit of us, but for the


benefit of the industry and I think ultimately also for the customer.


I appreciate that is what we might want to look at going forward but


I'm still not clear in my mind, I've had a car, it's gone on fire, I


reported to my insurance company. What steps do they take to ascertain


the cause of that? That may put it another way. How many other fires


are you aware of in your vehicles that are not related to the


particular heating control the fact we are aware of? Do you mean in


other cars? Yes, I'm trying to get the picture in my mind, if I was an


insurance company, how many fires in Vauxhall cars would I expect a year?


I think fires are involved in all of the car lines from us and our


competitors. As we mentioned, in this one source, they are saying


100,000 vehicle fires in the UK only and 65% of these cards are because


of criminal intent and a lot of other fires are because of poor


maintenance. And also our portion, what the side-effects are, we don't


want to play that output for us is difficult to identify if a fire is


related to a design defect or it is other purposes. This is also white


forensic investigation is difficult because the fire itself often


destroys the trace the origin of the fire and therefore it is very


difficult for us, just from the number to identify if there is a


root cause behind or not full so what would help us, if there was a


consolidated data source that we can at least see a trend on that. This


is what we don't have. Forgive me for pressing. Do the insurance


companies make that effort to find out the cause of the fire or is it


that they just recorded as a fire? Is it a day to release issue or do


these insurance companies need to take steps themselves to find out


the source? The Biglia fire happens, the customer notifies the insurance


company -- typically. They might choose to send a settlement agent


that will look at the car but those are typically no forensic fire


investigators. They look at the car and take the first assessment and


they decide on the settlement of the case. Unfortunately, there is no


direct link back to us which then would be able to probably go deeper


in order to truly understand the nature of the fire.


Thank you, chair. I should declare that I am an owner of the Zafira but


not one of the models effected. What happens in the rest of Europe? Is it


only in the UK where they have had car fires? The Opel badge? What do


they have with the rest of Europe and reporting mechanisms? Does


another country have a system of reporting fires? This specific case


is related to the UK vehicles, or let me say to the right hand driven


vehicles. And of course there are other countries affected, like


Malta, which is on the same road, but we do not seek fire cases on


that relation. But we cover this in our recall activities as well. So it


is a different component in the left-hand drive vehicles? The


location is different and if you drive on the other side of the road,


it is different, what is the middle of the and in one country is the


left side and the other the right side. So you are not seeing Zafira


fires in other European countries? No. And I think you also touched on


one aspect, if we have another country is a better system of data


feedback. I think probably UK could set a standard in introducing such a


system and other European countries could absolutely learn from that.


Maybe I can add in addition we are in close contact with the DVSA here


and also thinking to get the field action as soon as possible done to


get very high fulfilment rate. For example in other countries we have a


system where we write three comes to the customers and after that the


customers will Dignitas from the authorities if they do not react on


that recall request, vehicles will be ground. And this helps to speed


up these regal measurements for us and the industry and in addition,


what we think about is also the MOT, you have a yearly MOT system here in


the UK, and if there would be a requirement to check if there is an


outstanding recall on these vehicles, this would help us and a


whole industry a lot as well here. How have you dug with customers who


have not responded? What efforts have you made to contact them? After


now the written up to 1.2 million letters to customers. There are


customers out there who have received up to seven letters


inviting them to actually seek assistance and repair for their


vehicle and also dealers. In addition, where we have data from


the customers, we have given them a call we have them an e-mail and


really reached out to try for them to get in contact. I think up to


date and then say that we managed repair now 165,000 of the Zafira Bs


in order to get the final fix implemented. Our dealers have put up


additional hours during the week but also have devoted a lot of time


during the weekend in order to execute the recall. People from our


plants who have been trained and support our dealers in order to do


so and in order to make the waiting time for each customer very short we


also have now directed that two technicians are working on one car


so we can do that rather rapidly so the customer doesn't have to wait


very long. We have also added resources when it comes to the


customer contact centres that are the centres who make the


appointments. We try to make sure that we can maximise the


opportunities for customers to come and seek the support of the dealers.


As you have truly stated, we really have to get access to our customers


and convince them to come and get their car being fixed. There was a


delay at the start of the second recall, wasn't there, because you


didn't have parts? Why did that happen? Actually there wasn't really


a delay of the recall. We have very rapidly worked with our suppliers in


order to make sure we have parts. I think I can really state that today


we have the capacity as well as the parts and we could theoretically


finish the whole recall in the next month, if customers come and see us


and would actually make an appointment together with us. Maybe


one additional comment. What also is missing is the data accuracy. We


have a lot of data from vehicles which may no longer on the road, and


we're not talking about a few hundred, we're talking about 16,000


or something like that, where we are not sure, together with the dealers


and the DVLA, if they are still on the roads. This is also some point,


if we would get a better help to understand which vehicle really are


out and not scrapped or whatever, that would help us as well. You said


the problem was really unauthorised repairs. Why did you say that when


you never identified who had been doing the alleged unauthorised


repairs? When we got aware of the fire cases, we did a field survey


and asked our dealers, please return back, I think more than a thousand


resistors to us and we did a check on them and found 2.7% of these were


manipulative. 2.7% of what? Of the resisters we got returned out of the


field. Did you name the people you're done these unauthorised


repairs? No. So if you blame the problem on unauthorised repairs, why


didn't you take more trouble to identify those people? It is very


difficult to identify those because, at a certain point of time,


customers do not come to authorised repairers. Instead of blaming who


has done these authorised repairs we have taken at the first indication


that this was one of the two root causes, we're taking action and


initiated the first recall. However, although we haven't really done


those false repairs, we have taken responsibility for that and have


taken action. We also continued the root cause analysis and we did


identify a second part of root cause which wasn't actually a false repair


but which was, according to the design of this fuse. Therefore we


have initiated the second recall which actually has been exchanging


and bringing the car back to the original stage which was the first


recall, but taking a different technical path and using a fuse


which is much more reliable and resistant in that configurations


versus the potential of causing any problem. How many cars caught fire


after the first recall? I think what I can say, directly after the first


fire after the first recall, that was a vehicle which was prepared and


caught fire and that was for us again the trigger... How many? I


don't have the figure. Why don't you know? You knew you were coming here


today to answer these questions and that is another fairly basic


question. We did not get the questions before. You just don't


know. If you're asking for specific figures, of course we can deliver. I


am asking for those figures but I'm also is pressing surprise that you


have come here to answer questions about this very unsatisfactory


situation and you haven't got the basic information on it. There is a


pricing and not very good. In terms of those who drive these


cars, it is traditionally a family car used for school trips, holidays,


trips to hospital and all the rest of it and think it's probably fair


to say that your customers, in the UK at least, are very loyal to your


brand. They have been for many years. I hosted some of your


customers who had been effected by this in Parliament just before


Christmas, in this corridor actually, the group came in, and


they have sent some notes to me about the recall process and also


how they feel your company has handled the whole process since it


began and I just want to read some of this out to you. The notes say,


some customers were made to feel like a nuisance. When they go


through the recall process, the attitude from dealerships have been


met with disgust. They say that vehicles are often returned to them


with further problems, with the heating and ventilation system. It


can sometimes take up to two or three new motors to find one that


works. And the impact here says that customers are made to feel like


second-class citizens. Do you recognise any of this? We apologise


if customers from the recall was to fix the problem and our dealers were


trying to make the process as smooth and easy for our customers and we


understand that might be the case the whole time. We for the


additional inconvenience. There are specific cases, we can follow that


up afterwards. You must be aware of some of these cases. We are aware


and we have instructed our retailers and also given out additional


guidance to them to ensure and to remind the middle is to make sure


that the heating and ventilation system is in good working condition


before the vehicle is passed back. That's not happening. We recognise


it's fitted that I have been mistakes. If you have any specific


examples of any of that, please let us know and we can follow it up


directly with the customers and retailers.


Would either of you like to add anything to that? No. Nothing to say


to - you know, I think your customers have been treated pretty


shoddily and they are being bandied around from pillar to post. I cannot


think of another probably duct in the United Kingdom at the moment,


where people have set up a campaign group to come to Parliament to try


to get MPs to resolve it. -- another product. Some are sat behind in the


audience listening to you. I would have thought you would have


something more to add for the experience. Some of these people's


children don't want to go in a car again and some people have had their


homes damage as a result of this. Well, what I would personally like


to say is that I'm very sorry for the evening frightening subpoenas


our customers have gone through and there was probably nothing we can do


to make it unhappen and what we can do and I think it has been pointed


out, we would really like to make any experience coming to see us and


getting their vehicle fixed, as positive and as straightforward as


possible and that is where we have put a lot of effort in. In addition,


those customers who have gone through a fire, they probably have


also had personal losses, like, you know, personal belongings, things


they really felt important about which are not insured, so we have


now been reaching out to those customers, in order to make sure


that we understand those cases and situations and that we can find a


settlement, together with them, to compensate them, not just for the


insured losses but also for the ininsured losses. Of the 287 that


you say where people have losses, insured or otherwise, of the 287, in


terms of reaching that et islement, how many are outstanding -- reaching


that settlement? We have been reaching out to 160 so far where we


are currently in the discussion and trying to seek a settlement and we


will, of course, step-by-step approach all outstanding cases.


I want to come back to the point on insurance, in your interaction. Have


you contacted all of the main insurers in the market to make the


pointed that - we would actually like to see all of the cars that


you've had claims registered against, particularly in the class


of Safira, Corsa, so you can get better access to the car wrnchts we


work with the insurance company, and where we are aware of the fire and


had permission. We have worked with the insurance company to inspect


vehicles that were available. When we talk about having better access


to data, this is an industry issue and so with our trade body, working


with the asAssociation of British Insurers and looking at an


industry-to-industry solution to this problem. Do you think insurers


are taking it seriously enough? On the one hand it is your reputation,


your brand, but you if you can't get control, you can't get hold of the


asset. And also with the insurance, if they don't have t they cannot pay


out. Have you seen an uptick in the number of cars being delivered back


to you, that have been involved in fires? With Zafira a unique


situation, it was an older vehicle, and some of the fires happened years


ago, so they weren't scrapped. But we have a working industry with the


insurance industry and with the trade body, this is an area where


they are keen to work on, ongoing. Do you think something is required


compulsory, along the lines of, if a vehicle is damaged by fire, from its


engine or any component there, should be a requirement, before an


insurer pays out, for that car to be expected so that the market knows


what the issue is? Absolutely but obviously a customer unfore-Tube


ately with a fire is having compensation -- unfortunately. What


we would like to see is the availability for us to investigate


as soon as possible, we don't want to hold up the process of customers


being reimbursed from an insurance company, for example, but we would


like to have better access, and data and better checks. Can I just check,


other motor manufacturers, so this fault could be common to other motor


manufacturers, did you contact other motor manufacturers to let them know


you are aware of something and perhaps share information in case


they had the same issue with their vehicles as well? What I can say on


this one, of course we inform the authorities on this one and there is


a European system where all the customers and other authorities are


informed about. We cannot get, for example, if we have a


supplier-caused issue or part of a supplier part is in question, we


will not get the data from our competitors because of the antitrust


law but what he doing, when in contct with the authorities, we name


them, the supplier we are working with and they approach the supplier


and they are asking the question which other manufacturers are using


the same component. I remember six months ago, when your team game


before us, Chair, and I asked the que, and the answer was no, which I


think we all thought was a bit of a poor show. So I received an


assurance that afternoon that other manufacturers would be contacted. I


didn't expect it to be that afternoon, but I would have thought


that GM would have putted a call into other motor manufacturers,


rather than leaving it to regulators and what have you. Not least because


you assured me that you would. But, also, it is common sense, isn't it?


Well, we have been working with our supplier and that supplier exactly


knows in which - who are their other customers. What we, however, need to


say is that most, you know, this very specific same part, most


probably, is not being used in the very same configuration in any other


system. However, we have advised our suppliers about any findings that we


had and also the risks that we see, with regard to our very specific


component and you know, they know exactly who their customers are. I


find that a bit of an unsatisfactory answer. Six months ago we were


assured something would happen. Actually your team suggested. It


struck me as common sense to do that and it hasn't been done. I find that


pretty extraordinary. Sorry, as has been explained we are prohibited to


a certain extent with competition law and so there are processes in


place that we explained in a follow-up letter afterwards to the


committee, after our evidence in July. I will be amazed if


competition law stopped you from health and safety perspective to


contact on the most general of terms, other motor manufacturers to


say - we have an issue specific to these parts, you may well want to


check you have these parts as well, we are putting you on notice. I


understand the question. The supplier reached out to its


customers, we would not know the competition or supplier's customers.


It is always a question back from the authorities, where you do the


notification to, which partsome affected and which supplier and then


we give the name of the supplier to the authority and they approach the


supplier to get this information from them.


It is really really very convincing, it is not clear if you have not done


anything, if you don't want it tell us about it.


Are Zafira owners and drivers still at risk?


W we have advised our Zafira drivers to operate their vehicle under a


blower motor condition of oat 0 or 4. At that point of time there is no


risk for the Zafira drivers but I would strongly recommend that the


Zafira drivers are coming to seek us so we can finalise the recall and


their vehicles can be operated under any conditions. Are you absolutely


satisfied that you, as a company, have done everything possible to


eliminate the risk as best you can? Well, we have been reaching out


several tierges even before any recall was issued, so that we advise


our customers how they can actually avoid the risk... So are you


satisfied that they are safe, that's what Mr Vicars is asking you. We


keep being told you reach out but Mr Vickers is asking, are the drivers


safe and the occupants of the cars? Well, let me put it this way, with


every safety recall it is a serious situation and I personally cannot be


satisfied to have safety recall but I am very confident that we have


done what is right in order to mitigate the situation and now offer


the customer a quick fix for their vehicle so that we eliminate any...


But are they safe, Mr Vickers is something you, are they safe?


If the question s if the fix has been done, then yes, we say the


vehicle is safe to drive, if this is the question. For the remaining


ones, which are not in our garages for the fix, we suggest they come in


as soon as possible to get this done and to operate their vehicle safely.


So there are still vehicles out on the road where there is there is


still risk. Following on from that, are you


satisfied that your dealers have done everything, through their


network to contact drivers? You have written to something like 1.2


million people. Letters go astray. Letters get put behind the clock on


the mantelpiece and forgotten. What repeated actions have you taken as a


company and dealer network to make contact with people? Where we have


data and can validate it, we are using other data point like phones


and e-mail to directly contact customers who have not come in yet.


Where we don't have the that detail we have gone to the RAC and AA it


validate information with them and using their contact details to again


address those customers. Now there are still customers out there, that


we know have received the letter and haven't had the recall work done,


they are the registered owners N those circumstances, what we are


proposing to do, we ask the DVSA if we can do a joint letter with that


customer's insurance company to remind them to have a completed


safety recall, and without that it could invalidate the customer's


insurance. We are asking the DVSA for permission to undertake that


step as well. With some of the outstanding figures, as Thomaz


highlighted, there are around 13,000 of the outstanding Zafira's that no


v no registered keeper. They are what is known as sold to trade. They


have been sold to trade between six months and up to three years. We are


working with the DVSA to validate that because there is no registered


keeper, what wrird to do is to notify the previous registered


keeper where we have an address but we are aware they are not the owner


of that vehicle because they've passed them on to trade. So that's


an area where we can keen to work with the DVSA on, going forward in


how we can eliminate that. I want to return to the point about


the insurance companies. What is the situation, if a vehicle is found to


have a faulty part and it burns to the ground, does the insurance


company bear the ultimate cost of paying out on that, or does that


come back to the manufacture? I think in the cases we have seen,


where - I couldn't say with any confidence exactly what happened,


our understanding, my understanding is that insurance companies have


compensated companies have compensated the owner and then we


have compensated the insurer. So if you are compensating the insurer,


but any manufacturer who had a similar problem is compensating the


insurer, does that not give you an ownership right to the vehicle. So,


f heaven forbid my Zafira goes up into flames and I go to my insurance


company and they pay out, the insurance company is going to GM and


say - it has gone up in flames because of this fault, therefore you


need to put the insurance company back in fupds so the insurance


company is not at a loss, so effectively then you own my Zafira.


The insurance company would not necessarily do the forensic


investigations to pinpoint the root cause and fires are destructive by


nature so establishing the cause is very difficult. So the insurance


company will do an initial assessment, as joy understand it and


part of that is pretty much to rule out criminal be intent of activity


and then there is a settlement. We are then, where we are aware of t we


are then able to inspect that vehicle afterwards. I know you are


asking about whether or not weather then we own T I don't have that


information. We can come back. On what basis do Manufacturer 's


like GM paid insurance companies? Do you say, for example, for every


thousand cars that are insured, if there is a claim on those you pay


out 10%? How does it work? We do the compensation in the case that we


understand and we see that we have a design or Manufacturing related


issue and have issued a safety recall. That is not the common


practice, the common practice is the insurer sends an inspector to see


the car and does the first judgment and understand the settlement and


that is how the insurer pays out the customer. In this case we have said,


because of the safety recall, we will actually compensate for the


insurer for the same amount of settlement that he has done those of


their customer. I understand that, but in terms of generally,


run-of-the-mill, somebody has a problem with their Insignia and it


is shown to be Manufacturing problem, do you not routinely


compensate the insurance company? Well, I would say it is very hard


for the Inspector of the insurance company to find out whether there is


a manufacturing related issue. That is why we would seek to have that


short cut of information coming towards us in order to get the


opportunity to do a detailed investigation. However, as we have


been pointing out before, data shows that about 65% of all of the fire


cases are due to arson and often this is very obvious. The next piece


of occurrence is weak maintenance and some of that can also be very


obvious. Then there is the remainder which is very difficult to find out


and there are really detailed investigation is necessary in order


to find out. And sometimes evidence will never be able to be found


because the fire destroyed that key criteria of evidence. And if we get


the chance of a very early Nick Hurd -- notification of the fire and we


get in contact with the insurance company to investigate, we do it


together. That is the best situation for us. Do you not think it is


strange that the insurance company has a vested interest in finding out


who is really responsible, that they don't bother, presumably because we


will pay the premiums at an increased level? There is quite an


onus on the insurance company that they have an opportunity here to


hold accountable those who should be held accountable and they are not


bothering. I think they have started to react to our requests in a


cacique if we can find a joint database where not just insurers but


also by brigades, who often will be called in case of a fire, in all of


those data would come together in one place so that not just us but


all manner factors could have access to it, that would be very helpful.


It also increases the data points we can use to see if there is a trend


and can take action much faster. There are now fires in Corsa B


models now. What is the problem in that -- coarser D.


This is about a safety recall we issued in April 2015. It is on the


pump relate box that is supporting the braking system. We have about


4000 vehicles affected in the UK, it is a 1.4 turbo engine, out of a


fleet of 700,000 vehicles and we already reworked 3000 of them. We


had one fire case when we started the investigation and data on a


second one. These are the two known cases we have. After the media


response, there is one potential additional one but these are the


three cases we are aware of. What is the reason for those fires? It is


water ingress into the Relay box and that can be a short circuit. Can I


ask if Vauxhall have ever refused to investigate a fire when it's been


reported to them by a customer? Going back before the media


attention and all the rest of it, have you ever refused to investigate


customer claims fire? I don't have that information but I can certainly


go back to the team and look back and get back to you. We do expect to


have refused? -- would you have. To my knowledge, we have fire is that


work with us so we have the resources and I couldn't see a


reason why we wouldn't do that but I can't say with any certainty. If I


can take that back to the wider team in the office and get back to you.


You would be interested to know of any cases that have been brought to


our attention where customers have said they had reported fires and


they were essentially palmed off. If you have that information, please


let us know and we can go through and trace that and come back to you


specifically. It just so happens that there are people with those


exact cases here in Parliament this afternoon. Could I ask each one view


to take the time to have a chat with them at the end of the session?


Certainly, I would do that. That would be very helpful also briefly,


chair, going back to the communication with customers. You


have been writing a lot of letters and sending a lot of e-mails and you


set up a Facebook ad to raise awareness of the issue. How


successful do you judge that to I don't have those figures


specifically... You don't seem to have an awful lot with you. There


were a wide variety of areas on those themes as to what we would be


discussing today. We felt we were the right people to answer those


questions. That this the vast amount of work that goes on across the


whole business so I might not have all that information but I don't, I


can get back to you. There is a Facebook group which has about


16,500 people on it who are owners of the models affected. We are aware


of the existence of the group, it is a closed group. Have you tried to


reach out to them specifically? Yes, I believe our customer care director


is in contact with the team and they are in discussions with them as we


speak. Good. And the more general question, and perhaps it would be


one for you guys to answer. You have this problem with the Zafira models


and with Corsas but thinking of the industry more widely, there is the


Volkswagen emissions scandal, there is problems with just about every


manufacturer, Renault, Peugeot. I would go so far as to say that the


reputation of the industry is probably at the lowest point it has


ever been. How do you see the industry gaining back public trust,


given all these scandals that exist in different manufacturers including


yourselves? And how are you going to get public trust back?


Every recall and every safety recall is a very severe issue so giving it


a lot of attention in order to get it fixed is a very important point.


Unfortunately we cannot turn the clock backwards. However, the


question is how we learn quickly and make sure that any new project we


bring out, any new car we bring out, we'll get all of the learnings from


the history. But making sure, in case there was any risk associated,


and we get the first incident of any risk, we quickly take very diligent


actions, we quickly investigate the situation and we take actions in


order to correct in case there is an issue out there. And of course you


might debate how much is quickly and how much emphasis we put on the bike


can assure you that safety is absolutely our first priority in our


company -- I can assure you. We had picked at the top, beat the safety


of our customers, our employees, but our business partners -- be it the


safety. Each board meeting we had been putting safety on top of our


agenda and we are starting each one of those. That gives us the


opportunity to raise issues, take decisions quickly and really


execute. Do you have anything to add to that on what you should do


differently now? That is absolutely right what Elvira is saying and in


addition now culture, we introduced in the safety by month, every


employee can raise up a safety issue to a specific board so this is


documented and will be followed up in the safety arena. What about the


problem you are facing? You have two models with fires where drivers and


passengers are fighting. Should you be doing anything different now to


restore confidence? -- are frightened. What we're doing when


Woody at taking position on recalls, we do not necessarily wait until we


have the root cause -- when we are taking. If we can minimise the risk


to the customer we go out already to start the recall and go back in a


second wave to fix the problem finally. Of course this causes


inconvenience to the customers but this is what we're doing to protect


them as much as possible. We must close this session now, we will be


writing to you with further information that we require so thank


you for coming in. Could I have your name and positions


please? Pete Ahern, operations director. Gareth Llewellyn, chief


Executive of DVSA. Andy King, head of enforcement. We were told last


and that you were surprised at the length of time timetabled for


Vauxhall for the Zafira recall. Have you done anything about making that


action quicker and more effective? What have you been doing about the


problem? Mr Llewellyn. We went through about 75,000 vehicle


identification numbers and matched up against the MOT register for


Vauxhall and we concluded there were about 12,500 Zafira cars which were


outside the MOT, they don't have a valid MOT. Some only just but some


by a very long wait also we have identified another 5500 where they


have no MOT history, maybe because they have been taken abroad when


they were first registered. We tried to slim down the number when we


believe there are active models on the road at the moment to enable


Vauxhall to be able to focus their marketing campaign. We are a little


concerned in that space because a number of the letters originally


sent out have been referred back to DVLA, and DVLA were not part of the


original process and what has come from that is we believe the mail


merge undertaken by Vauxhall was not done successfully on some occasions


and the letters did not end up with the right people so we are talking


to them about how to rectify that position to make sure the right


owners get the letters suggesting that models should be recalled.


Kristen Stewart? -- Mr Stewart. In the previous


session I try to get some detail as to what an insurance company would


examine when it gets a claim for a car that has caught fire. I still


haven't got a proper answer as to what checks they would do to


identify what is causing the fire and, if so, how that might be


relayed to yourselves or to the manufacturers, that there is a


pattern developing that needs to be investigated and rectified. What is


your position on that? We have applied to the Association of


British insurers for access to the mode industry and theft register


because we don't understand quite what is involved in that the moment


and it might give us a better insight into the sort of information


the industry holds and the sorts of things they are looking for and we


can then map that onto where we think certain safety recalls are to


answer this question if there should be some sort of Central register of


issues effecting vehicles. Until we have sight of that register, it is


rather difficult to comment on that at the moment. My question is, is


that investigatory work done at all and enjoys are not racing -- not


releasing it, or do they need to put in place a better system for


following up? I find it quite strange that they would just write


off checks to their policyholders without properly investigating the


cause. And if there is a pattern developing, that should be


translated to yourselves and a fatuous are you aware that that work


is done and it is just they are withholding it or do they need to be


taking additional steps to investigate?


I can't comment on the level of investigation insurers go to but I


would hope that information is on the register, which is why we have


asked for a companiy. Once evaluaited I can probably answer in


more detail Are the insurers giving you any reasons why they are not


sharing that with you currently? No, our sister organisation in the DVLA


have access already, so it is a matter of process. Have you had an


indication of when you might get access? I haven't. If you are asking


whether there are any roadblocks to it, I don't think there are.


Thank you, Chair. A number of different points, if I may,


obviously that pick data base will be useful, but, also, the Fire And


Rescue Services, I understand that a number of them use a fairly basic


system, incident recording system which doesn't have the capacity to


ask any additional information. A number use their own in-house


systems but a number also use 3 TC software I understand which can get


more information on the reason for fires, whether they are arson


attacks, whether there is a criminality element or whether it


seems to be some problem with the vehicle itself. Have you had any


conversations with the Home Office, about Fire And Rescue Services,


being able to have a data base they use properly to record this


information that gets fed through to yourselves? To my knowledge, swrent


had those conversations with the Home Office. I think what this is


highlight something that there are a number of databases around and


general coordination would be a good thing, in terms of of trying to


identify what the true root cause is and also to provide greater


information to the public. I should stress my slight worry is we are not


getting to the true root cause here. The failure of a resister is the


initial cause. If you twrak back, why it failed so why did somebody


have to manipulate in the first place? Because the resister was


failing, it was failing because the blower motor wasn't blowing enough


air and that was you failing because it was corroded and the true cause


is water ingross. So you have to work out what to solve in the first


place. If you don't actually see the, well, depends which way you


look at t the start or end of the process in terms of the fire and


work backwards, if you have no way into that problem, then you have no


way into that problem? There isin is the problem. Yet there are processes


at least in they are I why, already in place that could be brought


together and data that could be gathered to ensure that no further


families ever have to have the appalling intags with their car and


claims around them. The data is either out and not being captured or


they are out there and is being captured and nobody is doing


anything with it. There is probably something with we


can do to coral resources to find out the initial problems with this.


Can I may tackle another question. In terms of an owner of whether it


is a Zafira, Corsa or I indeed any other model of car subject to


recall. If the owner says, it is oar safety recall but I'm not going to


bother, there is actually nothing in place s that correct, to require


them to do that work, so even if if it is a safety-critical issue, that


could either cause loss of life at one end of the scale or snarl up a


motorway with a fire that causes the carriageway to be blocked for hours


on end. Unpleasant through to life ending, there is nothing actually to


stop somebody doing that, is there? There is no process within the MoT


system to say fl has been a safety recall on this model of car, have


you had it done, no you haven't, you can't are have your MoT? I think you


have put your finger on a flaw in the test accept at the moment. It is


something we are going to solve in the very near future. By the end of


the financial year we'll launch our MoT reminder service. All people who


will have cars, will be reminded when this is due. An attach will be


a reminder - please talk to your carriage about whether there are


outstanding safety recalls on your vehicle, that will hopefully get to


those people where maybe we've lost the correct in the system as it


where they are located, transfer of ownership, etc, then the second


phase in the revamp of the MoT system is a view if you haven't had


a safety recall completed on something that's very


safety-critical, then you will not be given an MoT. Presumably to


actually do, that apart from possible legislative changes that


might be required it is simple because you book in through the


computerised system, that would be fairly straightforward, to come with


and say - these are the recalls that have been associated with this type


of car. It would be on different databases but an automatic process


that wouldn't allow interinvestigation by an individual.


Final oi be that point, if I may, Chair, I guess there is also the


issue of where a resister in this case... Can by pass, whatever it may


be, pass the DVLA thought about a process, whereby the owner of a


vehicle is required to tell the MoT inspector that there has been a


repair done on a part of the car, so they may have got it do done, I put


my hands up, I don't tend to use dealer networks because they are


damn expensive but I like to think the mechanic I go to is a very


competent mechanic. So if you have either done the work yourself or


gone to a mechanic, should there be requirement on the MoT system to


Sehwag there is work done, whatever, part of the MoT system, actually it


there should be a requirement to have that piece inspected, even if


it isn't parting of the MoT certification prose.s The system we


have at the moment is based around the existing MoT process. There is


so much potential for it to be used for passing information back out to


customers, to keep the vehicle safe and also collect information from


the garage network about things they are finding on the cars, which will


note unusual situations or emerging recall situations. So the next phase


of the MoT development that's what we are trying to do, to provide more


information to customers and also be able to gather information on the


overall safety of the network. When is the time frame on that work sth


when can we expect to have an all-singing all--dancing system?


With we have come out of phase B, a couple of years, and we are about to


approach phase C but it is a three-year period. So 2020, we might


hopefully see If it is pryer advertised last, but hopefully if it


is pryer advertised earlier, it'll be there earlier. Thank you.


One briefp point following on, before I ask the question I want to


ask. At the moment you are the vehicle tax internet system works,


such if you don't have an MoT you can't get tax. Does that mean in


this context, if you haven't got your vehicle detail sorted out you


won't get your tax? There is a data base that wouldling in and it would


automatically process that without any intervention from the test T


wouldn't be up to the tester to make a decircumstances it could all be


automated. It links into the question I want to ask. From


listening to the previous panel where they seem to be suggesting


answers could perhaps lie with the insurers doing more, and they


couldn't see any circumstances where it wouldn't give the manufacturers


access to the vehicle, if they asked, it seems to me that there has


been a bit of ballparking in here. Do you work on the basis that if


there was more regulation involved in this, then there could be some


way of, if you like, forcing the insurers to make sure the vehicle is


made available for the manufacturers? They are forcing, if


you like, the vehicle owner to take action, if they are not in the


recall, as we have just discussed. And then, ultimately, putting the


matter back to the manufacturers? It just seems at the moment it is a bit


lax? It is true to say that our code of practice at the moment lacks a


little bit of teeth. The vast majority of manufacturers we deal


with in safety recalls and we deal with about 330 a year, the vast


majority 69 safety recalls go under the radar and are an imagined well


by the manufacturers and work gets done and cars go back on the road


safety. There are a few outliars, some of which we are dealing with at


the moment but there are plenty of opportunities in there for a level


of regulation which encourages manufacturers to do a better job. If


you compare us with some of our peers in Europe n Germany, for


example, I think it was mentioned earlier, after three letters, the


regulator goes in, takes the registration number off the car and


you cannot drive T if you look at Netherlands, for administrative


failures the fine is 800,000 euros, a potential one-year cessation of


trading, or two-years in prison, we don't have any of that. Do you think


there is also a role for giving the DVSA more teeth in this area as


well? I know Nissan cars have been on the front pages of the paper,


splitting in two and Toyota Prius and we've heard about Vauxhall. We


seem to be hearing more and it is down to manufacturers which action


they want table. I understand it the DVSA there is a requirement for


manufacturers to contact you. Should you be in a position to invoke the


recall on a reasonable suspension? I think we also welcome a voluntary


approach with manufacturers but I think there's some teeth there


lacking, some compulsion we may want to look at in the future in temples


when we don't get the response or we are not satisfied about being able


to take further action and expedite some road safety risk. Has your view


changed in light of the incidents I just mentioned? I mean, it feels as


if there is a bit of a space right now for somebody to be able to take


action, so that the ball can't continuously be passed. If you know


the general product safety regulation is around failures in


design and construction of a vehicle, we control it is corrosion


over peered of time and the chassis status would be picked up in the MoT


process. -- over a period of time. There is a question of whether the


models have had MoTs but that's the space for that type of an issue.


Unless we get evidence that it is a design failure, in which case it


comes back into the code of practice, I think in terms of what


we can do nerks there are probably three levels. We have learnt a lot


from this -- we can do next, there are three levels. We have learned a


lot, so the MoT involvement is a good process, we'll proposed to kick


that off shortly. Second sand what regulatory powers do we have in the


context of the code of practice. At the moment we don't have any. That


needs to be improved to be able it chivy along some manufacturers that


are not getting to where we need to. Ultimately our goal is making sure


there are no unsafe vehicles on the road. The final bit of us corks is


whilst we are an enforcement authority in many areas, we are not


an enforcement agency as far as general product safety regulations


themselves are concerned so that final ability it take an


organisation to court is not there at the moment. Thank you, I will


stop there. -- to take. So what are the most important


powers you would like to have, that you don't have now? If you look at


the code of practice at the moment, it is a little bit siement on time


scales. If our focus son making sure that the safety remedy is compo


indicted as fast as possible so, people are not put at risk, being


able to ensure that manufacturers speed up the safety recall process


is a clear one, making sure the administration around that is as


robust as possible, so it doesn't create problems as we have seen on


this particular issue and clearly, if there is a lack of willingness to


solve the problem, we need it take it one step further, and as I said


-- to take T and our colleagues Netherlands have greater powers than


we do. What greater powers do they have that you would like? They can


compel a manufacturer to seize trading. There is a two-year prison


sentence for some components and for administrative fines, it is up to


800,000 euros. They are quite stringent. And in Germany, if


removal of the registration plate. If you go down an avenue of trying


to correct this and people don't take notice, you remove that road


safety risk by stopping the vehicle being licensed and registered. So


all those powers, are you seeking? It would make the system more robust


but bear nibbed the vast majority of -- but bear in mind the vast


majority of safety recall are dealt with. One of the issue, as well s I


suspect, almost everybody in this room will have come across really


good mechanics and some, perhaps, questionable ones. Would you like


any powers at all to be able to, if you are able to identify mechanics


who are really, perhaps, should not be touching cars to be anywhere near


them, perhaps having power that is would cease somebody from trading in


that way? We already have those powers. OK We already remove testers


and examiners from garages under the MoT system and we publish that


information. That's somebody doing the test but if you have somebody in


a lock of-up garage, tucked away in London, fixing cars for a few quid


and what they are doing is dangerous, the member of the public


who goes to them and hands over the money in good faith thinks they are


cheap and maybe won't ask why. ... Often they have things in place,


the gas industry is a good example. You have to be registered and have a


certain level of education and understanding and pass


qualifications to get to that level. There is clearly a road safety risk


in a mechanic not doing what he is doing and not repairing the vehicle


to a safe standard. At the moment you don't have that power.


Would that be useful in the future? That would give the public more


confidence that they know the mechanic has achieved a certain


level of status. How many vehicle recall saya handling at the moment?


333 in the last year involving 1.7 million vehicles. We get on average


one or two a day. It is quite a considerable workload. How many


involve fires? Over the last ten years I think we have had about 1.1


million vehicles recalled because of fire issues more generally, engine


fires, electrical fires and other causes. How many of the recalls now


are to do with fires? I do not know the exact number. With Vauxhall


you're dealing with fires and five models at the moment. Five? Yes.


Different cars. -- models. It is unusual for one manufacturer.


Multiple recall is on the same model. Last year we had seven


recallrecalls. Some unusual characteristics about this


particular incident. Would you like to add to that? No. On both of those


recalls they have been recalled twice. With different corrective


action taken. For four, Chrysler and the third one has disappeared out of


my mind, forgive me. When it pops back in... Yes. I am alarmed about


the volume of recalls. Each individual recall will be down to a


specific component design but is there a wider issue about the


quality and design of cars that is leading to this large increase in


the volume of recalls? Our manufacturers cutting corners to


keep costs down? Is there a wider issue we should be looking at? I


cannot give you a definitive answer. The code of practice, there is a big


component around early notification and we get a large number of


manufacturers who tell us very early about things that are emerging and


that they want to get on top of quickly and salt and that is one


reason why the vast majority of recall iss -- recalls go under the


radar. I would not see it is now so thoroughly always down to worsening


standards. Sometimes we are getting more information early on. Land


Rover was the other manufacturer. I am quite shocked by some of what you


have just said. Thinking of the Zafira models, I understand it was


not the manufacturer who informed you, it was customers themselves who


informed you. Do you have any power... That does not seem right...


Do you have any power to stop manufacturers doing that? Surely


they should have to tell you and you should not have to find out from


customers? Yes. We are discussing with Vauxhall a number of reports


that have come to us on the 13th of January with the ECC Zafira model, a


couple of reports from them and a report from the public and we are


pressing Vauxhall for more details into the cause of those fires. We


press the manufacturers for that information. I rate in saying you


found out about this from a member of the public first? Yes. How much


time had passed between that report coming from a member of the public


to Vauxhall getting in touch with you? Have they told you why they did


not contacted? I think it was about four or five days after we sent them


the information we had a notification of four fires on


Zafiras in 2016. We have had conversations throughout about when


they knew certain aspects. We are trying to resolve those. It is about


what is early notification in the minds of some manufacturers compared


to others. 20% of the information comes from third parties and market


intelligence. Ideally the sooner we know them or we can solve. Do you


judge they did not come to your early enough? Is your interpretation


it was not early enough? Yes. If we find out through a third party it is


never early enough. I agree. We continue to press Vauxhall on this


and one of the issues emerging is that some of the decision-making in


terms of Vauxhall classifying issues as a safety defect comes from


Germany and Vauxhall in the UK have said that the decision that sets


elsewhere. Is that unusual? Think of other manufacturers around the


world. The structure between the UK and Europe is not necessarily in


itself unusual. What is of concern potentially is how quickly that


information comes from the manufacturer or producer and


distributor. It is clear in the code of practice that if you have the


parent company you are to tell them of the early notification system in


the UK. Very clear. Of course. You may have heard earlier, when I


mentioned to the previous witnesses examples of people telling Vauxhall


about this, and they were effectively told it was not an issue


and to go away, what would you say any case like that? Do you have any


power to take that up with Vauxhall and impose anything on them? Every


occasion where that is reported we would take that up with the


manufacturer. Where that is proven to be the case can you do anything


or is there another agency that can do anything? In terms of our ability


to take enforcement action we have very limited powers. We can provide


information to Trading Standards bodies for them to take action. We


pass all this information on with very strict guidance to the


manufacturer about what they should do about it. We had a report that a


car had been sold at a particular garage after the recall had been


launched, with an invoice that said there were no outstanding recalls


and that was not true, so our staff visited the garage and pass the


information back to Vauxhall to make sure the change was made quickly.


What would you say in terms of the way Vauxhall have handled this month


from your point of view, what would be the top things you would want


them to take away and never do again? Probably the most important


is the early notification because we are not going to take regulatory


action if an organisation comes to us and says we think we have a


safety risk, we are trying to get on top of it as quickly as possible,


work with us. Of course. That has not happened here. It does with most


manufacturers. The second thing is to be open. As understanding about


why something has failed, changes, tell us. Every time we have a fix it


appears to be the final fix. If they have said we cannot fix it


permanently but we are going to remove some of the risk why we build


up a stock of parts to do the whole fix that would have been a different


story. There were some other examples mentioned about issues with


different manufacturers having different safety problems.


Generally, how can the DVS saying help the industry salvage itself


from what seems to be crisis after crisis? How can you help save the


industry from itself? What is your role in that more widely? Early


dialogue is critical, to get that confidence back. You need more


teeth. I am not blaming you guys. There are areas where we could put


some teeth into this. Important is it you get those extra powers? Why


might we are on the code of practice is the code of practice has not


changed and we have to review that but we are being more rigorous and


how we tackle some of the issues. Some of that has been interpreted by


certain parts of industry as changing the code of practice but we


are just being more rigorous in how we implement it. Most safety recalls


gets dealt with easily. Those powers will be essential to make sure it


does not happen again. A minute automatic or you said most


manufacturers are cooperative which implied that Vauxhall not just in


this case but generally are not. Would that be fair? There is no


doubt we have had to chase a lot of information we believe exists to


understand how big the risk is. On the Zafiras with the electronic line


control, we know there are a number of fires out there and have asked


for information about what Vauxhall's understanding as and they


are waiting to complete a formal investigation but there is still


risk out there so the earlier we have that information the better. We


are chasing to understand what the total risk is to work with them to


remove that risk. The fact to said there is still risk out their


answers the question I put to the previous panel that there are people


driving in Zafiras that are at risk. Are you wholly satisfied that the


company are cooperating and doing their best to ensure that those


vehicles are identified? The fact we are still asking questions says I am


not confident. What we have heard over the last year has put us in


that space. We are constantly pushing for cancers to our questions


to understand how big the remaining risk is. You said that most recalls


went below the radar. Nobody noticed they were happening. Is that because


there were a small number of vehicles affected or because, as


seems to be the case, I have not seen evidence, some manufacturers,


perhaps premium manufacturers, offering a free service and they are


doing the recall so that nobody, particularly the customer, finds out


it has been part of a safety call? Is that what you had in mind or


something different? What is going on? I will give you the short


answer. The vast majority of safety recalls take place within the


warranty period before a car gets to MOT. You take your car to a


franchised dealer and the dealer will know from its owner that it has


a problem and you will be going with that as part of the normal course


and you will not see it because it will be dealt with very quickly. In


the case of the Zafira the vast majority of models were outside


warranty and outside the period for which you do not need an MOT. The


situation is different. So, yes, there are sorts of different ways


that manufacturers are getting safety recalls done by the customer


may never know. Yes. The previous panel, in answer to a question I


posed about whether they contacted other manufacturers, they seemed to


tell me that they had. Is there some common issue that manufacturers tend


to liaise with you but do not allow other manufacturers that it might be


an issue? Is that something you think is acceptable? We would use a


system to make sure this gets out to a wider audience across Europe and


the bull understand what it is about. And people can take a


judgment about its effect. Is it enough? Making sure there is


confidence in the system, you would think they would find some way that


their senior engineers, there would be somebody to discuss these matters


or have an outlook for dialogue. If they're not that culture within the


manufacturing industry and therefore they reference you and they have


done their job? There seems to be a lot of concern about competitiveness


and sharing secrets in that wild and sometimes that gets in the way. That


is very difficult for us without understanding the components to


contact somebody when you do not know that person exists. You have to


go through the manufacturer and speak through whatever channel is


possible with whoever is making the components of that is the issue.


On the one hand I can see the issue about sharing intellectual property


but another way you can looking at it is bearing bad news. When it


comes to something as fundamental as safety, I am he a taken aback that


the industry is not nor collaborative, and it doesn't give


me confidence that they can sort their own issues out if they cannot


discuss it, by saying - we found this issue, you might want it check


it out. I find it worrying, and I also find it worrying that they


didn't do what they said six months ago. Again, they seem it make it up


as they go along. We expect to remove the road safety issue risk as


soon as possible. We don't want it to continue any longer than


necessary. Thank you. Do you share your concern wts D kr. - VCA is that


faulty or dangerous dep sign can belinged to vehicle certification?


Yes we have a close working relationship with DCA. We're in the


process of setting up an area to target the Volkswagen swachlingts we


know they value our information and feedback for type testing for


vehicles before they come on to the market. Are there any further


questions? No. Well, Mr MacDonald, and Mr


Sellerings. One brief, point, Chair, thank you.


We talk about the powers you guys don't have, rather than the ones you


do V I wonder if you can talk to us, just briefly, about resources. There


seemed to be some concern, previously when you were at


committee about the resources you have, the cash resources and what


you can do with that. I wonder if you could give us perhaps an update?


So, as you know, DVSA is a trading fund. The vast majority of our


income does not come from the Government. This area is funded by


what we all the single enforcement budge eted. Probably one of the only


areas that the Department for Transport actually funds in this


space. We are about to publish our five-year strategy. Part of that


strategy is to become self-financing, so we are talking to


the department at the moment about how we do that and, therefore, what


changes may need to be made to penalties, fees and charges, etc to


enable us to do that. Because, I come from a world where the polluter


pays in the environmental space. I think it is just as relevant here.


We are trying to work through that with the department at the moment. I


haven't got any over worries about financial resources at the moment.


The people resources are always a challenge. I'm immensely proud of


the people that work for DVSA. They do difficult jobs in difficult


circumstances. How many people would be working on the recalls? It is


administered by a team of seven but they sit within our enforcement arm


which has 1,000 people. We have taken the enforcement arm out of the


corps operations. Ho -- it reports to me. The organisation has changed


and it can get more resources if required and more opportunity to


expand that if necessary Seven seems a tiny amount of the recalls you


mentioned earlier. We're evaluating that in terms of what more resource


we may need to ensure we can drive compliance in the way we want to and


to ensure, as we look to deal with some of the issues emerging from


this particular issue with vauks Whitehall, that we have adequate


resource. -- with Vauxhall. Some MPs have more than seven MPs of staff.


Well I don't know who they are. Not me. Well, can I talk about the last


answer, I welcome the polluter pays-type approach and particularly


when it comes to heavy goods vehicles, for example, where the


wholly inadequate fining system for somebody that has poor brakes that


don't work on a trailer and only gets ?100 fine is appalling. So good


luck with that one and it'll be nice to see the draft, perhaps of your


document at some stage but my question actually is the types of


vehicles are now changing. We are looking more and more of electric


vehicles and I'm already hearing of recovery operators going to repair a


vehicle, going to load a voke and being faced with a potential 50,000


volt shock from an electric vehicle. What work is being done looking at


that both for now and for the future in terms of the unique aspects of


risk around electric vehicles and how that is likely to shape up in


the future? Well we have a variety of people across the Department for


Transport and with colleagues, people like in the VCA to try to


understand this. Every vehicle that comes on to the road, three years


later has to be MoT tested, so we have to be ahead of that. We are


zoontly looking ahead. We have only been looking last week at autonomous


vehicles. Things are going to change at some point remove the driver, so


how does that work and how will that interact in our whole world? We are


constantly reviewing that and looking at that. We have to plan


ahead because we have a network of testing station that is will have to


test the vehicles at some point so they'll need to integrate that into


the test. So early work and progress?


Perhaps a topic for another inquiry. Thank you very much. Order, order.


I six Prime Ministers, six very different styles of leadership but


what did those leadership styles say about how they ran their party or


their Governments? Join me, for Six Unscripted, straight to camera talks


on how these very different leaders interpreted their role as Prime


Minister. That's Leadership Reflections, this Sunday to Friday,


8.00pm on BBC Parliament.


Recorded coverage of the Transport Committee's session on Vauxhall vehicle fires, with evidence from GM Quality Europe and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, from Monday 6 February.