Car maker Renault has to recall more than 66,000 cars because of fears of a faulty automatic hand brake, which could apply itself while the car is moving. The car manufacturer is currently in the process of contacting all British owners of its Scenic II model car, which were made between September 03 and June 05.
This huge task was sparked by several incidents involving the hand brake coming on unexpectedly, when drivers were out in the car. It is a fault that could have ended with the driver making a claim on their insurance policy, leaving them with a higher motor insurance quote the following year. Whether it was conventional or any driver car insurance, the hand brake problem could potentially damage the car. Renault engineers have investigated all the cases, and have tracked down the problem to the battery cables fitted incorrectly to the cars ECU (Engine Control Unit). In a move which is likely to cost Renault in excess of £10m, the car maker is spending 10 weeks tracking down the owners of 66,735 Scenics. Staff will then re-program the ECU on the cars to correct the potential fault, and this will be done free of charge. So far only 13,000 Scenic owners have been traced and had the vehicle fixed.
A Renault spokesman said: “The mailing to owners will be carried out over 10 weeks. This started on July 1st and is expected to finish early September. There is the possibility, in a very rare case that the automatic handbrake could apply whilst driving. Investigation of a few cases outside of the UK has shown this to be the problem. The electronic parking brake computer (ECU) that manages the automatic handbrake will be re-programmed.”
This latest case is another blow to the motor industry, as it comes after a catalogue of other recalls involving millions of Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota cars. The largest case to date has been Toyota, which has had to issue 14 separate recalls in the last year worldwide. Eight and a half million cars have had to be recalled since autumn last year, because of a variety of technical problems such as the accelerator pedal sticking to the floor. Only last month, another 70,000 Lexus models were recalled due to a problem with the engine which could have caused the car to stall.