Holden urged to act over faulty handbrakes

Holden should follow the example of its British sister company and recall the recent Vectra model because the handbrake may fail without warning, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide and Consumer NZ.

Dog & Lemon Guide editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said today:

“We called on Holden to recall this car last year. They denied there was a problem. Now its clear there is a problem and something must be done about it.”

Consumer New Zealand spokesman Hamish Wilson agrees:

“There is clear evidence of a problem with these cars and Holden needs to take action now, before someone is killed or injured.”

There have been large numbers of overseas reports of Vectra owners parking their cars securely on a slope, only to have the vehicle roll away a short time later. In a typical example, Caroline Pearce from Northern Ireland wrote off a neighbour’s car when her eight-week-old Vectra rolled away.

“My driveway is at a steep 45 degree angle so I was careful to put on the handbrake. From the time of my setting the handbrake to the stage when it rolled down my drive was about 15 minutes,” she said.

‘When I got to the car the handbrake was disengaged. There are lots of young children who live around my home and it was lucky that most were in their own houses having their tea. If this had happened any later there would surely have been terrible results. This thought has haunted me ever since.”

Hamish Wilson said Holden had the opportunity to do the right thing and voluntarily recall the Vectra.

“If Holden acts now, they will retain their credibility with motorists."

Vauxhall, Holden’s British sister company, still maintains that the Vectra handbrakes are safe, but says it will modify the vehicles to 'reduce the possibility of a partial release when incorrectly setting the handbrake'.

Matthew-Wilson added:

“The Government has the power to force the recall of a vehicle with a known safety defect. If Holden does not take immediate action then the government must.”