Vauxhall showed “a reckless disregard for safety” in allowing customers to keep driving Zafira cars after a fire risk was identified, MPs have said.
It was “morally reprehensible” for the car maker not to warn customers sooner, MPs on the Transport Select Committee said.
And Vauxhall was too slow in general to take action over the fires, which came to prominence in 2015, MPs said.
Vauxhall said there were “lessons to be learned” from the Zafira fires.
The fires started behind the glove box in the heating and ventilation system, and were a problem in Zafira B cars, which are still subject to a recall.
Vauxhall was “too slow to acknowledge drivers’ concerns, too slow to begin an investigation, too slow to address the causes and too slow to alert drivers of real safety concerns. Drivers and their families were needlessly put at risk,” committee chair Louise Ellman said.
The first report of a Zafira fire was noted by Vauxhall in 2009, and in 2014, internal concerns over a pattern in reports of fires were raised.
However, Vauxhall did not launch an investigation into the fires until August 2015. At that time Vauxhall logged 161 fires.