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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Well I got a response from VOSA's COO, but another one that I aim to rip to shreds - and take their integrity with it.  Shame on VOSA for writing a pile of poo as their formal response to my previous letter posing 10 simple questions!

"Thank you for your further email of 2 April. I note this was copied to the Secretary of State, the Minister and Alastair Peoples. Please accept this as a consolidated response.

As you are aware, reports of alleged safety defects with vehicle components are handled by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) Vehicle Safety Branch (VSB) under the terms of the UK Code of Practice on Vehicle Safety Defects which implements the requirement of The General Product Safety Directive 2005.

The Code defines a safety defect as a ‘feature of design or construction liable to cause a significant risk of personal injury or death.’ Defects which are detectable by routine servicing or maintenance are not subject to the Code. The numbers of vehicles involved and their age or maintenance regime has no bearing on the matter.

VOSA will follow up defects where the safety of road users could be improved with additional advice from the manufacturer, for example with respect to maintenance or use. In this case, as discussed in my letter of 24 March, VOSA has worked with Renault whose campaign has provided positive guidance to its customers.

A bonnet catch has many moving and functioning parts and there is the potential that a failure might occur on any model of car of any age for a number of reasons not related to the vehicle’s design or construction. As the Renault campaign has highlighted, the risk can be prevented or minimised by regular servicing and maintenance.

Regarding requests made under the Freedom of Information Act, these should be addressed to VOSA’s Information Access Team at the above address or emailed to: inform@vosa.gsi.gov.uk. If a requestor is not satisfied with the outcome of the request they may write to VOSA’s Corporate Office at the above address to ask for a review of the decision. Should they remain dissatisfied they may appeal VOSA’s decision with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

As I have explained before, VOSA’s Vehicle Safety Branch has investigated this case in accordance with the Codes of Practice and determined that there is not a safety defect as defined by the Code. We will not be taking any further action in this matter.

I realise you are unhappy with this outcome but we have correctly followed our procedures and there are no plans to change the current arrangements for dealing with reports of alleged safety defects. Although I am content to correspond further on this matter, VOSA’s position will remain unchanged and supportive of the steps taken by Renault to mitigate this non-safety recall issue."

Well do you think this will be an end to the saga - what do you think - ha!

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