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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Wednesday, 01 August 2007

Still no joy with Renault (UK or France HQ), so decided that another letter correspondence was in order - address to the Chairman and CEO of Renault Group (France).

"Your UK Executive teams have failed to respond to my earlier communications dated 2nd March and 6th April 2007 – which you have also been copied into.

Renault’s current stance signifies its reluctance to deal with this safety matter. It doesn’t seem satisfactory for Renault to imply that it has nothing to do with the incidents – as it “manufactures” and “designs” the parts in question. Renault has implied the incidents are caused by lack of care on the owner’s part – relating to the closure and maintenance of the bonnet – which Renault believes is “resolved” by issuing the directive to the UK Renault dealerships to check and maintain (and replace) parts during servicing. Incidentally, you should note that incidents continue to occur up to this day. 

  1. Maintenance does not seem to be the root-cause – Renault believes it is; Renault has also admitted that the closure of the bonnet does not rely on any particular level of maintenance. Isn’t this a clear contradiction by Renault? 
  2. The Bonnet Closure for any vehicle is fool-proof – you close the bonnet and tug it to confirm that the bonnet catches are engaged and secure. This is the standard approach for any bonnet. Even so, the Clio’s bonnets do not seem to engage properly on the primary and secondary (safety) catches, although they appear secure when tugged by the owner – in the first instance. Any resulting “bonnet release” in motion, signifies an apparent failing in both catch mechanisms (more notably the safety catch). You cannot categorically accuse 1,000+ owners that they cannot close a bonnet correctly without firm evidence backing up your statement –this is a slanderous statement that Renault has made to your customers whom could have had a fatal road-traffic accident in your vehicles.

An incident which has detrimental effects to the vehicle occupants and the other road users means this is a safety issue – requiring immediate redress. Neither Renault nor VOSA have completed a transparent, complete or thorough investigation, therefore this discredits any statements made by both organisations thus far. You should consider a settlement for all cases experienced, including providing more support to your customers. These are the basis for someone that deems themselves a ‘responsible manufacture’ and one that considers ‘safety of paramount importance’. I await your department’s response with interest."

We'll see what they have to say in response (if anything!) 

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