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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Saturday, 02 February 2008

Another 'victim' of the infamous Renault Clio sudden bonnet release syndrome, raised a new Petition to the UK Prime Minister @ 10 Downing Street, asking for an independent review of the functions and processes of VOSA.

We all have felt that we have been "let down" by VOSA's inactions regarding their investigations into the Bonnet releases reports. VOSA have "taken the side" of the manufacture, rather than actually being stronger and ensuring firm action is taken to resolve the root-cause of the issue (rather than some lame attempt of preventive actions).

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/VOSAactivities/

This closed on 3rd Jan 2008, as after 237 signatories were received was submitted to the UK Government for review, here it is -

http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page14284.asp:

My comments in blue. Not really anything openly different that any previous discussions on the same. VOSA have pretty much been defended by Number 10 and the DoT. As if we were expecting any different.

So no changes at VOSA - and no independent MP investigation into VOSA's activities! Shame!

"The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. Over the last year VOSA has successfully managed nearly 300 safety recall campaigns."

>> Yes but failing to act on just ONE potential life-threatening and safety-related issue is a failure in my book!

"VOSA has worked closely with Renault since the bonnet opening incidents were first reported and has had numerous face-to-face meetings and telephone contacts with Renault UK and Renault Headquarters in France on this matter during the last two years."

>> Okay I can sleep easier now just because I am reassured that VOSA have been talking to Renault - their point being????

"Whilst the issue with Renault bonnet catches was not specifically classified as a recall - because there was not judged to be a design or manufacturing issue involved - VOSA has nevertheless continued to work with the manufacturer to ensure that owners with any concerns about Clio Mark II models can be fully reassured by the offer of free servicing attention to the bonnet catch."

>> Am I further reassured by this statement - of course NOT. Prevention is not cure!

"Parliament already has in place a cross-party committee of MPs whose role is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of DfT and its associated public bodies- the Transport Select Committee. The Committee has considered various aspects of vehicle safety recall procedure in the past and has not expressed any concerns about VOSA's performance in this respect, or made any recommendations for change. The Government does not, therefore, consider that it is necessary to Commission an independent committee of MPs to look into the activities of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency."

>> Yes but we have clearly highlighted that there maybe some politic interference in the process VOSA undertakes during such safety-investigation - too MUCH liaison and reliance on the vehicle manufacture in question...oh, I'm sorry I forgot that this "committee" is represented by politicians! My mistake totally!

"VOSA (and its predecessor, the Vehicle Inspectorate) have been managing vehicle recall procedure since the introduction of a voluntary Code of Practice jointly agreed with the vehicle manufacturing industry in 1979. Over the past three decades many millions of vehicles have been subject to recalls under the Code."

>> Maybe they should stop talking statistics here. Statistics can easily be "implied". If they want some more, lets be a bit more specific. We have 500,000 potential death-traps on the road, and this is just counting the Clio-Mk2 models in the UK only! We've heard that other models of Renault's have the same mechanism design (Laguna's, Scenic's etc), and what about other Countries!!!???

"As producers of the product, the manufacturing industry inevitably takes a keen interest in all cases to ensure that any instances of potential design and manufacturing defects are thoroughly investigated, and they have a legal responsibility to do so. VOSA's role is to ensure that automotive manufacturers consider such matters in a reasonable way and that they respond to any concerns in an appropriate manner. "

>> Isn't this the issue though, just being a "relationship manager" is simply not good enough, they need to enforce and penalise those manufactures who DO NOT take their own responsibility seriously enough, ughhh isn' this Renault?

"This relationship has been elaborated and supported under the provisions of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 - which apply to a wide range of consumer products. However - to-date - VOSA has not needed to invoke any of the provisions of Regulations in order to secure necessary co-operation from the manufacturing industry (as it would equally hope not to have to do in the future)."

>> Safety Regulations Act - how about people's lives being in danger?

Your thoughts are welcome on this UK Government statement into an incident which could have killed or injured me!

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