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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Tuesday, 02 September 2008

My latest letter to the Renault-Nissan Group President and CEO, Mr Carlos Ghosn...

Dear Mr Ghosn,

Over 30 months has passed since I reported the life-threatening safety risk to VOSA, Renault UK and Renault France, I am disappointed to continue to hear of Clio bonnet faults happening on the UK roads.

Due to these ongoing occurrences, you needs to continue to press for a longer-team remedial solution to risk-mitigate the concerns raised towards the safety functionality of the Clio Mark-2/Campus main and secondary 1 (safety) bonnet-catch mechanism.

Although Renault has been reluctant to share any mechanical or scientific evidence on the cause of this issue through the internal investigations (with alignment with VOSA), the apparent failings in the performance of the mechanisms can create a dangerous state which can cause a sudden and spontaneous release. Thus, continues to pose a life-threatening safety risk to your customers.

I am pleased that Renault has provided remedial direction to Clio owners and the dealership network. Namely; 1) replacing the corroded parts, and 2) ensuring the mechanism is maintained during servicing at your dealerships. Your servicing schedule is currently a 2-year programme, meaning that the safety risk remains for this period of time when the mechanism may not be fully checked by a Renault mechanic. Therefore, continues to poses a dangerous state of condition for the safety-mechanism, even after Renault’s Head-Office directions are adhered too.

Irrespective of whether the bonnet is closed properly, the “safety” catch should prevent a bonnet from flying up and causing a safety risk to the occupants of Renault’s vehicles. To this day, the secondary catch does not perform this “safety” function effectively.

The correct cause of action is for a more impartial approach, and technical/mechanical solution to ensure that the catch mechanism is designed to something that can withstand more of the environmental conditions that it is expected to experience. The current mechanism design is not fool-proof and the safety mechanism functionality has failed.

I await your response and hope Renault can support a more thorough investigation and longer term resolution, to ensure these incidents never ever happen again. Thank you for your time and support.

I also put this footnote:

“Secondary” catch is used to reference your “safety” catch, as the safety functionality continues to be called into question, and therefore cannot categorically act with this safety function in mind, throughout all states of the mechanism.

I wonder if I get a response to this...the last 3 communications have fallen on death-ears! And this is from a manufacture who notes themselves as "safety-conscious"!!

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