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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Monday, 22 October 2007

During the last 5-6 months, there has been a petition on the 10 Downing Street website:

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

This closed on 7th Sept, as after 284 signatories were received was submitted to the UK Government for review, here it is -

http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page13532.asp:

My comments in blue. I think this is just a regurgitation of the same statement VOSA made, just coming from 10-Downing Street, instead!

"The Government is aware of the concerns that have been raised in relation to bonnet main latches and safety catches on the Renault Clio Mark II. Reports of alleged safety defects relating to vehicles and components are handled by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), an executive agency of the Department for Transport."

>> If only VOSA had accepted ALL reports filed to it!

"A thorough investigation was carried out by VOSA in collaboration with the vehicle manufacturer. "

>> Hmmm....clarify "thorough"?

"The purpose of the investigation was to establish the existence or otherwise of a design or construction defect that would render the vehicle unsafe, as defined by the UK Code of Practice on Vehicle Safety Defects. Had a safety defect been identified a recall of the vehicles could have been instigated under the Code of Practice."

>> But VOSA advised Renault to notify all owners - so is this a recall or not?

"The investigation indicated that the most likely cause of the incidents was a combination of inadequate maintenance and incorrect closure of the bonnet. "

>> Based on what evidence, an investigation by Renault on my vehicle, and 6 spot-checks of other vehicles - and some "undocumented" discussions between VOSA and Renault! Hmmm...farse!

"It is the owner's responsibility to ensure adequate maintenance but given the apparent risk and the level of public concern, VOSA's Vehicle Safety Branch strongly recommended that Renault should take follow-up action with their customers. "

>> Strongly recommends, hey! Hmmm....

"Renault readily agreed and Renault UK started contacting around half a million owners of 1998-2007 Renault Clio's in April 2007. Owners were invited to go their local dealership to have the bonnet and safety catch components checked, and if necessary, serviced or replaced free of charge. The letter also included an insert for the owners to update their manual on maintenance requirements. All owners have now been contacted."

>> What evidence is there that all notifications were sent / received!

"The case has been kept open whilst discussions continue with the manufacturer about maintenance and service regimes. The annual MOT test for vehicles over three years old already includes inspection and reasons for rejection of bonnet retaining devices. "

>> Except there has been reports that this is not being undertaken! Is this a Renault or VOSA "guideline"?

"This issue was highlighted in the July/August edition of a publication that the Government circulates to all MOT garages."

>> Okay, so if a car passes the MOT and then experiences the issue - what then?

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

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