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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Another opportunity to raise the same ol' issue to the Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan Group...will take notice this time around...well I'm not that hopeful!

"Dear Mr Ghosn,

I do believe that the timing of this letter cannot come at a better time, as we are see a spate of "high-profile" safety issues being noted around the world; with one notable exception, no formal recall has been published to resolve the Clio-2 Bonnet catch mechanism failure safety issue that are still apparent.

What is more surprising is that after 4+ years after I filed the first formal report to Renault of my Clio bonnet flying up and smashing my windscreen whilst I was driving (without warning), we still hear incidents being reported. The continuous increase of reported cases is extremely concerning, and all efforts have to remain on ensuring the root-cause of the issue is fully resolved for the sake of all Clio-2 owners.

Let’s quote an article in the recent US Congress hearings into the massive Toyota recall – there are some synergies to your own safety concerns:

• Toyota "consistently dismissed" the possibility that electronic failures could be responsible for acceleration problems

• the report that Toyota commissioned to look at potential electronic problems appeared to have "serious flaws" and the company was too slow in initiating it

• Toyota's public statements about the adequacy of its recent recalls appeared to be "misleading".

It is clear that the comments raised by the US Congress refer to the same context for Renaults own bonnet catch safety concerns. You may also realise that in the UK the DoT VOSA definition is as follows:

• the evidence indicates the existence of a safety defect in the vehicles; and

• the defect appears to be common to a number of vehicles; and

• some of the vehicles involved have already been sold for use in the UK.

What evidence would a manufacture require to confirm that an issue exists, your Engineer’s and VOSA quoted corrosion was present affecting a part that was design / manufactured as maintenance-free? If there is a chance that a mechanism that acts as a safety device that does not operate in 100% of cases, then this is a defect, the catch is simply not fit for purpose. A report which you published jointly with VOSA outlines that there are known contributable factors which can result in the mechanism failing to function effectively.

I call upon you as the Global Head of Renault Group to respond directly to the concerns raised and the risk that continues to exist with your vehicles in the UK and around the world. Your lives of your customers continued to be put at risk; surely this alone goes above all other points and policies, common-sense should prevail in this particular safety concern. Please issue a recall and replace the defective parts."

Do you think they will do anything based on the above?

Renault's Response - Very disappointing
Written by abrigatti on 2010-03-13 18:01:35
Well another standard and boring response from Renault UK. Shame the core context I put in my letter were brushed aside and ignored. Good news is that this response just gave me more ammunition to respond back to Renault promptly.  
"Thank you for your letter dated 23 February 2010 addressed to our Chairman, Mr Ghosn, who has asked us to reply. 
Acknowledging the concerns you have, Renault would like to confirm the actions taken in relation to this matter. 
Renault liaised fully with the independent governing body, VOSA, on this issue and both Renault and VOSA concluded that the bonnet catch mechanisms of the Clio II have no design or construction defects. 
As part of our work with VOSA and with a view of ensuring that communication on this issue was as broad as possible, Renault wrote to Clio II owners on two occasions, using registered keeper data provided by the DVLA. Customers were invited to take their vehciles into their local Renault dealer for a check of the bonnet catch mechanisms to ensure that correct maintenance had been undertaken. If remedial action is required, this is carried out at no cost to the customer. 
In addition, VOSA have reminded all of their MOT stations of the requirement to check the bonnet catch mechanisms on all vehicles, as part of the MOT test. 
Renault considers the above actions to be those of a responsible manufacturer who considers the safety of its customers seriously."
Good to see that Renault France visited
Written by Guest on 2010-03-21 17:09:25
Well it looks like someone from Renault kindly visited this web-page... Was it Mr Ghosn I wonder? :)

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