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actually   although   another   anyway   around   being   bonnet   brigatti   certainly   clio   couple   days   decided   didn   flight   friday   going   greek   having   holiday   hotel   into   issue   maintenance   managed   mechanism   nice   not   opportunity   really   renault   safety   service   simply   site   something   vosa   wanted   weeks   without   years  

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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Tuesday, 27 March 2007

I got a call from the BBC Watchdog team who told me to watch this week's (Wed, 28th March) programme.  Unfortunately, I am now out of the country in Greece, but got get someone to tape it!

I heard from another source that it was interesting viewing, and in short, a whistleblower had contacted Watchdog - he was an ex-Renault UK employee (Graeme Holt - the former Head of PR in Renault UK).  Hmmm....not sure what to make of this, pushed out or jumped?

Anyway, here's what the verbirage on the Watchdog site described it as:

"Three times now, Watchdog has reported terrifying stories of Renault Clio II’s bonnets flying open when they’re being driven. Renault has always denied there’s a problem. But now the company’s former press relations manager, Graeme Holt, has come to Watchdog to tell us the inside story about what’s been going on.

Holt has told us Renault is fully aware it has a poorly designed bonnet catch that corrodes over time. But instead of admitting to this it’s chosen to tell us the accidents were the customers’ fault, blaming them for not closing their bonnets properly or maintaining their catches correctly.

But it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the manual or service sheet that you need to maintain the bonnet catch mechanism of the Clio II.

We believed the problem only related to the old Clio II. But Holt has told us the Clio II is still in production, only now it’s called the Clio Campus. It has exactly the same dangerous mechanism as the Clio II, and in a few years time it could also corrode and fail. Last year Renault sold over 17,000 of the Campus."

BBC1 Watchdog - 28th March 2007

Well, Renault's PR teams are working ov
Written by abrigatti on 2007-03-31 17:00:00
Renault slates whistle-blowers claims!!! 
Renault has refuted claims that its putting customers' lives at risk, following a claim from an ex-employee that the bonnet catch on previous-generation Clios and current Clio Campus models is poorly designed. 
Former Renault UK press manager Graeme Holt said that Renault would not recall the Clio to rectify the issue because of the huge numbers of cars invloved - over half a million in the UK. BBC's Watchdog programme said it had been contacted by 1000 Clio owners complaining of a faulty catch. 
However, the company stated: 
"Renault UK is a responsible manufacturer and prides itself on safety with more five-star Euro NCAP rated cars than any other manufacturer. The safety of its customers is of paramount importance to Renault UK. 
Without question, Renault conforms to all strict legal procedures outlined for the motor industry. This includes incidents of drivers reporting that the bonnet of their Clio II has opened whilst the car was being driven. 
Renault has liaised fully with the UK government enforcement agency, the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA), on the issue and both Renault and VOSA have concluded that the bonnet catch mechanism on the Clio II has no design or construction defect. 
Since Watchdog's original broadcast, Renault has monitored and analysed every case we have received and a dedicated Task Force of more than 30 of Renault’s worldwide experts has investigated this issue, including carrying out vehicle inspections. VOSA has been kept fully informed throughout. 
In co-operation with the relevant authorities including the DVLA, Renault is writing to all Clio II owners, more than 400,000 people, inviting them into their nearest Renault dealership, where the opening and closing mechanisms of the bonnet will be checked to ensure the correct maintenance is being undertaken. If poor maintenance is detected, the appropriate corrective action will be carried out at no cost to the customer as a gesture of goodwill. 
Renault refutes BBC Watchdog claim that it is 'putting lives at risk' 
Renault has found no construction or design defect with the bonnet catch mechanism of the Clio II. Renault is a responsible manufacturer. To say we would endanger our customers is categorically untrue. We are recalling all Clio II owners into the Renault network as part of our reassurance plan. 
The bonnet catch mechanism of the Clio II is safe, reliable and fit for purpose providing the vehicle is maintained correctly and the bonnet is closed as prescribed. 
This issue is a maintenance issue. 
Renault refutes BBC Watchdog's whistle-blower 'cover-up' claim 
There is no 'cover-up'. Renault always takes any customer complaint extremely seriously and we have escalated reports of this issue to the highest level within Renault. The fact that we are writing to all Clio II owners demonstrates how seriously Renault takes any customer issue and illustrates our openness with the customers. 
Renault is sorry that Graeme Holt, former Press Relations Manager, Renault UK, has issues with the company. However Renault's priority remains its customers and communicating with them. 
Renault refutes claims that issue due to a design fault 
There is no design fault with the bonnet catch mechanism on the Clio II. Graeme Holt has no accredited technical expertise with which to make such a claim. 
This issue is a maintenance issue pure and simple. In its investigations, Renault discovered several cases of poor maintenance where the bonnet had opened whilst the car was being driven. 
Immediately following Watchdog's original broadcast, Renault UK instructed its dealers to check the bonnet catch mechanism on Clio II free-of-charge for customers and we have now formalised this by adding a check to the service schedule. 
A check of the bonnet catch mechanism is already included in the annual MOT test required for vehicles more than three years old. 
Clio Campus 
There are no reports of this issue on Clio Campus. Renault dealers have been provided with correct maintenance instructions for this vehicle and it will be applied to all Renault vehicles, including Clio Campus as reassuring our customers is Renault's priority."
Utter disgust in my opinion!!

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