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Fault with car model could affect car accident claims

It seems that consumers have been putting some car accidents down to a defect with their car and making it known to the BBC.

Back in April 2006 BBC's Watchdog investigated consumer complaints about the bonnet catch on a model made by a French car manufacturer. Since this date, over 1,000 people have written into the programme and said how their bonnet catch has unexpectedly come undone while driving, then flown up and severely restricted their vision.

For some this just caused a nasty shock and they were able to pull their car over and break safely but for others this resulted in a road accident and led to the need to make car accident claims for personal injuries. There have been stories reported on bonnets flying open in all situations, while travelling on busy motorways at 70mph and even close to school gates where children are crossing.

The consumer awareness programme has featured this particular story no less than three times since 2006 as consumer concern has continued to flood in.

Watchdog consulted expert, Martin Woodhouse, who expressed that he feels the bonnet catch has a fundamental fault in its design, particularly regarding its size. He revealed the car model as a car accident hazard because the owner could pull on the catch too hard and force it out and into an unsafe position.

The show's specialist also stated that the French car manufacturer should recall the cars. However, to date no action has been taken. While the car maker maintains that "the safety of its customers is of paramount importance" they also insist that after carrying out 34 inspections to date they have not detected a manufacturing defect on the bonnet catch of the model in question. Instead, the company has launched a new model sporting an entirely different bonnet catch.

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