Date Published: 19th May 2011
Banwells senior engineer Mark Brown has featured in a BBC Watchdog investigation that has resulted in Citroen recalling more than 20,000 of its C3 Picasso cars in the UK.
The recall follows concerns that the brakes can be activated from the passenger side.
The problem arises because of the way the car is produced for left hand drive in France then modified for right hand drive for use in the UK.
A BBC Watchdog investigation assisted by Mark Brown and Banwells found the brake could still be engaged through a cable under the passenger footwell.
The BBC TV consumer programme was alerted to the problem by Kent-based Town & Country Cleaners, which has three of the Citroen vehicles in its fleet.
BBC Watchdog, with the assistance of Mark, tested two more C3 Picassos on sale at dealerships in south east England – both of which showed the same problem.
Banwells engineer Mark Brown, who examined the cars, found that the braking mechanism underneath the passenger floor was easy to activate – as it was only covered with a thin piece of felt.
“It’s potentially very dangerous indeed because the passenger wouldn’t know he’s the one activating the brake. The driver wouldn’t know what’s going on, and the people behind wouldn’t know what’s going on.”
In a statement given to Watchdog, Citroen said there had been no reports of the problem before the Watchdog programme, but because of a “remote possibility” that it could happen, it announced a VOSA recall. Citroen have confirmed that the modification would be free at Citroen dealers.
C3 Picasso owners wanting further advice or information are asked to call the Citroën Contact Centre on 01753 475862, or to email email@example.com.