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Self-starting Holdens spark safety recall

By Barry Park, 14 Oct 2014 News

Self-starting Holdens spark safety recall

Worn ignitions leave Barinas, Trax SUVs making a ghostly break for it

HOLDEN is leading the charge in Australia with the autonomous car – but the problem is they’re not meant to be.

More than 9000 versions of the Holden Barina small car and Barina-based Holden Trax compact SUV have been recalled after the discovery that a worn ignition barrel could crank the engine if the key was left in it in the “off” position. That means that if left in gear with the hand brake on softly, the car could shuffle forward with no one behind the wheel.

Holden said it has issued the recall notice after logging five cases of vehicles driving themselves away automatically.

A spokesman for the company told Wheels that automatic versions of the Barina and Trax were not affected by the self-starting problem.

According to Holden, the safety recall only affects certain 1.6-litre versions of the Barina up to three years old, and 1.8-litre versions of the Trax up to two years old, and only models fitted with manual transmissions.

“If, when the vehicle is parked, the ignition key is left in the cylinder, the manual transmission is left in gear and the park brake is insufficiently applied, the vehicle starter motor may crank and the vehicle may move unintentionally,” Holden said.

“This condition cannot occur if the key is removed from the ignition key cylinder when the vehicle is parked,” it said.

Holden said there had been no injuries relating to the recall, and owners would have the barrel replaced for no charge.

The Holden recall is unrelated to another sweeping its US parent company, General Motors. However, that recall – which has already been linked to almost 30 deaths – relates to worn ignition barrels that switch off the vehicles’ engines, cutting power and switching off the airbags.

Meanwhile, more than 3000 Colorado 7 large SUVs will revisit Holden workshops after owners discovered seatbelts in the third-row seats didn’t like the vehicle being parked on a slope.

According to the recall notice, retractor lock sensing mechanisms for the seatbelts freeze up the belt if the Colorado is parked on a slope that’s angled between nine and 12 degrees, preventing the passenger from using it until the vehicle moves to flatter ground.

Once again, Holden will replace the seatbelt mechanism free of charge for affected owners.