Information - Volkswagen Group safety issue
Volkswagen Group informed Europcar Mobility Group of a potential safety issue it had identified with the new Volkswagen Polo, Seat Arona, Seat Ibiza (new models year 2018). The safety issue relates to the possibility of the belt buckle on the left rear seat opening inadvertently in a specific driving situation.
This situation can occur when the left (in the direction of travel) and middle seat positions on the rear bench seat are both occupied at the same time. If, in a right hand bend, the occupant on the middle rear seat skids to the left, it is possible, that his seat belt buckle contacts the seat buckle of the left side passenger and may release it.
For safety reasons, Volkswagen Group has asked their customers and rental car companies not to use the rear middle seat position of the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Arona and Seat Ibiza.
As our customers’ safety is at the heart of the Europcar Mobility Group service, we are taking this matter very seriously and in this context, we have taken the decision to stop renting any of these 3 models with immediate effect, and instigated a comprehensive customer care program to provide information and support to customers having one of these vehicles on rent.
As part of Europcar Mobility Group, this customer care programme and measure apply to the new Volkswagen Polo, Seat Arona, Seat Ibiza (new models year 2018) rented by Europcar, Goldcar, InterRent, Buchbinder.
1/ For customers who have already one of these vehicles on rent (Volkswagen Polo, Seat Arona, Seat Ibiza), we ask them:
- To not use the rear middle seat position of the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Arona and Seat Ibiza
- and to return as soon as possible to the closest Europcar location, so that we can provide them with an alternative vehicle for the rest of the rental period,
- by doing so, we ask them to return the car with 4 passengers maximum in total in the car, not using the rear middle seat position.
Our contact centers and station managers have been mobilized to ensure the delivery of this customer care program and duly inform our customers.
2/ Europcar Mobility Group has taken the additional measure to stop any new booking of the new Volkswagen Polo, Seat Arona, Seat Ibiza.
While we think these decisions are at the moment the most appropriate ones to ensure our customers’ safety, we are also actively seeking a solution that will allow meeting our customers’ travel needs without adversely affecting safety, remaining in close contact with the Volkswagen Group on this.