22 Feb 2024

Skodas used by police recalled over fire risk concerns

5:03 pm on 22 February 2024

By Matthew Hansen of Stuff

Approximately 2000 Skodas have been recalled in New Zealand over potential fire risk issues, including the Superbs used by the police.

Approximately 2000 Skodas have been recalled in New Zealand over potential fire risk issues, including the Superbs used by the police. Photo: Stuff / Chris McKeen

The Skoda Superb, a car recently adopted by the police, has been hit with a nationwide recall notice over a production issue that can lead to heightened fire risk.

Skoda New Zealand issued a preventative recall notice in early February detailing an issue found in both its Superb and Octavia models regarding a coupling connector that is vulnerable to melting in certain conditions.

According to the brand, this can trigger a brake fluid leak, which in turn can set off a fire if it makes contact with hot mechanical components.

The recall impacts Skoda Octavia and Superb models built between 2020 and 2024. Skoda's recall notice encourages owners to contact their nearest Skoda dealer to book an appointment for an inspection.

Skoda New Zealand national service manager Paul Varga confirmed that more than a third of the national Police fleet has already had repairs performed as part of the recall, adding that none of the vehicles sighted thus far show signs of damage to the brake fluid reservoir.

"Skoda NZ have been working with the police on a 'Service Life Investigation' Campaign that affected Skoda Superb vehicles in the police fleet, this investigation has now been included in the recall above.

"We are working through the potentially affected vehicles via our Police Service Network. To date we have completed 38 percent of affected police vehicles without any incidents of deformation of the brake fluid reservoir."

According to Varga, approximately 2000 locally registered Superb and Octavia have been impacted by the recall. A selection of Volkswagen models from 2020-2024 - the Golf, Passat, and Arteon - were recalled over the same issue in January.

The recall does not extend to the Skoda Kodiaq SUV, which the police also utilise in its fleet.

The Skoda Superb wagon was added to the police fleet in 2021 as a replacement for the existing 'Prime One' Holden Commodore VF and ZB. The police are in the process of phasing out the older, Australian-made Commodore VFs.

The decision to switch from the traditional Commodore to the Czech-based Skoda was motivated by General Motors' decision to axe the beloved Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand in 2021.

It isn't the first time that a vehicle from the police fleet has been involved in a nationwide recall. The Commodore ZB, still used by the police, has previously been recalled numerous times over issues ranging from seatbelts that may not be correctly installed, to a leaking fuel pump.

* This story was first published by Stuff