Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

Between Nov and Dec 2011 I started to have a problem with my car and the boot popping open whilst driving. (my car is a Citroen C4 VTRI + 55 reg) This happened on two separate occasions. Eventually I contacted Citroen who advised me that the car needed to be re-called back to them as this was fault of the manufactures and something to do with the wiring loom on the tailgate. So i sent the car into local Citroen dealer and the car was returned the same day repaired (or so they say).

On the 28th January 2012 i was driving my car with my children in there car seats and my sister in the car also. Again I heard a pop on the car and my children started to scream as i turned round there was smoke all in the back of my car and my children were coughing and the boot was open then my windscreen wipers, and indicators were going off ... I climbed out my car and noticed that the front foot wells were now filling up with smoke and both my children were stuck in the back of the car (3 door car).

A man across the road ran over and got my children out of the car and lifted my bonnet to disconnect the battery. He was a mechanic and informed me that if it had been a few moments later the car would have gone on fire and even worse could have exploded on my drive with me, my 2 young children and my sister in the car or by the car!

He had a look around and he could see ash falling on the footwells and had to keep banging the floor carpets to ensure that it wouldn't catch fire. Eventually with the boot and all doors open the car empty of smoke (but now smells like it was burnt out). The mechanic advised me my car (or component) on the car had been on fire and that i should contacted my insurance company. I did this and they advised me that it was a manufactures error and to speak with them .

I contacted Citroen and they advised me that they couldn't help as the car was out of warranty etc i was best to go through my insurance. With no-one to help me and getting passed from pillar to post without no car i paid for an independent electrician to come out who has stated that the unit had at some caught fire that it is burnt out, not due to driver error in his opinion, however due to the severity of the burnt out unit its almost impossible to tell how the fire started.

After contacting Citroen for 2 days they eventually agreed to send someone to look at my car. The Guy informed me that the fault wasn’t down to Driver error and that he was going to advise the car be taking into Citroen and stripped to check why this unit had gone on fire. Citroen took the car into a local dealer. After 24 hours I called and was told they were not going to look into the car as the unit has been disturbed? By this they mean the independent surveyor i called out (because no-one would look into my car) and the person they sent out he ripped out the unit to take photo's and left it hanging under the passenger foot well.

They have sent me a letter saying they believe that the re-call job was done correctly (however they admit the boot lock wasn't repaired??) My car is now sat in a Citroen dealer and they want me to get it moved. My insurance company have said I’m not covered for electrical faults etc ..i have checked my policy booklet and this confirms it. I am left still owing £2000 on this car (which isn’t a finance plan) it’s a personal loan, and no car as it’s a write off. Can anyone help ??? Its really distressing my sister is still poorly from all the smoke she inhaled and its cost me so far £300 in taxi fares in 2 weeks one wants to help i just accept that im in debt for a car that is a write off and have a yr left to pay on it ????

Edited by Avant on 09/02/2012 at 22:12

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - sandy56

I am no expert but I would suggest contacting a Lawyer.

Car been service regularly by Citroen or a proper garage?

As you reported the fault to Citroen and they said they fixed it ??????

I would say that it will be difficult to have a case against the insurance company. A case against Citroen garage is definitely possible.

There are lawyers specialising in this type of problem so ask around and get help.

If you are in the AA or RAC contact them for advice, thats part of what you pay for.

You may have legal insurance with your car cover so check your policy document.

Ther is a legal advice page on this website so also contact them.

The fight has only just started and it may take a while...

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - BigJohnD

First of all, I'm sorry to hear of your plight, and hope you, your children and sister are all recovering from the ordeal.

Secondly, the failure of the tailgate wiring on the C4 Coupe is not only well known, but involves a DVLA safety re-call - DVLA Ref: R/2011/039 Citroën Ref: MHU. There has to be questions over the thoroughness of your recall repair.

Thirdly, you need to see a solicitor to take up your case, to seek compensation and to recover your losses.

Edited by BigJohnD on 09/02/2012 at 21:19

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

thank you for all your tips and i will look into every avenue, i know i will have to fight this one - im in this for the long haul !! thanks xx

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

my car has been serviced by a garage - but not citreon dealer...service book stamped though etc ... My first service may have been through a citreon dealer but the second wasn't ....its only done around 50k ... 2 owners ....

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - barney100
This is a really bad episode for you. Insurance companies for all their hype don't like paying out and if It's in the smallprint it is difficult to make them do so. I think taking Citroen to task is your best option but citizen's advice is your first call. They can get you a solicitor for peanuts to start with and that I feel is your best bet. Main thing is your family is ok. Friend of mine had a self combusting BX from Citroen so it's not a new thing.
Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

thank you ..its just annoying how citroen just dont seem to care!

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - tony g
Hi vikki,
Given that their was a short period of time between your car being recalled for repair by Citroen ,and then a fire apparently starting in the same area .

I suggest you pursue your claim via the small claims court ,the cost is about £150 to you and you have no liabity for any additional costs from Citroen .

I've been involved with the small claims court several times ,it's a simple informal process.

Because the whole process is decided on the day by the judge ,I believe you would find the judge sympathetic to you rather than to citroen ,the decisions in a small claims court are based largely on the judges opinion ,rather than on complicated points of law.

It follows from that ,all you have to do is present your case in an organised way.

Present any paperwork you have from citroen or from yourself to the judge to Support your case .You should be able to recover the complete value of your car as its been written off. Establish it's retail value and claim for that amount.

Finally issue the claim against both Citroen and the dealer who did the work ,it may be a manufacturing fault by Citroen or a negligent repair by the dealer .

From my experience Citroen will make you an offer before you get to court ,but after you issue the claim.

Good luck with your claim , please come back to the forum if you need more assistance with your claim.


Tony g

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

Tony thank you for your help and advice this has helped in what has been the most stressful and upsetting 2 weeks of my life....i thought it was a complicated process that was going to cost me thousands of pounds to take a company like them to court and if i lost i would be held responsible for all the charges and court fees, once again thanks and LET BATTLE COMMENCE !! I will up-date on here my results etc,



Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

So quick up-date ....I recieved a letter from Citroen advising me that they felt the re-call work had been conducted correctly, however the boot lock wasn't repaired at the time of re-call? And to them the matter was closed.

I then sent a letter back to them advising that i felt without them even stripping the car to find out why the car/bsi box had caught fire they could even make that assumption was beyone belief, espiecally as the boot lock hadn't been repaired. I advised them that if they didn't repsond within 7 days i would seek legal advice. I recieved a phone call from them advising they had arranged for a independant Automotive Forensic Practitioner to come and look at the vehicle.

This took place and i have now been sent a letter advising me that they are fully confident that the fire was linked to the re-call or a manufacturing issue, however they will not provide me with the findings on the report? They have advised me to contact my insurance company again and said they will forward to them should they wish to see it? However my insurance company do not want anything to do with it. I have also contacted the forensic practitioner who advised me he cant talk to me and it has to go directly through Citroen.

I am having to send in someone to the garage were my vehicle is, myself to advise me how they think the damage has been caused. And i am advising Citroen that i am proceeding with legal action.

Will up-date again as soon as i have more information, to say this has become a nightmare is an understatement. So far its cost over £600 in taxi fares to and from my workplace.......

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - Ethan Edwards

£600 in taxi fares? Why not buy a banger and run that for a while. Ebay!

Citroen C4 VTRI + Coupe - CITROEN C4 BSI UNIT BURNT OUT !!!!! - vikki1981

I have got another car however awaiting for it to arrive this week. But so far whilst waiting for it, in order to get my children to school keep myself in a job ive had to get taxi's back and forth ....


Value my car