New Suzuki Celerio recall work begins after brake failure during What Car? tests

Recall work begins following brake failure during What Car? testing...

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Lewis Kingston
25 February 2015

New Suzuki Celerio recall work begins after brake failure during What Car? tests

Recall work on the Suzuki Celerio hatchback has begun, following the suspension of sales following two brake failures during What Car? and Autocar testing last month.

Suzuki has identified an issue with the brake pedal release mechanism and now issued modified brake components for customer vehicles to its dealer network. The work to fit the uprated part takes 30 minutes to complete.

The announcement comes after two Celerios suffered total brake failure during testing by What Car? and Autocar. The loss of braking power occurred during 80mph deceleration tests at Millbrook Proving Ground.

As a result, the Suzuki Celerio was taken off sale in the UK and all dealers were instructed not to conduct test drives. Owners of vehicles already delivered were contacted and advised not to drive their cars. Sales of the Celerio have now resumed.

In order to provide the most accurate and authoritative verdicts, What Car? and Autocar put cars through measured trials at Millbrook's Proving Ground. This allows the reviewers to ascertain and compare the performance and handling characteristics of cars in controlled conditions.

One section of this test is an emergency stop, carried out from 80mph. This allows for assessment of the car's behaviour during heavy braking, the functionality of its stability systems and the stopping distance itself.

Several acceleration tests had been carried out on the first Suzuki Celerio, prior to the 80mph emergency braking test. Ahead of that test a more gentle braking assessment had been completed successfully, in order to assess the surface conditions and general behaviour of the vehicle.

During the first full-force braking test, however, all stopping power was immediately lost upon application of the brakes. The brake pedal became stuck in the fully depressed position and had no effect on the Suzuki's speed. No braking effort could be exerted by forcing the pedal up and reapplying it.

The combined use of the handbrake and engine braking allowed for controlled deceleration of the Celerio to a safe stop.

Suzuki immediately arranged for collection of the car in order to inspect it and identify the nature of the failure. The company also delivered a second Celerio, in order for pre-arranged testing to continue. The same test resulted in the braking failure repeating itself again.