Citroen announced it will recall over 20,000 C3 Picasso models sold in the United Kingdom for a rather unusual reason. It seems that the car's brakes can be activated accidentally by the front passenger when pushing their feet into the footwell! The discovery was made by a BBC TV show called Watchdog that was alerted about the problem from a cleaning company owning three C3 Picassos.
The reason for this malfunction is a manufacturing flaw occurring in France during the right-hand drive assembly of the C3 Picasso for the UK market. Even though the brake pedal is switched to the right, it remains connected to a mechanism on the left passenger side, BBC's Watchdog explained. It was discovered that the mechanism was covered only by a thin piece of felt, and that it could be easily activated by the passenger’s feet.
"It's potentially very dangerous indeed because the passenger wouldn't know he's the one activating the brake. The driver wouldn't know what's going on, and the people behind wouldn't know what's going on,” said motor engineer expert Mark Brown, who closely examined the cars.
The British program tested two C3 Picassos on sale at dealerships in the UK and found that both featured this problem.
In response, Citroen said there had been no reports of this problem before the Watchdog show, but said it will issue a recall action. "The recall will require the fitment of an additional component to isolate the braking mechanism from the front seat passenger," the company announced in a statement, adding the modification will be free of charge at Citroen dealers.
By Dan Mihalascu