Driver who is lucky to be alive repeats bonnet safety warning

MOTORIST Jessica Taylor had a brush with death when her car bonnet flipped up as she drove at 70mph.

Ms Taylor, 23, escaped with minor injuries after the bonnet of her Renault Clio II suddenly shot up in the fast lane of the M1.

Thousands of the models were recalled for safety checks in 2007 after a petition claimed there had been more than 250 instances of bonnets opening during normal use – although the French motor giant insists there was no defect in the mechanism.

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Ms Taylor, who fears her 2005 model missed the free recall check, told how her car spun across four lanes and came to a halt facing the wrong way with a lorry speeding towards her.

She said hospital and insurance staff claimed they had dealt with several other Clio drivers whose bonnets had flown open at speed.

After some internet research, Jessica discovered that Renault had issued the recall on all second generation Clios in 2007. But she suspects her second hand 2005 Clio was never taken to a Renault dealer for checking.

She is now urging all Clio drivers to check if their bonnet catches were repaired or checked by dealers.

Jessica, of Huddersfield, added: “Doctors have said I’m lucky to be alive because there was quite a lot of cars on the road as it was Good Friday. My car was written off, but when I went to get my stuff out of the car I saw that the catch had totally come out.”

A Renault spokesman said: “The bonnet catch mechanism of the Clio II is safe, reliable and fit for purpose providing the vehicle is maintained correctly and the bonnet is closed as prescribed.

“A check of the bonnet catch mechanism is included with the MoT schedule for all vehicles over three years of age and is also included in the service schedule for all Renault vehicles.”

He said Clio II owners can check their bonnets using the online guide or contact their nearest dealers for free checks.