Saab to recall 300,000 cars

Swedish car manufacturer Saab is to recall 300,000 vehicles because of reported overheating in the ignition system.

The company refused to comment on the likely cost of the recall, but according to the paper Göteborgs-Posten it is likely to be at least 600 million kronor.

The decision follows a report from the American traffic safety agency NHTSA, which said that the cars were breaking down and overheating, and could even catch fire.

As a result, Saab’s US owner General Motors was instructed to recall the cars for inspection and to fix the ignition problem.

“The ignition module could, especially as the car is started, become electrically overcharged,” said Örjan Åslund, Saab’s press officer.

“There is a component inside it which melts and the car doesn’t start.”

The models being recalled are the old version of the Saab 9-3 and the 9-5, from 2000, 2001 and 2002. The cars affected are petrol-fuelled.

Åslund told news agency TT that all customers will be contacted in the autumn and asked to bring their cars to a dealer.

“It probably won’t happen before the beginning of the spring. We will do an inspection, change [the component] – luckily it’s positioned just above the motor and held with a couple of screws so it will be quick to fix,” said Åslund.

According to Saab, there have been no fires caused by the problem.

“There could be a little smoke due to the plastic overheating. But no real flames. Nor have there been any accidents or people injured,” said Åslund.

A total of 287,987 cars are to be recalled around the world, of which around 68,000 are in Sweden.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.