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Vauxhall Meriva Steering Fault

with 37 comments

When you turn the steering wheel of a car, you expect that the wheels will respond and move the vehicle accordingly – it’s a basic function of a car. This has always been my experience in forty years of driving, until recently that is! I was driving round a roundabout, but as I turned left to exit, the steering jammed and I only just managed to wrestle the car round. The steering continued to be unbelievably stiff until I managed to bring the car to a safe stop. Incidentally, I managed to stop near a post box and I did have some letters to post, so at least it served a useful purpose! Having switched the engine off, locked the car, unlocked the car, and restarted it – the problem disappeared! Unfortunately, as I drove to my destination, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I was thinking it was going to happen again any minute, such was my loss of confidence.

As soon as I had the opportunity I did what everyone does in situations like this – Google it! It soon became clear that it’s a common problem with the Meriva. I also quickly found several friends on Facebook and Twitter who’d had the same experience as me, and a YouTube clip from the BBC programme Watchdog where it was featured. So why did I have a Meriva with this problem? Why hadn’t Vauxhall recalled the unsafe vehicles? What was the Vauxhall dealer going to do about it?

Well, they repaired the car and told me they had fitted modified parts that don’t have the fault. This begs question, why no recall?

So, for me, the main issue is why hasn’t there been a recall when so many Merivas have this potentially dangerous fault? Imagine I was doing 50 mph on a left-hand bend with oncoming traffic when it happened? The Vauxhall garage was excellent, although they’re clearly well-versed in dealing with Meriva customers with the same problem!

Update March 2013 – This is still happening! It’s one of the reasons why I now have a Ford Focus Zetec!

Written by John Ager

August 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm

37 Responses

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  1. yesterday i nearly had a seriouse accident when my vauxhall meriva steering locked on and eps light showed up on dash board, having now searched internet i realise vauxhall have deliberately sold me a car they know to be extremely dangerouse ….. and worse than that … they are deniying even knowing about this problem. i will be logging a complaint with vauxhall , this of course will do nothing so, wish to ask all other vauxhall meriva owners is there a site to start patition to make vauxhall recall this car ??????

    mrs julie rowland

    September 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    • Hello Julie
      I have 2005 reg model meriva. I got EPS fault now . Can i get a recall to fix the problem.


      April 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm

  2. very sorry to all readers of comment above, i have a problem with seeing how i have spelt certain words until i reread < forgot to do spell check lol

    mrs julie rowland

    September 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

  3. i bought 2009 model meriva 1.4 about 3 weeks ago and this happened to me 24 hours ago…extremely concerned..the car is currently with Lookers garage Hunts Cross Liverpool and wasn’t looked at today…maybe tomorrow..have I bought a ‘PIG’ ????

    Mike Peberdy

    October 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    • Once they replace the faulty part you should be OK.

      John Ager

      November 2, 2012 at 2:29 am

      • mine is 2009 model and eps fault within few weeks ..steering column replaced as instructed by vauxhall..gone again dec 9th..had car couple months only…don’t feel good about this car…in retrospect very cheap shoddy piece of rubbish for price paid..beginning to remind me of tatty British Leyland 1980′s tripe
        but thought those bad old days were gone for good …silly me !!

        Mike Peberdy

        December 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm

  4. This happened to me this morning on my way to work. I checked the manual and called breakdown recovery as the manual states. I didn’t realise that turning it off and on again would rectify the problem in the short term. I called Vauxhall who denied knowing it was a fault despite me quoting their Watchdog statement. I had to get quite angry with the woman, threatening to sue if I had an accident with my children in the car. I’m now booked in for a free Tech 2 test tomorrow but I’m not holding my breath – I’m fully expecting them to say there is a fault but it is not one known to them!!! I’m expecting a repair bill of £800 plus!

    Vicky Fnch

    November 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

  5. I had many dangerous situations while driving my meriva that the steeing feel heavy and stuck the dash board shows EPS and steering shivering. my car is 2007 model


    November 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  6. Yes i have just had it done no cost to me by Vauxhall . 2004 Meriva life 1.7 cdti. Contact Vauxhall customer services and get case number and take to a Vauxhall dealer and have it tested if the fault is with EPS they will contact Vauxhall to get fix the fault .


    December 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

  7. Oh dear…here we go again it seems.Following my 1st comments posted 29 October 2012 at 8.28pm I can state that Lookers Hunts Cross did replace whole steering unit apparently on instruction from Vauxhall although I did not have courtesy car whilst waiting for it to be sorted ; 2/3 days without a car ( good customer relations ?? ) The sales manager did offer an exchange basis what other cars they had on their site only but there wasn’t anything else we saw which took our fancy and it was intimated it seemed to us that a full refund would not be a consideration ( Why should we take a loss ??!! ) In the Sales Managers words they ‘sold the vehicle to us in good faith’
    We reluctantly took the car back as were assured problem was resolved.
    Since then seemed ok.
    I lent the car to my daughter so that she could travel Liverpool to Huddersfield Sunday 9 Dec to collect her young daughter who had stayed with brilliant Godparents for few days and return Monday 10 Dec.All ok until she arrived back in Liverpool and travelling down london road.At bottom of road she was negotiating right turn and suddenly….yes you got it …EPS light on and Power steering failed.Fortunately slow speed so could just about manage to control ( ALL REMEMBER THIS HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS NOT DANGEROUS )
    In her words she really struggled with this rubbish , changed her plans and decided to try to get back to us asap.On the way Hey Presto Power steering suddenly came back on and shortly after OFF again and then ON again.
    I am not long back from work Monday 10 Dec and confronted with this and will be contacting Lookers Hunts Cross tomorrow Tuesday 11 dec 2012 … I can do without this !!
    I am not sure what response I will get although I have 12 month warranty so it won ‘t cost but the point is this :
    I took the car back with extreme reluctance wife and I are now in our 60′s and don’t expect or require this sort of stress/nonsense.We simply want what in our opinion we paid a lot of money for to do what it is supposed to safely etc etc.
    I will let you know how I get on but meantime have any of you been in touch with your local Radio / Television / Newspapers and what was the response ?
    Have a lovely evening
    Best rgds

    Mike Peberdy

    December 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

  8. Mike Peberdy update 19 January 2013:
    All turned out great for us in the end.Was a bit of huff and puff but Lookers were great all said and done and accepted that we could never be happy with what we had purchased.We were able to change the car and went for an Astra 1.6…cost bit more but who cares as we love this car !!
    Mireva was good for just stepping into and we are back to stooping down again to enter but minor detail as this car is great and ….we feel safe and secure and thus far very
    happy in this.
    If you read this staff of Lookers Hunts Cross Liverpool ……many many thanks to all notably Andy the manager but most particularly Steve the salesman who really went the extra mile and persevered with us it seemed forever. Steve all so so much appreciated……good on you….many many thanks..
    Best rgds

    Mike Peberdy

    January 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    • Pleased it all got sorted out. When I changed my car the problem was one of the reasons I went back to Ford. Very pleased with my Black Focus Zetec!

      John Ager

      January 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      • My wife’s meriva (2006)is having a new column fitted today 3/1/14 at no cost to us. We are told that a small electric motor may also need replacing at a cost to us. The dealer 06 Ormskirk could not give us a cost for this as it can only be determined, if required, after the column is fitted. Any thoughts on this?.

        David Blake.

        David Blake

        January 3, 2014 at 10:53 am

  9. I have 2004 Meriva Enjoy, 72.000 km.When I cut after 100 km on autobahn I stopped the motor.After 10 min I started the motor, but steering was so heavy to turn and EPS light was on.I stopped again and started two times, everything was same.On third starting that fault went out.I continued to my way but I was very worried to have that REALLY DANGEROUS FAULT again.I saw here many users has the same problems.OPEL must be recall these cars to fix the problem.I will go to law court to fix this problem.



    February 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

  10. My sister brought a 55 plate Meriva from Vauxhall second hand and while driving home the Eps light came home. She took it back but when tested no fault code was found as it had reset.
    She was told to drive it back with fault for them to find.
    Sadly every time it happened she had to turn off to reset as far too far from home. Eventually it gave up for good a few months after the warranty ran out.
    I called Vauxhall customer care and quoted Watchdog. I Was given a reference number but told she had to pay the test fee first.
    The test showed steering failure and the whole cost plus test fee was paid for by Vauxhall


    March 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

  11. This happened to me this morning so scared taking my children to school and just comming round the corner and the steering became stiff and the Eps light came on my car is 2004 Vauxhall meriva Enjoy bought this car 2yrs ago can anyone advise please


    March 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

    • Take it into a Vauxhall dealer and they will replace the faulty part with a modified one. It’s a disgraceful situation that the cars have not been recalled. They will be well used to people with this problem, believe me. Best wishes, John.

      John Ager

      March 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  12. Just had my wife come home terrified with this same fault. I bought the car (meriva 2009) this morning. Are Vauxhall correcting this problem even if the car is bought second hand?


    March 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    • They should do, it’s a recognised fault. Best wishes, John.

      John Ager

      March 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  13. Once the part is replaced is this problem likely to occur again


    April 12, 2013 at 1:31 am

    • No, it’s a modified part.

      John Ager

      April 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      • Why would it happen again to Mike Peberty (see post 10/12/2012) if a modified part was fitted? I have had one fitted today and want to feel assured that I am now in a safe car.


        April 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm

  14. hi have a meriva 57 plate bought it from new and have ad nothing but trouble with it since ive had it at first i had problem with the steering it was pulling to the left i took it in and they changed the steering coloum so they told me and i have got through 7 sets of front wheel tyres since ive had it .and then last week i was driving the car and the eps light came on and the steerring locked,and it don it a second time since and when i break the steerring wheel shakes .

    davina kolsuz

    May 14, 2013 at 10:28 pm

  15. Hi! Would be very grateful for some advice. I had a modified steering part fitted to my Meriva (bought second hand about 1.5 years ago) for free by Vauxhall. I thought that was that but am now having the same problem. It happens at random but mostly when starting or stopping and steering without moving much. It happened last when I was reverse parking in the morning at work and when I returned in the evening the eps light would not come off and so the car was picked up by AA and is now at the Portsmouth Vauxhall garage. Now they can’t get it to fault and so are saying “well you’ve had the fix, we can’t diagnose and so there is no problem”. I refuse to take it back!! I’ve got a 1 year old to think about and it could potentially be deadly!! I’ve now been taking the bus for 2 weeks… This is an inherent recognised mechanic problem and so should be resolved by Vauxhall right? What do I do??? I will not drive the car!!! I had just bought it when it happened the first time and I told them then to take it back unless it was fixed. Please please any advice would be gratefully received.

    Best wishes,



    June 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    • Sorry to hear you’re having this problem Linda, I’m not able to help specifically on this. Hopefully someone else might. I’d keep getting in touch with them, something is clearly wrong. Best wishes, John.

      John Ager

      June 14, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    • I have recently bought a meriva from portsmouth vauxhall and the eps is playing up would this be your old car ??

      Graham Jurd

      September 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

  16. Hi my meriva is 10 years old and this has happened to me a few times. Luckily it hasn’t been on the motorway but it does concern me especially because I go to Wales and Devon a lot visiting family. Would Vauxhall fix it for me for free even though I bought my car from a dealer 3 years ago. My meriva is currently having a new locking system put in beacause it was stolen but recovered.

    Kind regards



    June 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

  17. I had recurring problems with my 2004 1.7 CDTI from about four years old. I went through all the usual denials etc with huge bills quoted to clear this problem. This was all in Spain by the way not that that makes any difference. I refused to go down the route of new steering columns as so many people said the problem still existed.
    As it is an electric system I had the battery checked out and was told it was in very good condition. I jump started friends cars etc to try to give the battery a hard time but it never failed.
    Undetered, I got a good quality new battery fitted and I have never had the problem again. This was around three years ago and so I am convinced it is worth a new battery before forking out for expensive and non guaranteed work.
    Try it. Even if everything tells you your existing battery is ok. It’s a comparatively cheap solution if, like me, you have no more problems.


    September 16, 2013 at 8:24 am

    • I also have a meriva. 2006 active had it 2 yrs done nowt but pay out. Now the power steering as gone wrong. Emailed vauxhall customer services they gave me a free 30 mins diagnosis at a vauxhall garage.Was told new steering column had been fitted but still no power steering.They said £65 pound to look at it again, payed it and was told motor had gone it would cost £991.80.I was disgusted. Emailed Vauxhall customer services and told them now waiting for reply.But i will get rid now. No way will i have another vauxhal and will ward off other people from having one


      October 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm

  18. I have a meriva active 06 and this has happened to me. I usually happens in winter, on really cold days two or three times a year. I had the car a couple of years before the problem started. I believe it is electrical the same as Bill. When it happens I get a couple of seconds notice and know when the EPS is going to go. It has never caught me unawares. I stop the car, remove the keys from the ignition, lock and unlock the car and keep the keys away from the electrics for a couple of minutes then re-start the car. Works every time. I don’t believe a new steering column is the answer as people have had this done and the problem still exists.


    November 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm

  19. My daughters car had same steering problem,56 plate with only 27,000mls on it,went into vauxhalls who claim to have fitted new column but it came out worse than when it went it,so after seeing the post by bill from Spain who tried a more powerful battery I rigged up jump leads from battery to another battery on the passenger floor with leads going thru passenger window and drove around like that,hey presto perfect power steering,am now going to get large battery to replace original under bonnet. Andy

    Andy allison

    November 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm

  20. I have a 60 plate meriva which is in the garage for repair and has been for the last 5 days with the same
    Problem as your other readers, the steering locked on me whilst backing into parking space. I,m a 77 year old woman and it frightened the life out of me, fortunately a RAC patrol man came out and he was excellent.
    The car had to be towed to the garage and after reading other comments I’m wondering what it is going cost me.
    Does any one have the Vauxhall contact number so I can complain.

    Shirley Curtis

    December 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm

  21. I read this discussion with a sense of dread as I recall the experiences that we have had with cars over the past year. In fact we now own a Meriva and have had the same problem with the power steering (which was fixed under warranty). However, frightening though the potential for this to have caused a serious accident, I have to say that actually it felt like nothing compared to the previous difficulties we have had with cars this year!
    It all started with a Peugeot 307 1.6HDi 110 Estate. It had served us well for a couple of years… until on one fateful day last year we suffered a severe loss of power. Eventually we discovered that our Turbo had blown, so we spent a considerable amount of money getting it fixed. However, a short time later the new Turbo also blew. We ended getting another replacement turbo and then decided enough was enough and changed car.
    Before telling you what happened next, let me give you this cautionary tale: Beware any car with a Turbodiesel engine and particularly any with the HDi 110 engine. This includes in particular diesel cars made by Peugeot, but also some Ford and Volvo cars. In reading, John, that you are now driving a Ford Focus Zetec I wanted to just warn you to check if it has got the HDi engine. If so, be aware that the turbo could blow any time after about 80,000 miles!
    Returning to my tale of car nightmares, however, we ended up buying a Chevrolet from Sherwoods in Darlington. Then last summer (only a few weeks after buying the car) this car started to give us inexplicable problems due to another common GM car fault (NB GM own both Chevrolet and Vauxhall Motors). My wife was left fearing for her life attempting to drive to Scotland with the kids in the back. A local garage in Scotland advised us it would be dangerous to drive the car so we had it recovered back to Darlington. Having lost faith in the car we exchanged it for the Meriva and the problem with its steering!
    So, what of all this? I think there are a few things to learn…
    Firstly, that you can never do enough research into new cars – and especially research into common faults with the cars.
    Secondly, maybe we need to ask ourselves whether sometimes we take too much for granted. We have become complacent, living lives that are maybe too comfortable for our own good at times. When things go wrong, what do we do with it? What in life can we genuinely trust? I know how I would answer those questions and I expect they are not far off the answers that John might give, but rather than tell you what I think, I leave you to think about it for yourself… because maybe, just maybe, there is an answer…! What I would say, though, is that a car, like a horse, is a vain hope for deliverance! :)

    Neil Jackson

    February 26, 2014 at 11:02 pm

  22. neil i commend your comment car companies whether folks want to belive it or not design cars to fail so that your forever repairing it to the delight of there coffers take my word for it DESIGNED TO FAIL !


    April 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm

  23. Seems like this is not an issue for the older model of the Meriva. I have a new shape ’10′ plate 1.4 and all the comments about dangerous steering, esp lights, juddering and hard to turn has now happended on my Meriva. It is currently at a Vauxhall dealer having the steering rac replaced. Apparently the steering liquid had leaked and now a £1000 repair. Vauxhall due to the dealer have offered to pay 70% of repair, but I have today questioned this direct with Vauxhall Customer Services as to where the 70% came from. Apparently this is an automatic response from the dealer. I have now asked for a manual claim to be put in. Vauxhall has not learned from they mistakes and still will not RECALL all meriva’s due to this severe fault. I really can’t see myself ever buying Vauxhall again.

    David Lloyd

    May 14, 2014 at 11:57 am

    • My 57 meriva has had the same problem with shaking and shuddering, and finally the steering completely locking in the centre of town. It is now with Vauxhall who are replacing the steering rack – totally free of charge – as they say this is a recognized problem with this vehicle. I am not 100% sure that this is the only problem though – I have had problems with the indicators not working and the central locking failing. I have lost all faith in this vehicle – had it new direct from Vauxhall.

      Nikki Jones

      May 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm

  24. Yesterday whilst trying to look for parking suddenly no power steering very hard to manoeuvre the car round to go out. Abandoned plans & drove to garage where I bought the car which wasn’t far. I noticed the EPS light was on. The Meriva is a lat 04 plate now with 79500 on the clock since buying it late 2013 have always been suspicious that the EPS light took a long time to go out & in the beginning felt it pulled to the left hubby said my imagine even though he didn’t drive it. Garage booked me in but warned could be expensive as might be a sensor or a motor. They came out turned the key power steering back no EPS light on – told me to see how it went for 3 days, might be a one off they said. Went back to original shopping plans no problems, eldest son ex mechanic said made sense to see if it happened again. That is until for some reason I researched on the internet and found that others had had the same problem. I contacted Vauxhall direct who informed me watchdog had got involved & provided car was under ten years old with less than 100000 miles on the clock they would honour the repair to steering column then they put me through to local dealership the car goes in tomorrow. The dealership person said they can trace the error message even though intermittent & from my description it is the steering column not the sensor or motor. We love the car will it be as good as new once they do change the column or do we at the autumn of our lives have to think about changing the car can anyone tell me please? My advice to others is don’t wait for it to happen again get on to Vauxhall direct the repairs are £1000 plus if your don’t meet criteria!


    July 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm

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