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Lamborghini’s $4M Veneno Recalled For Fire Risk

Just the latest among ultra-exclusive cars to face recall.

by on Feb.16, 2017

Lamborghini Veneno shown during its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

When you’re spending $4 million for an automobile you might expect it to do lots of things, including topping out at more than 200 miles an hour. What you probably wouldn’t expect it to do is go up in flames.

But that’s precisely what could happen, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which has published a recall notice covering all 12 of the 12-cylinder supercars that Lamborghini introduced in 2013 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The government warns that “under certain conditions,” the rare collectible two-seater could catch fire.

The Rest of the Story!

The Lamborghini Veneno may be one of the most expensive automobiles ever recalled, but it is far from the only exotic and exclusive car to face a service action as a result of an unexpected safety defect. That list includes such high-line brands as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati and even Rolls-Royce.

In some cases, these exclusive brands have experienced problems unique to vehicles that function at the edge of the performance envelope. In other cases, they wind up being swept up in a broader net that also caught more mainstream brands.

Maserati has already recalled the new Levante.

Every single vehicle British supercar manufacturer McLaren had ever built was included in a recall order issued last December to replace faulty Takata airbags. Those devices have now been blamed for at least 15 deaths worldwide, most of them in the U.S.

Like mainstream brands, high-line automakers routinely share some of their underlying components – such things as windshield wipers and airbags – in a bid to hold down costs. But when a defect occurs, they can be caught up in a broader recall. In the case of Takata, about 50 million vehicles sold in the U.S. have so far been impacted.

(13 automakers issue new round of Takata recalls. Click Herefor the latest.)

Other exotic brands included in the December Takata recall included Tesla and Ferrari. In fact, the Italian sports car manufacturer has been subject to several recalls involving faulty airbags, including one in July 2015 covering 814 of its vehicles.

Even for a small manufacturer, some recalls can be pretty big. Just this month, Maserati announced a service action covering 39,381 of its Quattroporte, Ghibli and Levante models due to a pair of problems that could pose a risk of fire. That includes incorrectly installed wires under the power seats that could chafe, over time, and eventually short-circuit.

(Takata pleads guilty in airbag defect cover-up. Click Here for the full story.)

Rolls recalled just one of its Ghost sedans due to a faulty side-impact airbag.

The recall covering the Lamborghini Veneno is far more modest in size considering only 12 of the 222 mph hyercars were ever produced. Powered by a 6.5-liter V-12 capable of punching out 750 horsepower, it can generate plenty of heat when driven hard. And that’s part of the problem.

“In certain driving conditions while the vehicle has a full gas tank,” warns the NHTSA recall notice, “gasoline may contact the exhaust system (and) increase the risk of a fire.”

Recalls have become an ever more accepted way of life in the auto industry. The numbers reached record levels in 2015 and again in 2016 and came close last year, according to preliminary data. Some individual service actions have involved millions of vehicles, so the Veneno may barely register on the charts.

But the record for the smallest recalls to date is shared by Britain’s Rolls-Royce and Sweden’s Koenigsegg. In 2014, the Scandinavian hypercar company told NHTSA it would recall a single vehicle because of a tire problem. A year later, Rolls announced it was recalling a single Ghost sedan because a side-impact airbag might not properly deploy in a crash.

(VW’s bill for diesel emissions scam now running to $25 bil. Click Here for the story.)

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