Errant Headlights Triggers Small Scale Maserati Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – July 29, 2019 – Maserati North America plans on recalling approximately 427 Levante model vehicles due to a headlight issue that could cause temporary blindness for oncoming drivers. The problem is believed to be linked to misalignment, in which the headlights were misadjusted beyond the maximum height permitted under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. The vehicles subject to the recall are 2019 models.

Affected owners are urged to remove their automobiles from the road and return them to an authorized Maserati dealer so the proper fix can be implemented free of charge. Official notifications are due to be distributed starting Aug. 26, 2019.

The Defect

According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maserati seeks to recall up to 427 of its 2019 Levante vehicles over faulty headlights. The specific nature of the problem concerns the adaptive front lighting system, the headlights of which may have been misadjusted at some point during assembly.

Per FMVSS No. 108, or “Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment,” the cutoff angle for headlights can be no higher than 0.4 degrees down from the H-H line. The 420-plus Levatis under recall notices all have headlights that are positioned higher than the maximum gradient allowed under FMVSS. This presents a safety issue for motorists approaching the affected vehicles that increases the risk of a collision due to possibly blinding the oncoming driver.

Timeline of Events

This issue first came to light on May 10, 2019, when personnel for the luxury automaker began testing of the Levantes’ vertical headlamps. At least 40 of the vehicles with adaptive front lighting system technology were misaligned. Those suspicions were confirmed in follow-up testing, which began approximately a month later on June 11. By July 3, Maserati decided a voluntary safety recall of the model was the best path forward and got in touch with federal officials about their concern July 11. The NHTSA acknowledged Maserati’s notification approximately two weeks later.

The Solution

Starting Aug. 26, Maserati will notify those impacted by this recall. Operators are advised to take their cars to a nearby dealership so their headlights can be corrected. Per usual, the repair will come at no expense.

For more information on this and other automotive recalls, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesErrant Headlights Triggers Small Scale Maserati Recall

Luxury Automaker Issues Limited Recall Due to Air Bag Snag

Laguna Hills, CA – July 17, 2019 – Maserati North America is recalling a limited number of Granturismo vehicles due to the potential for the onboard air bag systems to malfunction and/or deactivate should motorists experience a traffic accident. It’s also possible the air bag may deploy when it’s not intended to, thus increasing the risk of a crash and potential for injury. Pursuant to federal law, operators and dealers affected by this safety recall will be informed by first-class mail so they can make the appropriate arrangements to have this issue examined and repaired if necessary. This fix will come at no charge to the owners.

The Defect

According to paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maserati is recalling an estimated 739 Granturismo and Granturismo convertibles – whose model years range between 2015 and 2018 – because the electrical control units that power the air bags may be defective. Typically, these units have built in sensors that automatically trigger when placed under stress, causing the air bag to deploy when the vehicle is struck. However, the silver adhesive cathode involved in this process may have been corrupted at some point during manufacturing. This defect may also cause the air bag to uncoil without warning. 

The production dates for the models in question were between Sept. 2015 and June 2018 among Granturismo convertibles and Oct 2014 to February 2018 for hard-top Granturismo vehicles. The lion’s share of the recalled models – 545 of the 739 – are the former.

Timeline of Events

In May 2019, Maserati’s air bag component manufacturer, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, informed the luxury automaker that some of the Granturismo ECUs may have been installed with a faulty capacitor. Less than 24 hours later, Maserati launched an investigation to determine if this issue was isolated or systemic.

The company ultimately determined that the problem was likely an aberration, as field analysis failed to specify a common link. Furthermore, no warranties, injuries or crashes were reported that traced back to the issue ZF Group made Maserati aware of in May. No customer complaints or satisfaction problems were filed either. Nevertheless, to err on the side of caution, the luxury automaker determined that a small-scale recall was warranted and informed NHTSA of its intentions June 14.  

Even though passenger air bags are increasingly sophisticated, there are a variety of reasons in which these systems may fail to deploy or trigger improperly, according to NHTSA. For example, using sensory technology, passenger detection systems are designed to turn on or off depending on whether someone is seated. If the person or animal is physically small in stature, the system may not turn on because it doesn’t detect an occupant. Similarly, if the occupant is seated too close to where the air bag is installed or isn’t seated properly, the air bag system may turn off.

In the 30-plus years that passenger vehicles have been required to include air bags, approximately 50,457 people have avoided a fatal accident in the U.S., according to government data.

The Solution

Maserati says it will inform affected operators no later than July 22 so that they can have their vehicles examined. If the evaluation determines the air bag ECU is compromised, a replacement will be installed free of charge. Maserati sent notifications relating to this issue to dealerships in late June. 

For more information, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesLuxury Automaker Issues Limited Recall Due to Air Bag Snag

Maserati recall covers 4,300 sports cars

 

Modena, Italy, Jan. 27, 2019 – Manufacturers of high-specification sports cars are susceptible to the same recall cycles that afflict general-audience carmakers, and for the same types of problems. The recent recall of over 4,000 Maserati vehicles for potentially defective fuel lines demonstrates this issue. While the number of vehicles is smaller than in recent recalls by Ford, Toyota and other large automakers, there are still thousands of cars on the roads with this potentially dangerous defect.

According to a wire news report from market regulators in China, the models involved in the recall are the Quattroporte and Ghibli sports cars. The vehicles were manufactured between March 2013 and June 2015. The exact number of vehicles involved in the action comprises 3,282 Quattroporte models and 1,054 of the Ghibli. The cars were manufactured in Italy and imported for sale in China, where the defect was discovered.

The Defect

The potential problem in the recalled Maseratis comes from fuel line installation. Regulators have discovered that when fuel lines are installed incorrectly, as may have happened with the cars in question, there is an increased chance of gas leaking into the vehicle.

Fuel line leaks pose a risk to drivers because they increase the chance of fires catching in the car. While the recall coming from the state administration in China warns of the dangers of incorrectly installed fuel lines, there was no clarification as to whether there have been leaks discovered in real-world situations, or whether the fault was discovered in a laboratory setting.

Timeline of Events

The Maserati vehicles involved in the current recall were manufactured concurrently between 2013 and 2015. The 3282 Quattroporte cars were made between March 22, 2013 and June 17, 2015. The Ghibli models impacted were produced between Sept. 27, 2013 and June 11, 2015. It is unclear from the recall announcement which model years were attached to these cars when they were sold.

On January 27, the recall announcement was made by the State Administration for Market Regulation in China. The organization, part of the Chinese government, targeted only cars imported from Italy to China. It is therefore unknown whether Maserati cars made during the same period and exported elsewhere in the world will be recalled for a similar defect. In a note that may be relevant to this case, the National Highway Traffic Security Administration, the U.S. body that publicizes recalls, was just reopening from a federal government shutdown when China made its announcement.

The Solution

Drivers of the affected vehicles are asked to work with the automaker to have the hoses replaced. Dealerships will replace the affected parts at no cost to drivers. According to the news release, only the fuel lines have to be replaced, as there was no mention of related parts also needing to be switched out. This recall demonstrates that even a niche vehicle, imported into an overseas market, can encounter a recall for thousands of units. Due to the potentially fatal consequences of a vehicle fire, it’s clear that drivers of the affected cars should opt to have their dealers perform the necessary repairs.

Sean ReyesMaserati recall covers 4,300 sports cars

Maserati recalls vehicles with defective fuel pump resistors

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – Oct. 24, 2017 – Maserati North America has recalled more than 430 vehicles possibly produced with defective fuel pump resistors, according to a company defect report. The campaign affects 2015-2017 Maserati Quattroporte luxury sports sedans with eight-valve engines. The Italian automaker suspects 100 percent of the models referenced in this action contain defective parts.

The Defect

The vehicles involved in this recall contain low-pressure fuel pump resistors that could fail unexpectedly due to cycle time and temperature fatigue. In the event that failure occurs, the fuel pump ceases operation and the engine stalls. This poses a serious threat to occupants, as sudden fuel pump failure can increase the likelihood of an accident. That said, Maserati has not received reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On July 11, 2017, a Japanese parts provider responsible for supporting Maserati production operations informed the car company that local government officials had conducted a vehicle warranty claims audit and found that 11 Quattroporte had filed reports detailing instances of fuel pump resistor failure. Maserati immediately launched an internal investigation into the claims. Engineers conducted a global claims analysis and found that 119 additional owners had filed similar reports worldwide. Most of the vehicles mentioned in these documents experienced fuel pump resistor failure at the 19,500-mile mark.

In late July, the car company conducted a parts analysis on the defective fuel pump resistors and found that high temperature and current flow were the root causes of failure. The fixtures were designed to handle a maximum current of 15 amps and at a temperature of 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit. Those installed in the vehicles referenced in the reports routinely experienced current flows of 14 amps, combined with temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

After reviewing this and other data, Maserati quality and safety personnel decided to conduct a voluntary recall Sept. 22.

The Solution

The car company will direct dealers to replace the fuel pump resistors in affected models free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document from the NHTSA. Maserati plans to notify both dealers and owners of the action Nov. 13, 2017. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Maserati customer service representatives at (201) 510-2369. Callers should use the internal recall identification number 359. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Maserati Issues Recall Over Software Glitch

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – March 22, 2017 – Maserati North America has recalled more than 3,000 vehicles with faulty software. The recall impacts Levante sport utility vehicles produced between July and December 2016, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The car maker estimates that 100 percent of the models named in the action include defective software.

The Defect

Affected models are equipped with damaged engine software that may shift the vehicles into neutral or cut engine operations without notice. This normally occurs when the vehicles are traveling 2 miles per hour or slower, such as in heavy, bumper-to-bumper traffic. This fault increases the likelihood of crash, especially when road conditions improve, causing trailing drivers to accelerate rapidly. Even so, no injuries have occurred as a result of the software defect.

Timeline of Events

On Oct. 18, 2016, Maserati North America received a complaint from one driver who claimed his vehicle shifted into neutral without his assistance. The car maker immediately opened an investigation into the report and called for testing in an attempt to replicate and evaluate the possible issue. These trials concluded Nov. 9. Engineers were indeed able to replicate the issue, ordering follow-up diagnostics to better understand the underlying cause. These tests indicated that the engine software was to blame.

On Dec. 9, developers at the car company announced that they had coded and validated a patch to address the glitch. Over the next five days, engineers performed emissions tests on vehicles with the updated software to ensure that exhaust levels remained in step with federal regulations. The new software had no impact on emissions and was approved for use.

Maserati North America issued an initial recall on December 11, 2016. However, field tests revealed that the problem still persisted, despite the patch. Between Dec. 14 and Jan. 20, 2017, engineers and programmers replicated the issue on site and developed a newer iteration of the engine software that worked. The car maker integrated the new software into its production lines on Feb. 21. It issued a second recall three days later. Dealers made aware of the problem March 17.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has ordered dealers to update the engine software in all impacted models, free of charge, according to documents filed with the NHTSA. Owners should receive notification March 31, 2017.

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Maserati Recalls Luxury Vehicles Over Improper Seat Wiring

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – Feb. 27, 2017 – Maserati has recalled more than 39,000 vehicles due to improper seat wiring. The recall affects Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans and Levante crossover sports utility vehicles produced between 2014 and 2017, according to documentation from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration.

The Defect

The seat-wiring layouts in these vehicles interfere with internal adjustment motor housing, grinding against associated various metal fixtures. This wears down cables over time and causes seat-adjustment features to cease operation. In some cases, this constant friction can lead to electrical shorts and possible vehicle fires.

Timeline of Events

  • In December 2015, Maserati launched an investigation after an owner in Korea reported seat harness damage. The inquiry focused on the parts supplier Lier, which fabricated the seat wiring and adjustment motor assemblies.
  • In January 2016, Lear offered an explanation: The wiring layout was contacting the motor assembly and causing damage. Throughout the month, Maserati received nine additional complaints.
  • During the following month, another complaint came in – this one included the occurrence of an electrical fire. The automaker and its parts provider analyzed the issue and confirmed the cause.
  • By the close of April 2016, Maserati had developed a solution. Technicians for the company were ordered to install felt strips and clamping devices to separate seat wiring and adjustment motor components.
  • In September 2016, a Levante owner filed a seat malfunction complaint. Maserati added the vehicle to its list of affected models.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has agreed to install new seat wiring layouts in affected vehicles. Dealers are to make the repairs free of charge. Maserati will begin notifying impacted owners March 21, 2017. Every customer should receive an official communication within 60 days of this date. Parts will be available within 90 days of the schedule contact date.

adminMaserati Recalls Luxury Vehicles Over Improper Seat Wiring

Software Issue Plagues Maserati

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – Jan. 20, 2017 – Maserati North America, Inc. has announced that it will recall certain Levante S vehicles due to an engine software issue that could lead to transmission problems or even a sudden shutdown.

The Defect

Maserati will recall model year 2017 Levante S cars manufactured between July 1, 2016 and Dec. 13, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These vehicles all contain software bugs that may cause the transmission to shift to neutral or stop altogether when the car is traveling at 2 miles per hour. This significantly increases the risk of a crash, especially in heavy traffic scenarios.

Timeline of Events

  • Oct. 18, 2016 – Maserati received a complaint from China regarding a sudden, unexplained transmission shift during heavy traffic. Several tests were performed in an effort to replicate and isolate the problem.
  • Nov. 9, 2016 – The company successfully reproduced the issue and conducted follow-up tests to determine that it was indeed a software glitch.
  • Dec. 9, 2016 – A software re-flash solution was developed and tested to ensure that it could resolve the glitch without affecting other aspects of performance, such as emissions numbers.
  • Dec. 14, 2016 – Maserati issued its safety recall.

Resolution

Maserati made the software available to fix this bug in December 2016. Customers were notified by letter and advised to contact their local dealers to set up appointments for repairs. The new software upload is expected to take approximately one hour to complete.

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Pirelli Recalls Maserati Tires

Rome, GA – Dec. 7, 2016 – Pirelli Tire LLC has announced a recall of tires that were outfitted on certain Maserati cars. A defect in them increased the risk of cracking and air loss over time.

The Defect

According to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pirelli will be recalling the P Zero All Season tire, which is used exclusively on certain Maserati cars. Tires of size 275/40R19 101W that were manufactured between Feb. 29, 2016 and Oct. 29, 2016 have faulty carcass components, which may cause cracks to develop in the lower sidewalls as the tires reach the end of their tread lives. This leads to air loss, which could then make the affected vehicles harder to control. Pirelli believes that nearly 3,400 tires suffer from this defect.

Timeline of Events

Oct. 27, 2016 – During a routine test, one Pirelli tire did not meet internal specifications. Additional examination found that it contained incorrectly sized components, which led the manufacturer to conduct a check of all the others being produced that week. Inspectors were then able to determine the production range that had been affected by the defect.

Nov. 8, 2016 – All tires were subjected to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and passed. However, Pirelli decided to conduct a recall anyway, due to the possibility that tires in the field could have more significant problems.

Resolution

Pirelli will work with Maserati to have new tires installed on all vehicles currently being held in dealer inventory. In addition, the manufacturer and the dealer will identify all owners and send notifications to them so they can determine if they were affected. Customers may visit a Pirelli dealer to have their tires checked and obtain replacements free of charge if theirs are defective.

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