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 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.
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.