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Ferrari Solves 458 Fires, Plans Recall

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On: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 10:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Solves 458 Fires, Plans Recall

Just a week after announcing that it was looking into fire issues on its 458 Italia, Ferrari has identified the problem at the heart of some of the fires and intends to issue a recall to repair it. The news comes as media sources have reported at least 10 fires and accidents involving the 458 in the past three months, leading some to go so far as to speculate that the model is jinxed.

The problem that Ferrari identified as the cause of the fires is an adhesive that binds the engine heat shield to the wheel arch assemblies can overheat, smoke and catch fire. Ferrari says that the problem happens in hot ambient temperatures and when the car is driven aggressively (read: driven like a 458 Italia).

A Ferrari spokesperson explained the issue to Autocar: "When the car is driven to high exhaust temperatures, in hot ambient temperatures, the adhesive used in the wheelarch assemblies can overheat and allow the rear wheel housing heat shields to move around. In extreme cases, the glue can begin to smoke and even catch fire."

Ferrari plans to recall 458 models to fix the issue. According to the Boston Globe, the recall will affect more than 1,000 models. Ferrari will install wheel arches more securely. The company also intends to replace any 458 models that were destroyed as a result of the issue. Ferrari has installed a fix on models produced after July.

Ferrari explained to Autocar that the problem has been exaggerated and misreported by the media. Ordinarily, a statement of this nature could be dismissed as PR spin, but indeed, some media outlets have failed to clearly distinguish between unexplained car fires involving the 458 and crashes, lumping both types of incidents together to come up with10 altogether this summer. Ferrari also explains that one reported fire was actually part of a greater warehouse fire and didn't have anything to do with the car itself.

The Boston Globe reports that there were four specific incidences of 458 fires, which occurred in California, Paris, Switzerland and China.

No injuries have been reported from the fires, but several 458s involved have been charred severely.

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