The Ferrari 458 Italia is a hot car. Too hot. So hot that at least 5 of them have burst into flames because of a design flaw, leading the Italian luxury car maker to recall more than 1,200 Italias, each worth around $230,000.
The flambeed Ferraris weren’t a result of speed-racing billionaires crashing into walls, but rather a flaw in the wheel arch on the rear of the vehicles. Ferrari screwed up and used a glue which is prone to melting, which ultimately brings the lining of the wheel-arch into contact with the hot exhaust pipe. This causes both the lining and the adhesive to heat up and ignite. And for the grand finale, the heat will cause the Italia’s aluminum body to melt.
Here’s how a rep for the car company puts it:
The wheel arch assembly and heat shield which incorporates both mechanical fasteners and adhesive may, in the case of particularly high temperatures and as a result of heat produced by the exhaust, cause the deformation of the assembly itself.
Such deformation brings the assembly excessively close to the exhaust causing the adhesive used to overheat and produce smoke or, in the case of particularly high temperatures, ignite.
Ferrari has contacted the owners — including guitar god Eric Clapton — of these pricey vehicles and offered to fix them free of charge.
And for the few owners whose cars ignited because of the flaw, Ferrari is offering to give them new ones for free.