$230,000 Ferraris Recalled For Being So Hot They Could Burst Into Flames

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.

The £212m recall: Ferrari recalls ‘cursed’ supercar after FIVE 458 Italias burst into flames [Daily Mail]


Edit Your Comment

  1. mac-phisto says:

    that’s one expensive pinto.

  2. aaron8301 says:

    I really, REALLY wish I had a problem like this. “Oh look dear, it’s a letter from Ferrari. We need to take the car back to the dealer so they can fix a recalled part. I guess we’ll just have to drive the Aston today.”

  3. nbs2 says:

    At least they are taking care of the problem pretty quickly.

  4. LastError says:

    Oh come on. Ferraris have been known for years for randomly bursting into flames. It’s just a natural part of owning one.

    Why? When you push the cutting edge, sometimes it cuts back. Or bursts into flames.

    If you want a car that doesn’t do that, buy a cheap car.

  5. c!tizen says:

    They recalled it because of defective glue? A six-figure car, held together by glue?

    • Orv says:

      It “incorporates mechanical fasteners and glue.” Meaning they have normal screws or pins or whatever holds it on, but they’ve also glued the joint. This is pretty common on high-end cars; it makes the assembly stiffer with very little increase in weight, and prevents the parts from rattling against each other. This is the kind of attention to detail that makes a high-end car feel like a solid item instead of a collection of parts bolted together. It’s a bit like how good furniture will use glue as well as screws or dowel pins to hold joints together.

      • c!tizen says:

        Using glue in conjunction with hardware fasteners makes sense, but from what I read it sounds like it was only glued. Even an ultra light weight aluminum bolt or series of cotter pins would have added enough extra support to keep it from falling on to the pipes without adding any significant weight. I’m just sayin’ I’d expect a little more from a company like Ferrari.

    • mac-phisto says:

      yes. but it’s made from real unicorns. that’s how you know it’s good.

    • operator207 says:

      Go look under the hood of ANY car. There is glue holding something together. Unibody cars always have some form of glue along with other fasteners (weld, bolt, etc) holding the majority of the unibody together.

      My 1970 Olds had glue on the cowl above the firewall. It was also spot welded.

    • Jimmy60 says:

      Glue is an excellent way to attach carbon fiber parts together.

  6. Orv says:

    Well, there goes their Consumer Reports “Best Buy” rating!

  7. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Well here’s a problem I will never have to worry about!

  8. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Oh crap. What am I going to do now? I always use the Italia for beer runs.

  9. Donathius says:

    Oh man…guess I’d better check on my Ferrari…

    Nope, the Matchbox car is fine. In fact I don’t see any adhesive in the wheel arch at all. Just the metal pin that serves as the axle.

  10. sopmodm14 says:

    at least the camry’s didn’t become instant fireballs

    all that money and they use the crappiest glue ?

    lol at all ferrari owners

  11. bananaboat says:

    I wonder if GM can sue them for patent infringement? They stole the flaming Corvair design.