Ferrari has recalled 23,555 vehicles manufactured between 2005 and today, representing a sizable chunk of the brand’s output. As with the recall Ferrari issued in October of 2021, the company remains worried about the potential of dangerous brake failure. Though your author imagines the physical threat this actually presents to vehicle owners is limited, because most Ferrari products spend their entire lives in climate-controlled garages as motionless baubles.
Still, it may pose some amount of risk to in-house mechanics and multi-millionaires who actually drive their collectible cars and aren’t Jay Leno (he’s sworn off the brand). So it’s likely better for Ferrari to notify the public than simply playing the odds that nobody will notice for another 15 years.
Whereas the earlier recall affected the Ferrari 458 and 488, the new one is substantially larger and has managed to incorporate exceptionally rare models — like the F60 America and LaFerrari Aperta — that cost more money than some people manage to earn in a lifetime.
Other examples include the 430 (2005-2009), 488 Pista (2019-2020), 612 (2010-2011), 612 Scaglietti (2005-2011), 812 (2018-2022), California (2009-2017), California T (2015-2017), F12 Berlinetta (2013-2017), F12 TDF (2017), F8 Spider (2020-2022), F8 Tributo (2020-2022), FF (2012-2016), GTC4Lusso (2018-2020), GTC4Lusso T (2018-2019), LaFerrari (2013-2015), Portofino (2019-2022), and Roma (2021-2022).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an expansive report sheet for impacted models and their common problems. According to the documents, Ferrari found that the brake fluid reservoir may not be venting properly. This runs the risk of creating a vacuum in the reservoir which can cause brake fluid to seep out. Obviously, if you don’t have enough brake fluid, the pedal will get spongy and you’ll eventually have a serious safety issue to deal with. Ferrari said the defect “may lead to partial or total loss of braking capability.”
Considering the brand only delivers about 9,000 cars annually and this builds on an earlier recall that was almost 10,000 cars strong, the whole situation is pretty embarrassing. We’re looking at billions of dollars worth of high-end cars representing almost everything Ferrari has had on offer since 2005 here. But the solution appears to be straightforward and isn’t wholly reliant on a “software fix” that’s allegedly been designed to address a mechanical fault.
“The repair consists of replacing the brake fluid reservoir cap [with improved ventilation] and updating the software in the affected vehicles to provide for a different warning message if the vehicle should lose sufficient brake fluid,” the Italian company explained in the safety reports. “Ferrari will send a notice letter to all affected vehicle owners to warn them of this issue, and instruct them 1) to contact an authorized Ferrari dealer to schedule the free recall repair, and 2) that in the meantime, remind them that if the “low Brake Fluid” warning message appears on the vehicle dashboard, the driver should pull off the road as soon as it is safe to do so, and then contact Ferrari Roadside Assistance and get towed to the nearest authorized Ferrari dealer.”
Additional details showed that the warning message won’t come on until the amount of brake fluid in the reservoir decreases by approximately 50 percent of its maximum level. For older models, this may just be a warning light and some chimes or buzzing. On newer models, Ferrari also plans on having cars display a text warning that directs drivers to drive slowly and head in for repairs. Though towing will likely be the preferred option.
Owners should begin receiving letters from Ferrari with instructions for the fix before September 24, 2022 — at which point the dealers should all be notified and instructed on how to perform the necessary work.
[Image: Johnnie Rik/Shutterstock]
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