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Ferrari recalls 458 Italia for engine fires

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  September 1, 2010 03:00 PM

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A Ferrari 458 Italia burned to the ground in Switzerland in July, according to

Ferrari will recall more than 1,000 units of its 458 Italia after at least four of the mid-engine exotics caught fire in the last three months, the company said.

A glue securing the engine heat shield to the rear fenders can overheat in aggressive driving, which can cause the 562-horsepower V-8 to overheat and catch fire. So far, at least four engine fires have occurred to 458 owners in California, Switzerland, France, and China.

The car has only been on sale for a few months, and was introduced in the US at the end of June. The company said all 458s made after July already have the fix, which involves installing metal rivets to attach the shield, according to an owner on the car blog Jalopnik.

The owners who leaped out of their cars in time to escape the engulfing flames (no injuries have been reported) will get a new one at no charge.

Ferrari of New England, based in Norwood, has not performed any recall work yet, said general manager Dennis Dotolo. The dealer has sold about two or three models, which cost at least $250,000 and require a lengthy delivery time.

It's not the first time an Italian sports car has spontaneously combusted. On Lamborghinis, engine fires on the Murcielago and Gallardo models have been well-documented. The 458's predecessor, the 430, was recalled for a similar engine fire risk in 2009.

A Ferrari spokesman said that these kind of problems are "fairly common" but that this repair "is going to be it."

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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