Fire Risk in 2014 Model 911 GT3 – Porsche Issues Recall Notice

Facing a high risk of fires in their new 911 GT3, car manufacturer Porsche has recalled all 785 models sold in order to replace the engines—which could cost up to $30,000 per car according to a California dealership.

The $130,000 Porsche 911 GT3, which can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 195 miles per hour, drew attention from investigators when two cars caught fire in Switzerland and Italy. A representative for Porsche told the New York Times that there were no injuries due to the fires, but the company told dealers to stop selling the GT3 and informed owners not to drive the cars.

Porsche then had the cars retrieved from their owners by company personnel.

The problem with the GT3 even became a joke on the BBC’s long-running automotive show Top Gear, where co-host Richard Hammond was given a pair of Porsche-badged oven mitts after his car was recalled by Porsche. He was later provided with a small GT3 toy car as a replacement—which promptly burst into flames.

The automaker later determined that the problem was a connecting rod fastener that came loose which in turn damaged the crankcase, causing an oil leak that caught fire. Porsche then decided to simply replace the entire engine rather than attempt to fix the problem.

In a press release, Porsche said that engines with optimized screw fittings would be used in all Porsche 911 GT3 vehicles for 2014, including those not delivered yet. The release also stated “the relevant Porsche Centres are in direct communication with customers worldwide to discuss the further course of action.”

The recall does not include any other models besides the GT3, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated it is in contact with Porsche and is “aware of proactive steps taken by the automaker to ensure the safety of its customers.”

Approximately 400 vehicles are in the United States with about half-unsold and still at dealerships. Current owners can contact Porsche at 1-800-545-8039. Porsche’s number for the recall is AE01.

Porsche is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.