Ferrari recalls large swath of 458 and 488 models for potential brake failure

·2 min read

Ferrari is recalling nearly 10,000 458 and 488 variants built between 2009 and 2019 for a potential brake fluid leak which, like most such defects, can lead to a "low brake fluid" warning or partial to complete loss of braking power if not remedied. Even worse, for the time being, Ferrari doesn't have a fix for it.

The recall covers the 2010-2015 458 Italia, 2014-2015 458 Speciale, 2015 458 Speciale A, 2012-2015 458 Spider 2016-2019 488 GTB and the 2016-2019 488 Spider, for a total of 9,985 cars. Yeah, that's a lot of Ferraris. Total 458 production is estimated at fewer than 25,000 cars, and the recall is skewed fairly heavily toward its variants. The number would likely be smaller, Ferrari says, if it could pinpoint the exact problem.

"Ferrari is not yet aware of the root cause of this problem, nor the number of vehicles actually affected by it," Ferrari says. "Ferrari intends to send an interim notice letter to all 458 and 488 vehicle owners to warn them of this issue, and instruct 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."

Per Ferrari's notice to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the issue has been isolated to the brake booster/master cylinder assembly, however Ferrari acknowledges that it's not entirely certain why those assemblies are leaking. Since it cannot drill the issue down to a more specific defect, the company is simply recalling every example built with that assembly.

"The Ferrari 458 and 488 model vehicles are no longer in production, and subsequent Ferrari models do not use the same brake master cylinder/brake booster component," the company added.

Ferrari says that customers should be particularly concerned once the "Brake fluid level low, Go to dealer slowly" message appears in the car's cluster display, accompanied by a warning light and an audible signal. This means the fluid level in the reservoir has dropped below half of its normal fill level; the warning triggers at exactly 48%, Ferrari says. Dealers and customers will be notified as soon as a remedy has been determined.

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