Flaming Ferraris: $250,000 cars recalled because they can burst into flames

Ferrari fireFerrari is recalling more than 1,200 of its 458 Italia sports cars because of a design flaw that can make them spontaneously combust.

To date, at least five of the $250,000 supercars have burst into flames in Paris, Switzerland, California, China and another unnamed location, the Daily Mail reports.
Ferrari says the problem lies in the rear wheel wells of the 458 Italia, which are attached with a special glue that's susceptible to melting, allowing the wheel-well lining to make contact with the red-hot exhaust pipe. Once the wheel wells catch fire, the Ferrari bursts into flames, melting the supercar's aluminum body.

'Dealers are contacting clients to ask them to take their cars in to carry out modifications to the wheel arch assembly and heat shield," a Ferrari spokesman said. "This modification has been decided after the analysis carried out by Ferrari technicians investigating the thermal incidents since July involving five 458 vehicles of over 1,000 delivered."

Some commentators have suggested the uber-sports car, which was launched this spring, is "cursed" after 11 of the vehicles burst into flames or crashed. Designed by Pininfarina, the 458's 4.5-litre V8 engine rocket's from zero to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 202mph.

But the Ferrari 458 isn't the first car known to spontaneously combust.

The Ford Pinto achieved notoriety in the 1970s after 27 deaths were blamed on a design flaw that caused the fuel thank to explode after a rear-end collision. More recently, five Tata Nanos , an Indian-made "peoples car" that sells for $3,000, have also burst into flames, with reports of a sixth incident just days ago. In June, the $350,000 Lamborghini Murcielago also was recalled over its fire risk.

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