Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio Recalled for Brake Snafu

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
alfa romeo giulia and stelvio recalled for brake snafu

Many years of competing in demolition derbies taught me many things, such as the value of not looking over my shoulder while reversing into someone at a high rate of speed and the importance of a good neck brace. I also learned that while one can substitute other liquids for transmission fluid, braking systems don’t play well with any pollutant that’s not designed to be in there.

Alfa Romeo has also discovered this fact, and is now recalling a total of 307 Giulia sedans and Stelvio crossovers from the 2018 model year for potentially contaminated brake fluid.

As detailed by the NHTSA, certain Giulias and Stelvios may contain brake fluid that was contaminated in the assembly plant with a non-compatible oil type. On November 23, two vehicles within the plant failed the dynamic Customer Product Audit quality test when they experienced a loss of clutch pressure. FCA says the entire yard was subsequently placed on hold as a safety measure.

Five days later, Alfa Romeo opened an investigation into the loss of clutch pedal pressure due to QC failure of those two subject vehicles. The same day, the boffins at Alfa donned white coats and conducted laboratory analysis on the vehicles that failed QC. This revealed contamination of the brake and clutch fluid with mineral oil. Further investigation found that a pallet containing those three fluids was used starting November 13th.

The next day, all vehicles were held at the assembly plant, with suspect vehicles tested for oil contamination. On December 5th, the plant created a system in which vehicles would be assembled using brake and clutch fluid from barrels they knew to be uncontaminated. Using date codes and a bit of math, Alfa determined 307 Giulias and Stelvios were built during the time frame in question.

What happens when brake fluid is polluted? Well, the brake system components contaminated with non-compatible oil may become damaged and braking performance may suffer. Vehicles with contaminated brake fluid may experience decreased braking performance when depressing the brake pedal. In certain cases, it can cause a system failure with little warning, leading to a vehicle crash.

Alfa Romeo will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the braking system, replacing it as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 8, 2018. Owners may contact Alfa Romeo customer service at 1-844-253-2872. Chrysler’s number for this recall is T84.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • RHD RHD on Jan 02, 2018

    Powdered Stelvio really sweetens up a cup of tea, and adds very few calories. Draining the brake fluid is highly recommended before making Stelvio powder.

  • Advance_92 Advance_92 on Jan 02, 2018

    Lucky for the US Alfas don't have clutches, then.

  • SCE to AUX Let it die with dignity - no electrification. That would kill the spirit of the original.Mazda needs to think about survival and market share, not tinker with a niche car with waning sales, or dying on Wankel Hill.Maybe their body and paint engineers could help Tesla once Mazda folds.
  • Lou_BC H-E-L-L-C-A-T
  • EBFlex "EBFlex speaks more truth."It's sometimes a burden being right all the time.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Add a couple of more body styles. A coupe with a vestigial rear seat like the BRZ along with a shooting brake version would appeal to a number of drivers who want something sporty but not a hatchback or crossover.
  • Theflyersfan It's the mother of all "ifs" - if Mazda gets the small rotary/hybrid combo going, I can see them using that in the next MX-5. Can they keep it under 2500 lbs and somewhat affordable? Not sure...this is why I don't run a car company! But if they want to replace it around 2025, and it's 2023 now, they need to get started very soon with some rumors and leaks to keep us going. But with the rest of their lineup going greener in next generations, and Mazda selling under 10,000 MX-5s per year, how does it really impact any average emissions and fuel economy ratings? If they can keep tweaking the Skyactiv-G engine for better fuel economy and fewer emissions, they should be able to get the NE generation using gasoline before being forced to go EV or hybrid with the NF. The mission of the MX-5 is light, affordable, open air fun and it's their halo car. And while I agree that EVs are going to be a much larger part of the future, the "all things by 2035 or 2040 or so on" edicts have "kick the can down the road" written in massive font size 1,000 written all over them. We'll be on gas for a while longer - just continue to eke more mpg out of what we have.All that being said, if they were to put the turbo Skyactiv-G engine in the MX-5 for 2024 and make it a Mazdaspeed model, I'd put a deposit on it right now. I love mine, but if it gets bumped up from 181hp to 250-275hp, it would be a flat out riot to drive.
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