23,555 More Ferraris Recalled Over Brake Failure Risk

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Ferrari has recalled 23,555 vehicles manufactured between 2005 and today, representing a sizable chunk of the brand's output. As with the recall Ferrari issued in October of 2021, the company remains worried about the potential of dangerous brake failure. Though your author imagines the physical threat this actually presents to vehicle owners is limited, because most Ferrari products spend their entire lives in climate-controlled garages as motionless baubles.

Still, it may pose some amount of risk to in-house mechanics and multi-millionaires who actually drive their collectible cars and aren't Jay Leno (he's sworn off the brand). So it's likely better for Ferrari to notify the public than simply playing the odds that nobody will notice for another 15 years.

Whereas the earlier recall affected the Ferrari 458 and 488, the new one is substantially larger and has managed to incorporate exceptionally rare models — like the F60 America and LaFerrari Aperta — that cost more money than some people manage to earn in a lifetime.

Other examples include the 430 (2005-2009), 488 Pista (2019-2020), 612 (2010-2011), 612 Scaglietti (2005-2011), 812 (2018-2022), California (2009-2017), California T (2015-2017), F12 Berlinetta (2013-2017), F12 TDF (2017), F8 Spider (2020-2022), F8 Tributo (2020-2022), FF (2012-2016), GTC4Lusso (2018-2020), GTC4Lusso T (2018-2019), LaFerrari (2013-2015), Portofino (2019-2022), and Roma (2021-2022).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has an expansive report sheet for impacted models and their common problems. According to the documents, Ferrari found that the brake fluid reservoir may not be venting properly. This runs the risk of creating a vacuum in the reservoir which can cause brake fluid to seep out. Obviously, if you don't have enough brake fluid, the pedal will get spongy and you'll eventually have a serious safety issue to deal with. Ferrari said the defect "may lead to partial or total loss of braking capability."

Considering the brand only delivers about 9,000 cars annually and this builds on an earlier recall that was almost 10,000 cars strong, the whole situation is pretty embarrassing. We're looking at billions of dollars worth of high-end cars representing almost everything Ferrari has had on offer since 2005 here. But the solution appears to be straightforward and isn't wholly reliant on a "software fix" that's allegedly been designed to address a mechanical fault.

"The repair consists of replacing the brake fluid reservoir cap [with improved ventilation] and updating the software in the affected vehicles to provide for a different warning message if the vehicle should lose sufficient brake fluid," the Italian company explained in the safety reports. "Ferrari will send a notice letter to all affected vehicle owners to warn them of this issue, and instruct them 1) to contact an authorized Ferrari dealer to schedule the free recall repair, and 2) that in the meantime, remind 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."

Additional details showed that the warning message won't come on until the amount of brake fluid in the reservoir decreases by approximately 50 percent of its maximum level. For older models, this may just be a warning light and some chimes or buzzing. On newer models, Ferrari also plans on having cars display a text warning that directs drivers to drive slowly and head in for repairs. Though towing will likely be the preferred option.

Owners should begin receiving letters from Ferrari with instructions for the fix before September 24, 2022 — at which point the dealers should all be notified and instructed on how to perform the necessary work.

[Image: Johnnie Rik/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
3 of 8 comments
  • Skippity Skippity on Aug 10, 2022

    I had a 308 in the 80's. Said Matchbox on the bottom.

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Aug 10, 2022

    All that verbiage for a brake fluid reservoir cap that sorta kinda fails over time? That's all it is, right? The vent hole gets plugged up or something. Quelle horreur, it's the end of civilization as we know it. What happens when Micky D's doesn't put enough extra ketchup in your order at the take-out window? You must have an existential histrionic fit!

    Cue the cheapskate commenter: "Jeez. I drove my 1987 Corolla 734,562 miles, the last 83K with the emergency spare on the left rear, and it didn't even use up all the tread! Plus, I never had brake failure and it never used a drop of oil even though I used Walmart $1.88 stuff in a plastic gallon jug. I guess Toyota could teach those Ferrari guys sump'n about how to build cars!"

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 10, 2022

      Lol...You know good and well Toyota owners don't ever change their oil.

  • Ajla I'm going to whine about it. It should have a V8 available. Preferably a new one but at least offering the old one as a mid-level option. That this brand new engine outperforms something introduced 2003 and last updated in 2009 doesn't impress me. Also, journalists seem to be unaware that it is possible to add forced induction to a V8.
  • Calrson Fan I'll say it again, terrible business model doomed to fail. If your gonna build an EV PU the only market that makes sense to go after is fleets. How many other BEV companies are making money pushing only truck type vehicles?
  • Kcflyer Well it's a better waste of my money than the 1.5 billion sleepy joe's handlers gave away this week to pay for gender studies tuition.
  • Dukeisduke SK Siltron - they make blank wafers, so this isn't really a semiconductor factory (wafer fab). Siltron just polishes wafers sliced from silicon carbide ingots. Sometimes these plants are located close to fabs, sometimes they're halfway around the world from the fabs.Wafer fabs take those wafers and run processes on them (photolithography, etch, deposition, etc.) to produce finished wafers. Those finished wafers go to an assembly/test (A/T) site, where they go through probe and other testing, they're cut up into individual chips and inserted into packages with lead frames. After testing on the finished chips, then they're ready to sell.
  • Argistat If China invades Taiwan (becoming even more likely thanks to DT's isolationist rants) , then the US is completely screwed. If someone tried to list all the manufactured items and manufacturing equipment that contain semiconductor chips, the list would be so long you'd never complete it. Finally a real effort to help bring this into the US.