Fiat Recalls Maserati, Alfa Romeo Cars for Suspension Failures

The lack of enough zinc coating on rear suspension parts is prompting the recall of 2005 to 2008 Maserati Quattroporte, 2008 Granturismo and 2008 Alfa Romeo cars. More than 7,400 Italian-built vehicles are involved because the rear tie rods can corrode and ultimately fail, resulting in the loss of control, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

In the required NHTSA filing just made public, Maserati said it is not aware of any accidents or personal injuries reports. The recall was apparently prompted by five warranty claims.

Maserati S.p.A and an unnamed tie-rod supplier noticed that some of the tie-rods showed corrosion at the threaded end. Since the cars are five to eight years old, it is thought that when the tires are changed from summer to winter tires and back again that the fastener to the tie-rods when loosened then re-tightened can gradually wear out the corrosion protection on the threaded portion of the rods.

If this occurs, galvanic corrosion can occur, especially where salt compounds are used on roads, once the zinc-nickel coating wears away. A series of material analysis and inspections were conducted, which subsequently discovered and confirmed the failure potential after continuous salt spray corrosion testing.

The remedy requires the replacement of the rear left-hand and right-hand tie rods, along with a wheel alignment. The fix requires 3.4 hours to complete on Maserati models, and 3.6 hours on Alfa Romeos, and will be performed free of charge to the vehicle owner as required by U.S. safety regulations.

Maserati will notify owners, and dealers will begin replacing the tie rod assemblies by the end of June 2013. Customers can contact Maserati at 1-877-696-2737about recall campaign number 205. Previous repairs will also be reimbursed. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov  to learn about NHTSA 13V196000.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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