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Ferrari sued for failing to fix brake defects after major recalls

Ferrari cars on display
Ferrari cars on display

Ferrari has been sued in the US by drivers who said the Italian luxury sports car maker has failed to fix vehicles at risk of a partial or total loss of braking capability.

According to a proposed class action filed on Monday in San Diego federal court, recalls in 2021 and 2022 to address leaking brake fluid were only an interim measure, allowing Ferrari to keep selling thousands of cars with defective brakes.

The complaint said the only fix was to replace defective master cylinders when leaks are found.

According to the proposed class action, recalls in 2021 and 2022 to address leaking brake fluid were only an interim measure, allowing Ferrari to keep selling thousands of cars with defective brakes. REUTERS
According to the proposed class action, recalls in 2021 and 2022 to address leaking brake fluid were only an interim measure, allowing Ferrari to keep selling thousands of cars with defective brakes. REUTERS

“Ferrari was legally required to disclose the brake defect as a known safety defect and failed to do so,” according to the complaint, which sought unspecified damages for drivers.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ferrari did not specifically address the lawsuit but said its “highest priority” was the safety and well-being of its drivers.

“We operate according to stringent safety and security guidelines to ensure that our vehicles always respect homologation specifications,” Ferrari added.

The lawsuit is led by Iliya Nechev, a San Marcos, California resident who bought his 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia in 2020.

Nechev said he “came close to an accident several times” because of his Ferrari’s brakes, but his dealership said they were “normal” and he should “just get used to them.”

He said he wouldn’t have bought his Ferrari had he known of the problems.

Ferrari issued brake recalls in several countries including the US and China starting in October 2021.

A 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia. The lead plaintiff said he “came close to an accident several times” because of his Ferrari’s brakes. Xinhua /Landov
A 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia. The lead plaintiff said he “came close to an accident several times” because of his Ferrari’s brakes. Xinhua /Landov

The US recalls covered many Ferrari models, including versions of the 458 and 488, produced over nearly two decades.

Ferrari and Robert Bosch, the German supplier of the alleged defective parts, have said problems could result from brake reservoir fluid caps that might not vent properly, potentially creating a vacuum inside the fluid reservoir.

Bosch is also a defendant.

It did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment.

The five law firms that represent Nechev did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.

The case is Nechev v. Ferrari North America Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, No. 24-00516.