Porsche traced 911 GT3 engine fire cause to improperly installed fasteners

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 21, 2014

Porsche has traced the root cause of engine fires on its 911 GT3 model that has prompted the sports car maker to tell owners to stop driving the racing version of the 911. Porsche said the cause was a fastener that wasn't properly installed. "Engine damage resulted from a loosened screw joint on the connecting rod," Porsche said.

"The loose connecting rod damaged the crankcase, which in both cases led to leakage of oil which then ignited." The sports car maker has already sent details to owners and plans to completely swap out the engine of all 785 of the 911 GT3s from the current model year. Two vehicles were reported to have caught fire, but there were no injuries linked to the incidents.

"We're not taking any risks when it comes to the safety of our customers," Porsche chief executive Matthias Mueller said. "We're acting fast and decisively to fix this." Porsche is offering owners cars like the 911 Turbo while their vehicles are repaired, Mueller said. "To replace the whole engine is quite a drastic measure," said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences.

He said that the measure shows that Porsche is keen to solve the problem as fast as possible to allay concerns and keep any disgruntled customers. Porsche recalled 100,000 Cayenne SUVs in 2012 to fix a glitch with parts holding in the front headlights.

The sports car maker also offered fixes for various car models in 2011 and 2010 to address seat-belt faults. Porsche's fastener issue most recent quality issues come as General Motors plans to fix over 3 million vehicles for a glitch linked to 12 deaths.

Recalls in recent months at other carmakers underscores the challenges auto companies face as they infuse increasingly sophisticated technology to their new offerings.

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