A Mclaren Recall Means That Cars Had Faulty Brakes

Mclaren is known for a lot of things: Formula 1, the legendary Gordon Murray-designed F1, the brand’s ties to Ayrton Senna, you name it. Thankfully, that all boils down to one convenient word: performance. The brand is known for making things that go, turn and stop. However, there’s now a Mclaren recall that interferes with one of those things. A new recall has been reported by the NHTSA stating there’s an issue with the brakes on your Mclaren.

Stopping at 200 MPH is somewhat important

A blue Mclaren 720s on a streetside in London
Mclaren’s (nearly) perfect 720s | Martyn Lucy via Getty Images

To quote the NHTSA, “The brake assembly banjo bolt may be missing the holes that supply brake fluid to the caliper, which would cause the brakes to fail on one corner of the vehicle.” Unfortunately, this Mclaren recall, like others, is full of a lot of technical jargon, so let’s “brake” that down (sorry). First, what exactly is this musical bolt and why is it causing British supercars to break? Effectively, the flow of fluid through the brake lines is controlled by the banjo bolt.

So, it appears that what’s happening here in layman’s terms is pretty straightforward. Effectively, these bolts are missing a hole. That hole is what helps get brake fluid into the brakes, squeezing the pad into the carbon-ceramic rotor when the driver hits the stop pedal. However, the distribution of this issue is only on one caliper. That means the car will pull pretty hard to one side or the other because of the uneven brake pressure.

The Mclaren recall will hit the brand hard

A green Mclaren 570s on a track in the UK
Mclaren brakes are no cheap thing | Mclaren

Thankfully, like any other recall, Mclaren will happily service the affected vehicles free of charge. Now things get a little weird. No one noticed. At least, not for a long time. Rather, Mclaren knew on May 2, but owners haven’t said a peep. Frankly, that’s probably because these people aren’t daily driving their Mclarens. No, these cars are probably garage queens, being driven a handful of times a year.

It’s entirely possible owners simply hadn’t noticed because the cars weren’t being driven much, and when they were, they weren’t being driven hard enough for the issue to be noticeable. Regardless, the recall is a pretty large setback for the British manufacturer. You may recall that earlier this year, the boys in orange had to sell their factory and lease it back to themselves to stay afloat.

Mclaren are on the ragged edge

Mclaren's GT in blue on a twisty road in St Tropez
A blue McLaren GT in St Tropez | Mclaren

Those aren’t exactly ideal circumstances for a manufacturer facing a recall on four of their models. Four of their very, very expensive models. Models in that range, like the 600LT, 720s, 570s, and GT were surely optioned with expensive five-figure carbon-ceramic brakes. Not a cheap fix for Mclaren. But at the end of the day, Mclaren makes some truly exquisite machinery, and they’ll surely manage to come out of their hardships more or less in one piece. For now, they’d best find a new brakes supplier.

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