Supercars Are Hot, But McLaren’s Might Set You On Fire

McLaren is known for its high-performing vehicles that can compete with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. Currently, the British automaker is not in the news for a recent, exotic model announcement but for a concerning safety hazard.  McLaren is recalling over 3,000 vehicles across the U.S. and Canada due to a fuel leak risk on the Senna, 720S, GT, and 570GT models. The recall is for models made between 2016 and 2020.

Recall action

Car safety recalls are relatively common and are usually related to flawed parts or software. McLaren specifically is dealing with a combination of issues. The vehicles correlated with the carmaker’s recall action are assembled with a foam pad below the fuel tank. This foam pad can potentially retain water, eat away at the fuel tank, and can even cause leaking, as well as fire. 

According to the report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site, some of the fuel tank concerns started in January of 2019. A customer in Latvia told his McLaren seller that he could smell fuel from his 2018 McLaren 570GT. The dealer sent the fuel tank to McLaren for further analysis after this initial report.

Because the Latvia customer’s 2018 McLaren 570GT model was previously a press car, it was exposed to higher mileage and weathering. McLaren wasn’t sure if this was a one-time issue. After the analysis came back in 2019, the carmaker decided to watch carefully for any warranty claims for the same problem. 

Another driver in the UK had the same fuel smell concern with his 2016 McLaren 570GT. McLaren decided to reopen its investigation in March 2020. The engineers found that the foam pad was the root of the issue. McLaren then decided to organize a voluntary safety recall for all models with the same foam pad.

Fixing the problem

It seems that fixing the problem is pretty simple, at least for the 570GT and 720S models as well as for the million-dollar Senna hypercar. McLaren plans to examine these vehicles, then remove the problematic fuel pad. The carmaker will also replace the fuel tank if they find signs of corrosion.

McLaren still has to determine a solution for the GT model but the company thinks the foam pad is the issue and not the actual fuel tank. Models without the foam pad are not included in the recall.

The carmaker hasn’t officially scheduled its notification process to owners impacted by the recall. The automaker also says that the company hasn’t been informed about any other vehicles with the same foam pad issue outside of the ones that spurred the recall.

What to do if your car gets recalled

Carmakers are required to alert owners about recalls that might impact them. The carmaker’s notification letter describes the defect, potential risks, as well as warning signs. It also includes how the carmaker plans to remedy the issue and the next steps.

Remember, don’t try and fix your car recall issue yourself. Fixing a recall issue is ultimately your dealer’s job. To stay on top of recalls you can also visit the NHTSA site here.