According to USA Today, Maserati is recalling all its Ghibli and Quattroporte luxury sedans for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 model years, or approximately 30,000 cars. Maserati had the same problem with unintended acceleration — AKA, ?the runaway car? — that Toyota experienced six years ago.
Maserati claims that the main issue the floor mats — their design allows them to slide underneath the gas pedal. This can cause unintentional acceleration when the mat jams up against the floorboards. So far, four cases of this happening have been reported to the company — it was at this point that they decided to investigate the design, and ultimately opted to issue a recall.
This is the same problem Toyota experienced in 2010, when it had to recall millions of vehicles sold in 2009 and 2010, costing the company billions of dollars in repairs and fees — Toyota had to pay out $1.2 billion for failing to disclose the problem.
Although some lawsuits are still ongoing, the Toyota accelerator problem caused an estimated 37 deaths. The recall started a chain reaction involved additional NHTSA investigations, internal investigations by Toyota, and numerous lawsuits aimed at the company. Using precise torque measurement tools, the NHTSA did not find any electric defect in the vehicles, instead citing that the usual issue was pedal misapplication or driver error.
This can perhaps explain why Maserati was so quick to issue a recall, rather than run into similar — and expensive — disclosure issues.
Luckily, after Toyota?s mishap, many car manufacturers have equipped their vehicles with brake-override sensors that automatically reduce engine power if they detect numerous pushes, or feet on both the gas and brake pedal (things likely to occur if a driver is trying to slow down and subsequently panicking). For this reason, even though unintended accelerations were reported to Maserati, there were no subsequent accidents. Vehicle measurement tools such as these are becoming increasingly important for car manufacturers to add to their vehicles, in order to avoid lawsuits and regulatory fines that could otherwise result from oversight.
For anyone who has a car affected by the recall, the car can be brought in to local dealers and the driver?s side floormat and accelerator pedal cover will be replaced at no charge to the driver, as required by law.