Recalls and Rolls-Royce. These are two terms that normally never are seen together, and for good reason. For one, Rolls-Royces are known for uncompromising quality. Secondly, volume is a lot smaller than most automakers, which makes the likelihood for problems to go down. They are very expensive, and customers expect the best. While significant recalls aren’t a problem, electrical issues are something that British automakers aren’t strangers to. With mass-market experience bMW has helped with that, along with other reliability niggles associated with low-volume automating.
Rolls-Royce is finding out that increased volumes, brought about by sharing heavily with BMW, can bring some downsides though. A few days ago, BMW announced a recall of 32,000 vehicles equipped with 8- and 12-cylinder engines.
The recall included 2008-2011 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo, 7 Series, X5 and X6 models. The problem was the overheating of an auxiliary water pump. BMW says it first saw the issue on test vehicles in June 2009, and the first instance on a customer car happened in April 2010.
Since then, 102 cases have been logged, resulting in two engine compartment fires. Not good. Rolls-Royce’s issue is similar, and it has to do with the BMW-built twin-turbocharged V-12. The problem is with a circuit board that controls operation of a dedicated water pump meant to cool the turbocharger after the car has been shut off. The board has the potential to overheat the pump, causing a fire. If the problem arises, the driver would be most likely warned by a light in the instrumental panel.
So far, no Rolls-Royces have experienced these issues, but the company is replacing water pump systems in the vehicles impacted to make sure there are no cases. The recall is in effect for Ghost models starting with the 2010 model year, and it includes 1,900 vehicles worldwide, 589 which are located in the U.S. Those numbers are up significantly on anything Rolls-Royce has experience before. That’s all down to the lower (if you can call it that) $245,000 asking price, which is enabled thanks to a good deal of components sharing with the 7-Series.