In Europe, two Porsche 911 GT3 engine bay fires have prompted the company to advise their customers to “stop using their vehicles.” Investigation is ongoing.
Generally, we like to know that our vehicles, from the mundane Toyota Corolla to the brute Porsche 911 GT3, won’t erupt into an uncontrollable ball of fire at the slightest tweak. After all, we don’t live in a James Bond or Michael Bay movie. For the most part, vehicles do a good job of keeping themselves free of flame, but every once in a while, it happens. Recently, we recall, three Tesla Model S caught fire, after being involved in impact situations. Of course, because it was an electric vehicle, it was big news. so far, however. no regulatory agency has condemned the vehicle.
On the other hand, vehicle fires occur with freakish regularity. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 287,000 vehicle fires every year, averaging 786 per day, in the United States. In other words, every two minutes or so, a car is in flames in this country. Wherever there are cars, this will be the case, I’m sure. Two recent fires in Europe, affecting the Porsche 911 GT3, have prompted the automaker to advise their customers not to drive their vehicles until they figure out the problem.
Fortunately, no one has been injured by the fires, but the problem seems to be related to hot oil spilling on hot engine components, exhaust manifold or catalytic convertor, most likely, after some type of “engine damage.” What exactly is the underlying cause of the “engine damage” isn’t known yet, but the problem has occurred twice. The Porsche 911 GT3 has only sold 785 units, meaning two catastrophic failures is pushing the bounds of coincidence. Porsche is working on the problem, has put a stop-sale on in-stock units, and will advise owners when a solution is available.