Aston Martin is recalling the lion’s share of its luxury sports cars in America over a security feature that works just fine, but does not comply with US federal regulations.
The problem revolves around the interior door locks, which by design are disabled when the doors are locked from the outside. It’s a particularly beneficial feature for convertibles, in which locking the doors when parked with the roof down is only as secure as a hand reaching in and unlocking it from the inside.
Unfortunately for Aston Martin, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demands that the door locks be operable from the inside of the vehicle, even if it’s equipped with a system like Aston installs that prevents the doors from being locked with someone inside. So the British automaker has been forced to recall over 6,000 of its vehicles in the United States.
If that doesn’t strike you as a very large recall, consider that Aston only sold 3,615 units around the world last year. Although the company seldom breaks down its sales figures in detail, if you estimate that the United States accounts for only a quarter of the company’s global sales, the number of vehicles being recalled would be more than enough to account for every unit the company has sold in the United States for the past six model years – which is as far back as this recall extends.
The campaign affects the 2010-15 DB9, 2010-12 DBS, 2010-16 V8 Vantage, 2012 Virage (a short-lived model based on the DB9), 2010-16 Rapide, 2014-16 Vanquish, 2011-16 V12 Vantage, and 2012-13 V12 Zagato. All told, that amounts to an estimated 6,076 vehicles which will need to have their double locking system disabled.
That is, of course, assuming that every owner voluntarily brings their vehicle into the dealership to address the issue, which they are under no legal obligation to do. Leaving a recall issue unresolved, however, can adversely affect the resale value of a car, but something tells us that most Aston Martin owners won’t be strongly influenced by that factor.