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Auto blogSun, 14 Oct 2012 16:03:00 EST
A pair of head-turning high performance cars are catching some attention off a different kind, in the form of safety recalls. Aston Martin and Lotus have issued recalls for the V12 Vantage Coupe and Evora, respectively.
Aston Martin's affects 169 examples of the 2009-2012 V12 Vantage Coupe. It concerns the tire-pressure monitoring system, and is less a malfunction than it is a compliance issue. The TPMS does not alert the driver until the front tire is more than 25 percent below the recommended cold tire pressure. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 138 states that the alarm must sound when tire pressure is "equal to or less than either the pressure 25 percent below" the recommended cold inflation pressure. To address the issue, Aston Martin will notify owners and reprogram the software, free of charge.
As for Lotus, 80 supercharged Evoras have been recalled, all built between February and September, 2011. The problem involves an engine-mounted oil feed pipe, which could rupture, causing loss of engine oil or a possible fire if the oil sprays onto a hot engine.
Aston Martin has been without a helmsman since Ulrich Bez stepped down from the chief executive office at the end of last year, stepping back to serve as non-executive chairman in a semi-retired ambassadorial capacity. The British automaker, now on the cusp of a new era, has been running without a CEO since, but has now named Bez's replacement in Andy Palmer.
If you don't recognize the name, you should: Palmer has worked under the Renault-Nissan Alliance for decades now, rising through the ranks to become one of the top executives under Carlos Ghosn. Most recently he was serving as executive vice president of the entire group and chairman of the Infiniti brand, but like Carlos Tavares, who recently left Renault to run Peugeot, Palmer is now embarking on a new mission as CEO of Aston Martin.
Once the transition period is complete at the start of October, Palmer's role as Chief Planning Officer at Renault-Nissan will be assumed by Philippe Klein, who steps up from his current role as executive vice president of product planning for Renault. Read the statements from both companies below.
This has been a tumultuous year for Lotus - to say the least - from the company being sold off back in January to its CEO Dany Bahar being fired in June to its questionable financial status and rumors of the British automaker being sold off to another automaker. First, we heard that Volkswagen was interested in acquiring Lotus and parent company Proton, a rumor that was later dismissed. Now Automobile is reporting that fellow Brit Aston Martin could be in the market to work with or possibly even merge with Lotus.
While this is pure speculation at this point, such a venture could prove to be beneficial for both independent companies. That's because with Lotus focused on lightweight, relatively affordable sports cars and Aston Martin producing high-end performance cars, there is virtually no product overlap between the companies. The article suggests that a person or company wanting to merge these two automakers would have to raise between $1.1 billion and $1.6 billion in order to make a go of it, however.
We're not sure what to think of this latest rumor, but anything that can help get the struggling brand back to health at least has our interest.