A software issue has prompted Aston Martin to issue a global recall of 1,658 Vantage models. The problem, which affects cars with Speedshift I and Speedshift II automated manual gearboxes built between June 2010 and September 2013, relates to incorrectly reset clutches after routine services.
In an interview with Reuters, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer said, "In the normal course of events, when you make a software change, you have to re-teach the engagement position of the clutch. And most of our dealers around the world automatically did that.
Palmer said that if this is not done correctly by the garage, "it's possible that a car could initially stall while in operation."
In this case, power to the assisted brakes and hydraulic steering can cut off, making it difficult to move the car to safety.
"I blame us," said Palmer. "Basically we should have explicitly said within the service action for the software that we should re-teach the clutch. We didn't explicitly say that. Therefore we take responsibility for fixing it."
The recall was first issued in China. Some customers have been complaining of issues since 2014.
"Normally [recalls] start in America," continued Palmer. "I don't think it is the only example, but it's interesting that it started from China and becomes a global recall. It demonstrates the importance of China, the sophistication of the customer and the diligence of the authority there."
The Vantage is Aston Martin's current longest-serving model, having been in production since 2005. A final swansong model called the AMR was launched in international markets earlier this month, while the next-generation Vantage is due in 2018.