Bentley’s U.S. Recall Covers One $259,000 Flying Spur Sedan

By Keith Laing | March 2, 2021

The American owner of a rare, $259,000 British sedan is getting something even rarer: a recall involving only one car.

Bentley Motors Ltd. is recalling one 2020 Flying Spur W12 because it is at risk of a fuel leak due to a welding issue.

Bentley reintroduced the Flying Spur — a model that dates back to 1952 — last year and the company won’t say how many were sold in the U.S. But the fuel tank defect is limited to one person’s car and was discovered during a review of supplier production records, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The owner, who wasn’t identified in a NHTSA notice posted Saturday, will get a new fuel tank free of charge.

The Bentley Motors Ltd. logo is seen on the engine of a Flying Spur luxury sedan in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

One of the company’s U.S. dealerships called the owner to work out details, said Erin Bronner, senior manager of communications and brand experience in Bentley’s U.S. office. She declined to identify where the vehicle is located.

“The isolated incident and car in question has not shown any signs of fuel leak. The customer has been contacted as per NHTSA regulations,” she said in a statement.

With a 12-cylinder, six-liter engine, the Flying Spur boasts a maximum speed of 207 miles per hour (333 kilometers per hour) and goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. It comes in 17 standard colors, though Bentley says it will try to match a color a buyer wants. The interior includes wooden veneers harvested from sustainably sourced forests.

“From its twin-turbocharged engines to its opulent leather-and-wood-lined enclave of a cabin, the Flying Spur is built to both pamper its passengers and thrill its driver,” Car and Driver Magazine said in its review of the 2020 Flying Spur.

Bentley is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, which purchased the luxury automaker along with Lamborghini and Bugatti in 1998.

NHTSA said the potential faulty fuel tank was produced and shipped to Bentley by an Austrian company known as Magna Steyr Fuel Systems GmbH in March 2020. The part was used in the production of the lone Flying Spur that is now being recalled in August 2020. The potential defect was identified by Magna Steyr in January, 2021, and Bentley was notified. The automaker made the decision to recall the car on Feb. 17, 2021, and NHTSA was notified.

Jason Levine, executive director of Center for Auto Safety, said recalls of even a small number of vehicles happen from time to time and have merit.

“A recall of just one vehicle happens about once a year or so, but keep in mind it is a defect no matter how many cars are affected,” he said.

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