Italian saloon in dodgy electrics shocker: 90 UK cars to get new ECUs
23 August 2007

If you were one of the first Brits to take delivery of a Maserati Quattroporte Automatic, it might be wise to schedule a trip to the dealership sometime soon. That’s because the marque is about to recall the first 96 examples of the car sold in the UK in order to rectify a fault that could disable its electronic stability control system.The Italian brand’s problem is with the Bosch ECU that controls the ‘Maserati Stability Program (MSP)’. When the car’s battery is low, a bug in the software slows down signals sent by the car’s electronic sensors. The car’s onboard computer then assumes that there is a fault with the MSP system and disengages the car’s traction and stability control; its antilock brakes will continue to work.“If you use your Quattroporte every day, you’ll probably never encounter the fault,” a company spokesperson told Autocar, “and if you do, it’ll go away once you charge the battery and restart the car.”“We’ll be informing the affected owners individually in the next few weeks, and they’ll be asked to bring their cars back to their nearest service outlet, where a new ECU will be fitted free of charge. The fix should only take a few hours.” Maserati assured us that it had updated its factory stock of Bosch ECUs to fix the problem on new-built cars some months ago, so if you buy a Quattroporte Automatic today, you’ve got nothing to be concerned about. Equally, the problem is with Bosch' component, not anything Maserati itself has produced.However, with 96 cars affected here, 38 affected in Australia, and 595 in the USA, it's an episode that the Modenese car-maker will want to quickly forget.

Our Verdict

Maserati Quattroporte 2004-2013

The Maserati Quattroporte has character, balance and a wonderful engine, but its ride and gearbox mean it’s ultimately flawed.

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