A fault with an external coolant pump could lead to a fire if left unchecked.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced two separate recalls for the same problem within the VW Group, specifically an issue with an external coolant pump on 2017-2022 Porsche Panamera and 2020 Bentley Continental models. Curiously, older Continental models are not noted.
The problem stems from a sealing issue whereby humidity can enter the climate control system's external coolant pump. This can cause a short circuit that could result in thermal damage, which, left unchecked, could cause a fire. The issue is rare, but nearly 25,000 vehicles are affected.
Porsche's recall affects 24,467 Panamera, Panamera 4, Panamera GTS, and Panamera Turbo derivatives, including the Sport Turismo versions.
A separate recall from Bentley covers the same issue, but only 650 GT and GTC models are affected.
Interestingly, although the root cause of the problem seems to be the same, Porsche and Bentley have not reached the same conclusion on how to remedy it. While the Porsche recall says that "dealers will replace the external coolant pump and inspect and replace the plug-in connection, if necessary, free of charge," the Bentley recall says that a remedy is "currently under development."
Why are two brands from within the same group facing the same issue but finding different ways of going about it?
All of the affected vehicles utilize a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but it's entirely possible that their placement varies, so perhaps Bentley's pump is more difficult to get to. Presumably, these two coolant pumps are very similar but have packaging or design differences that make a one-size-fits-all fix impossible.
Whatever the case, owners of affected cars from either brand will be notified of the issue on March 27, but if you'd like to check if your vehicle is affected now, Porsche's number for the recall is APA1, and Bentley's is RE23/02 (RC67).
As a side note, Bentley is working on its 2024 Continental, and the Panamera is gearing up for a refresh too.
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