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Alfa Romeo's Latest Problem Is Not Surprising

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And now the NHTSA is involved. Is your Alfa, too?

We take certain things for granted, particularly when it comes to Alfa Romeos (or classic ones, at least). We expect them to be beautiful, emotive, a little troublesome from time to time, and hardly what you might call "frugal” with the liquified fossils. We'd hope that modern Alfas to have overcome some of those problems with its latest machinery, but that hasn't always proven the case.

Just scope out this latest recall, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address new Alfas that have been burning through gasoline faster than they're supposed to.

The problem affects both Giulia sedans and Stelvio crossovers from the 2018 and 2019 model years – a grand total of 21,915 of them in the United States, all told. That's nearly as many vehicles as the Italian marque sold here all of last year, so you know that, for Alfa, it's a pretty big recall.

Apparently those affected vehicles have a problem with their Body Control Modules, which "may indicate an inaccurate fuel level that displays higher than the actual amount.” In other words, drivers can't trust what the fuel gauge says, and may run out of gas sooner than expected.

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The recall apparently covers only the base models of both – those powered by the 2.0-liter turbo four, not the Quadrifoglio performance versions, with their high-output 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6s. (Those we expect to burn through fuel quickly.) That base engine, in North American models, produces 284 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque, and according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, is supposed to deliver 27 mpg (26 with all-wheel drive) on the combined cycle in the Giulia, or 24-25 for the Stelvio. Just don't believe what the instruments tell you until you get yours serviced under the recall, which is slated to kick off on September 13.

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