The hybrid supercar has only just been launched, and it's already been recalled.
McLaren and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) have announced a recall for the just-launched 2023 Artura for faulty nuts. A total of 164 US market examples of the plug-in hybrid supercar are affected by the problem. What is that, exactly?
The government agency's recall documents state that the nuts for the high-pressure fuel pipe could loosen, which could result in a fuel leak. More specifically, the fuel pipes for this batch of Arturas were equipped with cold-formed nuts with rolled threads. Examples not affected by the recall, however, have fuel pipes with fully machined nuts.
McLaren was able to single out the affected examples via production records. If the nut of the recalled vehicles becomes loose, the seal located between the end flare of the fuel pipe and sealing cone of the pump outlet could become disrupted. This will likely release fuel.
The recall documents further explain that "the end flare of the fuel pipe is situated close to engine components which have a high operating temperature. If fuel is released in proximity to these components, it could result in thermal activity." This cold-formed nut may have "a lower residual torque than is necessary to assure the connection."
The carmaker has concluded this is due to a low coefficient of friction "as a result of the process used to manufacture a cold formed nut compared to the process used to manufacture a fully machined nut."
McLaren first got wind of this problem last June when one Artura with around 620 miles on its odometer was driven on a race track when a fuel leak was detected. This was on the international press launch in Spain, and was one of the issues mentioned to CarBuzz in a recent interview on the problems that have been faced in getting the Artura to market. The following inspection revealed the defective cold-formed nut.
The reason why some Arturas have the cold-formed nut instead of the machined nut is that the supplier suffered a stock shortage in March 2021. Both McLaren and the supplier agreed to switch to the cold-formed nuts, which had passed the carmaker's durability testing.
Apparently, the part's long-term reliability is problematic. McLaren quickly developed a bespoke tightening procedure for the cold-formed nuts and fixed every Artura fitted with it prior to sale.
Examples that were sold and are now being recalled will have their high-pressure fuel pipes replaced with new ones equipped with fully machined nuts. As usual, this is free of charge for customers. No crashes or injuries have been reported, and the recall is expected to get underway shortly.