When Italian and American engineers get together things can get hairy.
Maserati’s logo may be a nod to Poseidon’s trident, but it could be mistaken for a crown if looked at correctly. Fittingly, Maserati actually does deserve a crown simply because it seemingly leads the industry on recalls for part failures that can easily kill people. Now, the Italian auto brand is facing yet another recall for the same problem that recently claimed the life of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin. As you may remember, Maserati is a part of FCA.
As such, many Maserati vehicles feature the same German-built ZF monostable transmission system that was recalled only weeks before Yelchin’s death. Previously, FCA had recalled the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 as well as the now infamous 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee because its monostable shifters. These types of gear selectors are more like switches that return to their original position instead of remaining in the selected gear position like traditional gated shifters do. The setup makes it easy to leave the car in neutral or in gear when shutting it off and getting it out. As a result, a car equipped with the monostable shifter can easily roll down a hill with no one inside to stop the moving vehicular mass.
Unfortunately for FCA, it never installed an auto park feature, which would place the vehicle in park if the engine is shut off and the driver’s door is opened signaling that there is no one behind the wheel to control the car. Other automakers use the same monostable shifting system, but in each of those cases, auto park software was installed to prevent such issues. So far, Maserati said that it's not aware of any injuries, accidents, or deaths associated with the problem, but it is wisely recalling its vehicles too and will announce a fix soon. The recall affects all 2014 Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli models equipped with the eight-speed ZF. At least this time its cars aren’t catching on fire.