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Marc Stern's picture

Why were 2/3s of all 2017-18 Chirons recalled? To fix faulty welds that may cause crashes

Bugatti has recalled two-thirds of the first year's output of Bugatti Chirons to fix a problem with seat recliner welds. The improperly welded seatbacks can shift suddenly leading to the possibility of a crash.
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For a hypercar like the Bugatti Chiron attention to detail is everything. After all, when you are spending $3 million per copy, you expect things to be perfect when your car rolls off the assembly line. Well, the assembly line may be pushing it as the hypercar manufacturer is building its vehicles at a relaxed rate.

Each hypercar is a handmade affair

Bugatti is building Chirons at the leisurely rate of slightly less than six hypercars per month. This pretty much means each unit is handmade by automotive artisans who know their craft. Wolfgang Durheimer, the carmaker’s chief exec, told the press at September’s Frankfurt Auto Show, there are no plans to increase the production rate, even though the automaker is also ramping up to a Chiron replacement in 2019.

With all of that said, you could say with a high degree of certainty that anyone of the 300 or more Chiron owners, waiting for their hyper-rides is probably shocked to hear that Bugatti has recalled two-thirds of the first year’s production – 47 – to repair a significant problem with the hypercar’s front seats. The problem is improper welding on the seat recliner brackets, according to paperwork filed with the safety agency.

The NHTSA said, in announcing the recall, that the improper welds can lead to “the driver’s seating position” changing unexpectedly which, in turn, “could increase the risk of a crash.” In other words, say the seatback slips down suddenly, leaving the driver flailing a high-speed turn or corner.

In this situation, the Chiron could become unruly as the driver fights to control the massive hyper-performance machine as it barrels barreling through the turn or corner. Meanwhile, the driver is struggling to maintain a seating position. Without the support provided by the seatback, which keeps the driver correctly oriented, it is an open invitation to an accident.

Service centers will replace parts for free

Bugatti is expected to begin notifying owners of the problem now. Bugatti service centers will inspect the critical welds on the seatback recliners for the driver and passenger seats in the hyper-speed coupe. If the service staff finds compromised welds, Bugatti will replace the seat assembly free of charge.

Bugatti Chiron owners can contact the automaker’s customer service department at 805-557-1050 for further information. Or, owners can contact the NHTSA at 888-327-4236 for information. Customers can also contact the agency at its website NHTSA Traffic Safety website, the NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline. The recall number is 17V764000.

Sources:

Car and Driver
Motor Trend
Road and Track
NHTSA


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