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Aston Martin has issued a global recall of 1,658 Vantage models for a software error. The problem affects cars with Speedshift I and Speedshift II automated manual gearboxes that were built by the company between June 2010 and September 2013. The issues relates to incorrectly reset clutches after routine services.
In an interview with Reuters, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer said, "In the normal course of events, when you make a software change, you have to re-teach the engagement position of the clutch. And most of our dealers around the world automatically did that and if this is not done correctly by the garage, it's possible that a car could initially stall while in operation."
Power to the assisted brakes and hydraulic steering in these cases can be cut off, making it difficult to move the car to safety. "I blame us," said Palmer. "Basically we should have explicitly said within the service action for the software that we should re-teach the clutch. We didn't explicitly say that. Therefore, we take responsibility for fixing it."
The first notice was issued in China - some customers have been complaining of issues since 2014. "Normally [recalls] start in America," continued Palmer. "I don't think it is the only example, but it's interesting that it started from China and becomes a global recall. It demonstrates the importance of China, the sophistication of the customer and the diligence of the authority there."