The Ferrari 458 is a kidnapper’s best friend. It turns out that people cannot open the trunk from the inside. Although some people might consider that a non-issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recall to ensure that the problem is fixed.
The recall includes Ferrari 458 models Italia and Spider from the year 2010 to 2014, each of which cost about $240,000. The 458 sports a 500-plus-horsepower engine, which is too large to put in the front of the vehicle. So those people who are trapped in the trunk are actually stuck in the front of the Ferrari.
The NHTSA describes the safety hazard, “In the event an individual is trapped in the trunk and the latch system does not release the trunk lid, it increases the risk of personal injury or possibly death.”
Although the situation sounds like a comedy sketch, there is a real risk. According to an ABC News report from 2011, at least 20 children died after being stuck inside a car trunk. One child, an 8-year-old little boy, was playing around his parents 1998 Chevy Cavalier when he made the fateful decision to get into the trunk. The summer heat was in the triple digits, and the boy passed away.
The problem was taken up by the safety advocacy group, Kids and Cars, which explains, “The trunk of a vehicle may seem like the perfect hiding spot for an innocent game of “hide-and-go-seek.” However, children do not understand how quickly the temperature inside the trunk of a vehicle can rise.”
A leader in the group, Janette Fennel, has worked tirelessly to make sure the public is aware of fatal trunk entrapment, inspired by a tragic incident in her own life. Her crusade ultimately led to a federal law requiring all trunks to have an internal open latch, which brings us to the Ferrari 458 recall.
Owners will be told to return their Ferrari’s to their respective dealers for trunk modifications, free of charge. Strangely enough, the interior latch doesn’t work when the 458 is stationary. So anyone stuck inside just needs to wait until someone starts driving the car. Of course, then they have to deal with escaping from a moving vehicle.
In the end, some Ferrari 458 owners will ask if the malfunctioning latch is even worth the trip to the dealership. But it is hard to argue Kids and Cars’ success. Their website explains that no child has died in a trunk with a glow in the dark interior latch.
The full Ferrari 458 recall can be found here.
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]