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McLaren MP4-12C, too hot to handle?

By FaezClutchless on 31 Oct 2011

Attached Image: McLaren_MP4_12C_2011.jpg

The McLaren MP4-12C was just released only recently and there have been already 3 crashes reported in the World Wide Web. Also, there have been reports of McLaren halting shipment of the car to dealers. They claimed that it was due to “software problems” and that it wasn’t safety related.

Attached Image

All three crashes happened within the last one month and in different situations. Firstly, the black example you see here crashed into a highway guardrail in Hamburg, Germany. Apparently the driver lost control of it at high speed. From the picture, the damage appears to be only at the front end.

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The second crash took place at the McLaren Technical Centre in Woking, United Kingdom. It is believed that this white example just rolled out of the facility and was on its way to be delivered to a customer. From the picture, we can see some blue coloured tape on the side fender. This suggests, probably, that it was a factory test drive gone wrong. The car had crash into another unknown vehicle before ricocheting into the fence.

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And lastly, this example shows a crashed MP4-12C at the Spa Francorchamps race track in Belgium during a track day. It is believed that the driver lost control of the car while driving at 124mph and during rainy conditions.

I can fully understand the first and last accident. A driver can lose control of a vehicle that is travelling at high speeds and plus other conditions (driver fatigue, weather, other road users carelessness, etc.). Maybe the drivers from these two crashes have not familiarised themselves with the car.

But what I could not comprehend is the second accident. Was the driver having some fun while “test driving” the vehicle? If he’s a McLaren employee, I doubt he is that irresponsible to attempt something like that.

Or is there something really wrong with the car? And did these accidents happen because of some problems?

Only McLaren knows the true nature of these issues and that is probably why McLaren’s executive chairman, Ron Dennis, wrote a personally signed letter to all customers. The letter addressed the problems of the car and how they are going to rectify it.

In the letter he stated that there were some “software bugs” which result in unnecessarily sensitive warning lights, battery drainage in certain conditions, and IRIS performance issues. IRIS is the name of McLaren’s infotainment system, which is powered by an Intel Atom chipset and runs on Microsoft software.

Customers were advised to bring their cars back to the dealer for a “software upgrade” and on top of that, to soothe the owners, every letter was accompanied by a coffee table book.

This may sound like a recall of their vehicles, done in a subtle way, probably to avoid a big “hoo hah” in the media. But whatever it is, I hope McLaren solve these issues as it is one nice car to own.

Photo credit: GT Spirit, Motor Authority and netcarshow.com

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

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