Auto Ferrari
Image Credit: Supplied

Ferrari NV was accused in a US lawsuit of failing to fix a "dangerous safety defect" with the brakes in some of its luxury sports cars despite issuing multiple recalls.

The recalls were no more than "an interim corrective measure" for one of the identified brake problems, leaving thousands of Ferrari drivers in unsafe vehicles, according to the proposed class action filed Monday in San Diego federal court.

California resident Iliya Nechev claims his 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia, which he bought in 2020, had "brake issues" from the day he got it and "would experience partial or total loss of braking capability."

"On one occasion, plaintiff was driving downhill at approximately 50 miles per hour and while preparing to take a 90-degree right hand turn, plaintiff pressed down on his brakes," but the car didn't slow down, the brake pedal was hard, and despite down shifting, there was no brake pressure, according to the suit.

When Nechev reported this to the Ferrari dealer, he said, he was told the issue was "normal."

In a voluntary recall initiated in October 2021, Ferrari North America identified an issue with leaking brake fluid that could impair braking capability. An expanded recall was launched in 2022 and Ferrari also targeted vehicles in Germany, China and Japan, according to the complaint.

Robert Bosch GmbH, which the complaint says is the maker of the faulty parts, is also named as a defendant.

Representatives of Ferrari and Bosch didn't immediately respond outside regular business hours to requests for comment.

Ferrari is accused of not notifying customers of the full extent of the brake defect, which Nechev says could only be fixed by replacing the master cylinder.

Instead, the company continued "to sell (or benefit from the sale) of thousands of cars containing this life-threatening defect," according to the complaint.

The case is Nechev v. Ferrari North America Inc., 24-cv-00516, US District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).