A Chinese sub-supplier has been using “counterfeit plastic material” in the accelerator pedal arm, which can break under heavy use, turning spymobiles into Thunderballs. It is unknown if this was an accident or if it was a deliberate act of espionage to hamstring the greatest spy of all time.
Reuters reports that “Aston Martin found that Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co. Limited, a Chinese subcontractor that molds the affected accelerator pedal arms, was using counterfeit plastic material.”
According to Aston Martin, if the pedal were to break the effect would be that the engine will return to idle and the care will decelerate. Obviously, if you are On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in pursuit of the Spy Who Loved You and this were to happen, all the champagne and exploding watches in the world won’t save you.
For a company so well known, this is a problem that Aston Martin would desperately like to keep For Their Eyes Only, but the scale of the recall that Aston had to issue makes that hard. Nearly 18,000 cars are being recalled, leaving the company and drivers shaken (not stirred). This includes all left-hand drive models built since 2007, and all right-hand drive models built since May 2012.
The New York Times reports that the recall affects all the models except the Vanquish, including “The 2008-14 DB9 and V8 Vantage, the 2009-12 DBS, the 2010-12 Rapide, the 2014 Rapide S, the 2011-12 V12 Vantage, the 2011-14 V8 Vantage S and the 2012 Virage.”
All of this means that the world’s most famous spy will have to go without his trademark DBS while the scientists at Q-Branch fix the problem, but Aston can take a Quantum of Solace from the fact even though this is a highly public failure, owners of Aston Martins are a loyal bunch. In a recent case, an owner was prepared to get rid of his dog before his car after the hound chewed through the fairing on his prized DB9.
TheDC has attempted to reach out to MI6 for comment, both about the recall and if the ejector seat is affected. As of yet, a response has not been forth coming but we will just Live and Let Die on that.