Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Rich are not Different

After all the bad news about defective Toyotas, which used to be the most highly-rated option for those of us interested in sensible vehicles (rather than testosterone-inducing toys), I have to confess to a bit of Schadenfreude after reading the latest BBC News dispatch from the world of luxury cars:

Ferrari has decided to recall all of the 458 Italia cars it made this year, following reports of a number of the luxury cars catching fire.

Ferrari said its engineers had flown around the world to investigate five reports of "thermal incidents".

As a result, it will be asking the owners of more than 1,200 of the supercars around the world to bring them in for modification work.

The 458 Italia typically costs about £170,000 ($260,000).

Ferrari said the problem had been traced to adhesive used in the wheel-arch assemblies.

In certain circumstances, this can overheat and lead the heat shield - the liner which protects the engine - to move around.

In extreme cases, the glue can begin to overheat, smoke and even catch fire, a spokesman told BBC News.

Personally, I see this as yet another symptom of the extent to which the world of work, particularly in manufacturing, has deteriorated. We are just not used to thinking of that deterioration spreading into the domain of "elite" products; but, in this brave new world of globalization, is there any reason why luxury products should not be affected? The only justified Schadenfreude involves thoughts that one of those Ferraris may belong to Tom Friedman!

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