Porsche says it’s close to fixing a fault that caused 911 GT3 engine fires

Porsche recalled all 785 of the GT3 version of the 911 from the current model year in February

Matthias Mueller, chief executive officer of Porsche

Matthias Mueller, chief executive officer of Porsche

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 14:49

Porsche said it’s close to fixing a fault that caused engine fires in a racing version of the 911 sports car in a recall that cast a shadow on the Volkswagen division’s growth plans.

“We know the reason and the problem-solving measures,” Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller said. “We’re testing them.”

Porsche plans to announce the technical solution “shortly” and will first inform customers, he said. Porsche recalled all 785 of the GT3 version of the 911 from the current model year in February after two vehicles caught fire following engine failures.

The carmaker took the rare step of requesting that owners stop driving the €137,300 car pending repairs. No accidents or injuries were tied to the incidents, it said at the time. The division forecast today that this year will be “at least” at the 2013 level amid investments to expand U.S. and Chinese sales operations and German production.

Operating profit last year rose 6 per cent to €2.58 billion, generating an 18 per cent return on sales. That compares with a group figure of 5.9 per cent at Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker. Cost savings from cooperation with Volkswagen, which gained full control of Porsche in mid-2012, will “get close” to a €1 billion target as soon as this year, Mueller said.

Porsche will invest €300 million adding a new engine production line by 2016 as well as offices at its factory in Zuffenhausen, part of a €700 million investment at the site, the company said, reiterating earlier plans. Porsche is also spending €100 million a year at its research center in the Stuttgart suburb of Weissach. Deliveries rose 15 per cent to a record 162,145 cars and SUVs. Demand for the Boxster roadster and Caymans more than doubled last year and the company rolled out fresh variants of the 911.

- Bloomberg