Porsche has announced that it is to replace the engine units in all 785 of the 991 GT3s delivered so far after finding the cause of the powerplant failures that led to two cars (one in Italy, one in Switzerland) catching fire. According to Porsche’s official press release,
“the engine damage resulted from a loosened screw joint on the connecting rod.”
In the cases of the two fires, one of the conrods became loose, causing damage to the crankcase of the two engines. This in turn led to oil leaking onto hot components and igniting. It has not been confirmed whether the loosened screw is the conrod big-end or small-end bolt. Rather than being recalled to the factory in Zuffenhausen, all 785 cars so far delivered will now be recovered to their local Porsche Centre (if not already collected during the inspection period), where a new engine unit with optimised connecting rod bolts will be fitted.
Porsche GB’s Product Affairs Manager, Nick Perry, said that Stuttgart’s decision to replace the units in their entirety is
“much more straightforward than to strip everything down and then rebuild it.”
The engine replacement process will also
“eliminate any further possibility of any supplementary circumstances arising by minimising the intensity of the labour required.”
While Porsche’s decision is believed to be the more cost-effective method for rectifying the 991 GT3’s engine problems, the recall programme is still likely to bear large financial implications for Porsche AG. However, Porsche are quick to point out it
“doesn’t put a price on our customers’ safety or the engineering reputation of our company.”
As well as the 785 cars delivered worldwide, all new 991 GT3s currently in construction will be fitted with the new-specification engine. Porsche would not confirm if the new engines were already under construction in Germany. However, they explained that,
“now we are moving forward to implement the engine-replacement programme, it can be anticipated that this engine building is where the efforts are now being focused.”
Porsche have reassured Total 911 that customers will be informed of the next steps as soon as possible.
Rumours of engine difficulties with recently delivered GT3s first surfaced at the beginning of February 2014, and were shortly followed by reports of two cars catching fire. Porsche quickly moved to investigate the problems, issuing a stop-driving memo on 20 February before embarking on an intensive month-long investigation process.