Can Ferrari Take Your Car Back?

|

If you’re one of the lucky few to own a Ferrari, you might think you’re in for a lifetime of driving pleasure. But what if the iconic Italian sports car maker decides it wants its vehicle back?

It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. In 2016, Ferrari recalled all of its 458 Italia and 458 Spider cars over a faulty gearbox. And in 2010, the company took back a sold Ferrari Enzo after the new owner crashed it just hours after taking delivery.

Ferrari isn’t alone in its ability to recall cars. All automakers have the same power, though they typically use it for more mundane reasons like safety defects or emissions issues.

Still, the fact that Ferrari can take back your car – even if you’ve done nothing wrong – is something potential buyers should be aware of.

So, can Ferrari really take your car back? And if so, under what circumstances?

The answer is complicated, but here’s what you need to know.

Ferrari’s Right To Take Back Your Car

Ferrari, like all automakers, has the legal right to recall a car for any reason.

In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) oversees vehicle recalls. But automakers can voluntarily recall a car before the NHTSA gets involved.

Ferrari has done just that on occasion. In 2016, the company voluntarily recalled all 458 Italia and 458 Spider cars over a faulty gearbox.

The recall affected around 1,200 cars in the U.S. and 4,000 worldwide.

Ferrari also has the right to “force” a recall, meaning the recall is mandatory and not voluntary.

In 2010, the company took back a sold Ferrari Enzo after the new owner crashed it just hours after taking delivery. The Enzo, which was worth around $1.5 million at the time, was totaled in the crash.

Ferrari claimed the car was “unsafe and unfit for the road” and demanded it be returned. The owner complied, and Ferrari subsequently sold the car at auction.

It’s important to note that, in both of these cases, Ferrari didn’t actually take the car back from the owner. Instead, the owners voluntarily returned the cars.

Ferrari likely has the legal right to demand the return of a car, but it’s unclear if the company has ever actually done so.

It’s also worth noting that, in both of the above cases, the cars were recalled due to safety issues. So, if you’re concerned about Ferrari taking your car back, it’s probably because of a safety defect.

Of course, safety defects aren’t the only reason Ferrari might want its car back. The company could also demand the return of a car if it’s not being used properly.

For example, Ferrari has strict rules about how its cars can be driven. If an owner is caught driving recklessly or racing the car, Ferrari could demand the car be returned.

The same goes for modifications. Ferrari doesn’t allow owners to make changes to the car, so if you’re caught doing so, the company could demand the car be returned.

It’s also worth noting that, in both of the above cases, the cars were sold new by Ferrari. So, if you buy a used Ferrari, the company likely doesn’t have the same legal rights.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Ferrari can’t try to take back a used car. The company could still demand the return of a car if it’s not being used properly or if it’s been modified.

But if you buy a used Ferrari from a private seller, the company likely won’t be able to do much.

The Bottom Line

So, can Ferrari take your car back? The answer is complicated, but the short answer is yes, the company can demand the return of your car.

However, it’s important to note that Ferrari has only done so in a few cases and only for safety reasons.

If you’re concerned about Ferrari taking your car back, it’s probably because of a safety defect. But if you buy a used Ferrari from a private seller, the company likely won’t be able to do much.