Bentley recalls 596 vehicles due to possible safety issue


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported today that luxury automaker Bentley will recall 596 vehicles with the iconic “Flying V” hood ornament due to a rust issue possibly causing the ornament to fail to retract in a crash.  The affected vehicles are the 2007-9 Arnage R, Arnage T, Arnage RL, Brooklands and Azure, all of which Auto Gigolo has tested at one point or another.

Photo courtesy of Bentley

“On vehicles affected there is the potential for the retractable ‘B’ mechanism to become corroded,” said an announcement from the NHTSA. “In extreme cases, this may lead to flying ‘B’ mascot not retracting when struck. Such a defect may result in additional injury in the event of a pedestrian impact.”

The recall is a voluntary one, said a Bentley spokesperson.

Hood ornaments have been decreasing in popularity in the 21st century, data experts say, due to lack of consumer demand.  Me? I love hood ornaments, even though a sumbitch on the Upper East Side clipped the one on my test Jaguar XJ a couple of years ago while I dashed into a store.

In 2002, I tested an Oldsmobile Alero and was polishing ‘er up on a beautiful spring day when the hood ornament came off in my hand. It had been glued on with some kind of crap adhesive that obviously couldn’t hold up in the face of warm, soapy water.  I glued it back on, but purposely crooked, in protest.

I  don’t know about you, but when I’m driving a Bentley, I don’t, like,  hit people with it.

Following Bentley’s recall, however, we may all breathe a little easier knowing that if we’re crossing the street, daydreaming, looking at someone’s butt, listening to a portable audio device, texting or otherwise making our way in public with our head up our —, we’ll be less severely injured if a Bentley driver is doing the same and plows us.   As we lay prone, pancaked, we may gasp, “At least the hood ormanent…cough…retracted…arg.”

– Josh Max, Auto Gigolo