April 19, 2014

Problems with your McLaren MP4-12C? Have a ‘McLaren: The Wins’ coffee table book

Ron Dennis apologises to McLaren MP4-12C owners

Ron Dennis apologises to McLaren MP4-12C owners

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has written to owners of the McLaren MP4-12C apologising for the problems and offering them a free book -  ‘McLaren: The Wins’


A couple of weeks ago we reported that McLaren was having some teething problems with their new MP4-12C but weren’t, despite reports to the contrary, halting production.

The problems seemed to be mainly software related, with issues including warning lights flashing on and battery drainage issues, which seemed to be because the MP4-12C’s electronics didn’t turn off when the car was halted.

But it seemed McLaren were working on the issues with the same sort of zeal we’ve come to recognise from their F1 programme, no doubt spurred on by the wrath of Ron Dennis.

And now Ron has put his fluffy-bunny hat on and written to all McLaren MP4-12C who’ve already taken delivery of their car to explain the situation, make an apology and bung them a freebie – a coffee table book.

Now whether the offer of a free copy of ‘McLaren: The Wins’ – a coffee table edition, no less – will be enough to placate the ire of MP4-12C owners, we wouldn’t like to say. But the only one we know isn’t overly impressed. He’d rather have free servicing for a year or three to make up for the grief.

The letter from Ron Dennis said:

It is with both pleasure and frustration that I am writing to you at this early stage in your ownership of the McLaren MP4-12C. Pleasure because you are now part of our McLaren family and have bought into what I believe to be both the best car in its class, and the most exciting automotive adventure in decades; but frustration on a personal level because we have not yet been able to deliver on the high standards that we have promised and that should come as given with the McLaren brand. We have built up our McLaren businesses over the past decades based on our determination to be the best, and that is no different for the MP4-12C and all of our future cars.

When we began working on the MP4-12C, we were determined to deliver not only the best car in its class, but also the best ownership experience. We believe that the performance and driving experience of the MP4-12C is world class. However, along the road to achieving our goals, we will experience challenges. As you will have already heard from my staff, we are experiencing some early software bugs resulting in unnecessarily sensitive warning lights, battery drainage in certain conditions and IRIS performance issues. My team and the McLaren retailers are working with the pace and intensity that the McLaren brand demands to fully resolve these bugs rapidly and effectively to ensure that any inconvenience to you is kept to a minimum. It will however require your 12C to come back to your dealer at some point so that we can upgrade the software on your car. I hope that the way we deal with these issues sets us apart and is to the standard you would expect from McLaren.

We know you share our passion for racing, therefore as a token of my appreciation for your support during this time, your retailer will be giving you a pre-release copy of the new ‘McLaren: The Wins’ coffee table book. I hope that you enjoy the stories behind what makes McLaren winners and that this, in some small way, reminds you how much we appreciate your faith in us. We want to win on the road as well as the track, and we will work tirelessly to achieve this goal.

I would like to extend my personal thanks for your support and patience at this time. Should you have any questions, please contact your retailer in the first instance. Alternatively, please call my staff at McLaren Assistance on 0800 *** ****.

Ron signed the letters personally (there weren’t many), but is a free book enough compensation for the grief?

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  1. It’s not good that Ron Dennis has had to write to MP4-12C owners to apolgise their McLaren isn’t perfect, but I wonder what 458 owners whose cars caught light got?

    Probably the news they are at the back of the waiting list for a replacement!

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