$100 million Rolls-Royce recall

Super-luxury brand Rolls-Royce is recalling almost every car sold in Australia over the past 10 years – with a combined value of close to $100 million – in one case because the brakes could fail, in another because the car could catch fire.

The recalls are a major embarrassment to the iconic brand, which is so paranoid about its image it once insisted its cars be covered if they are ever put on a tow truck, and which tried to ban owners from lifting the bonnet of a stranded car.

The recalls affect approximately 74 of the company's flagship Phantom sedan, coupe and convertible models sold between 2003 and 2009, and approximately 36 of its Ghost sedans sold between 2009 and 2011.

According to a bulletin issued overnight by Product Safety Recalls Australia, under the umbrella of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the $645,000 Ghost is being recalled because: "If the turbo cooling pump cracks, the pump electronics may smoulder, possibly causing an engine compartment fire or a vehicle fire."

At the same time, the agency issued a notice that the Phantom range – each model priced between $1 million and $1.35 million – was being recalled. It said: "[Because of] the possibility of oil entering the brake booster, there may be a reduction in power braking assistance and an increased chance of an accident occurring."