Bentley Issues Safety Recall for 2017 – 2023 Bentayga W12 Due to Potential Fuel Leak

In production since December 2015, the Bentayga has been hit with a rather perturbing recall. According to documents filed by the British automaker with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a little over 3,500 vehicles delivered for the 2017 and 2023 model years to the United States market feature a fuel supply module with electrical connectors that may overheat.
Bentley Bentayga 11 photos
Photo: Bentley / edited
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Overheated connectors ultimately melt the flange material, which increases the risk of a leak at the top of the Bentayga's fuel tank. To whom it may concern, the ultra-luxury sport utility vehicle can take up to 22.5 gallons (85 liters). Only the plug-in hybrid variant uses a smaller tank, featuring a capacity of 19.8 gallons (75 liters).

Bentley noticed an increase in reports alleging fuel odor in March 2021. For some reason or another, the subsequent investigation was elevated to the Product Safety Committee in July 2022. That's also when the Engineering Department started reviewing returned parts. Better late than never, the company's engineers identified the root causes of this peculiar condition.

Bad fuel and high ambient temperatures may lead to the fuel pump rotors becoming blocked. The fuel pump's control module is programmed to detect blocked rotors. In this scenario, it attempts to shake the blocked rotors loose by means of high current flow. Said current is too much for the cables and connectors of the fuel supply module. The Product Safety Committee decided to conduct a recall on August 16, yet a redesigned fuel supply module entered production in June 2023.

The redesigned part uses beefier wiring and connectors. Bentley dealers nationwide will be instructed to replace the flange, wiring, and connectors of recalled vehicles on September 25. Owners, meanwhile, will have to wait until September 29 to be informed of this blunder via first-class mail. The recall population comprises Bentayga vehicles produced with the 6.0-liter W12 engine between March 21, 2016 and June 8, 2023.

Scheduled to be discontinued for good in April 2024, the long-running W12 rolled out in 2001. Rather than the Continental GT, its first application was the D2-generation Audi A8. Even the Volkswagen Phaeton and Touareg used this engine, although the 72-degree W12 will be forever associated with the Continental GT.

As far as the Bentayga is concerned, the 48-valve behemoth is currently exclusive to the Speed trim level and the limited-run Speed Edition 12. The latter celebrates the 12-cylinder legend with a series of 120 very special cars. Both the Speed Edition 12 and Speed are rated at 626 horsepower (635 ps) and 664 pound-feet (900 Nm) between 1,350 and 4,000 revolutions per minute.

Lower down the spectrum, the Bentayga can be had with a Porsche-Audi V8 or in the form of a 2,984-cc V6 plug-in hybrid. Not to be confused with the 2,894-cc V6 lump of the Audi RS 4 Avant, the 3.0-liter sibling produces a respectable 335 horsepower (340 ps) and 332 pound-feet (450 Nm) from 1,340 to 5,300 revolutions per minute. With plug-in hybrid assistance, that would be 456 horsepower (462 ps) and 516 pound-feet (700 Nm).
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 Download: 2017 - 2023 Bentley Bentayga W12 fuel supply module recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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