Ron Dennis McLaren MP4-12C

You may remember our story of McLaren having some teething problems with their first batch of brand new MP4-12C cars. As a response to that news McLaren’s newly established road car division and former F1 head Ron Dennis has send a personally signed letter to all customers mentioning the problems and stating his personal frustration.

In the letter which was posted on Teamspeed, Dennis states that they are “experiencing some early software bugs resulting in unnecessarily sensitive warning lights, battery drainage in certain conditions and IRIS performance issues”. The technicians at Woking are working hard to fix the issues to ensure that any inconvenience to the owners is kept to a minimum. At some point, each 12C has to come back to a local dealer so that the software can be upgraded. As a compensation Dennis sent a free copy of ‘McLaren: The Wins’ – a coffee table edition along with his letter.

This gesture by McLaren shows a true commitment of the company to fix any problems customers may have, but is a free book enough compensation for the grief customers have now? We have our thoughts, but it is up to the customers to decide if they are ok with this kind of compensation.

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 975 8285.

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  1. Well if you bought one of the early 458 Italias your car would burn down with Ferrari in complete denial until #10, with McLaren you at least get a book and the feeling someone is taking the problems seriously.

  2. the early ferrari owners of the 458 received all a ferrari watch to compensate the troubles even if you hadn’t had any troubles…

  3. So basically it says “dear customer, we know your car has more lights on than a christmas tree and that it wont start because of a dead battery. We are working on the problem, but in the mean time you can occupy yourself by reading this book we will send you. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading it, we will have fixed your car. Sincerely Mclaren”


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