Fiery Ferraris

The picture on my laptop screensaver is of the Ferrari 458 Italia. Last autumn I was lucky enough to test drive this latest "budget" Ferrari for six hours through the hills around Maranello in Italy, followed by half an hour on the Fiorano test track. It was the best day of my 32 years as a motoring journalist.

So I feel more sympathy than most towards Ferrari in the issues they have with 458s catching fire. Of course the tabloids love this sort of story, and who can blame them? Rich boys with close to £200k to spend on a new car that can break the speed limit by a factor of three are never going to get the public crying for them.

But what has struck me is how well Ferrari has handled the issue. The response was as quick as we've seen from a car manufacturer. And the company has acted with honesty and some humility.

Of course, there's a delicious irony that a contributory cause to the fires which destroyed at least five cars was the adhesive from the heat shield melting onto the exhaust. But Ferrari has quickly developed a solution. If only other car manufacturers acting with such speed and integrity when things go wrong.