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Porsche has diagnosed the cause of a fire risk that led to a global recall of its new 911 GT3 in February, but says it could take months to fix the problem.

The famed German sports car maker has traced the problem to faulty big-end bolts, with “loose screws” that join the piston connecting rods to the crankshaft found to behind catastrophic internal engine failures that led to at least two engine bay fires in Europe.

In both reported cases, which occurred in Italy and Switzerland without injury, engine crankcase damage resulted in rear-end fires believed to be caused by oil spilling onto hot components.

Porsche has confirmed it will replace the engines in all new-generation GT3s, rather than strip down and repair engines in the vehicles sold so far, including 785 globally, 100 in the UK and five in Australia.

However, it continues to conduct durability testing of replacement parts and has not yet announced a timeline for replacing engines -- a process that could take “weeks or months”, said Porsche Cars Australia spokesman Paul Ellis.

“At the moment Porsche is going through durability tests on replacement parts,” he said. “Once they’re happy with that, they’ll roll out a process for the engine exchange program.

“Now, does that mean engines will come here in crates and we’ll fit them or we have to send our engines there and they’ll return them, I don’t know – we have to wait.

“We’re in a holding pattern at the moment, waiting for information. How long all that will take depends on the process.”

All five Australian-delivered MY14 GT3s were collected by PCA on the day of the recall last month and will remain grounded until further notice.

A number of GT3s are currently in transit to Australia and their engines will also be replaced.

“There are five cars here, but obviously we have cars on water and their engines will also be replaced,” said Ellis, who confirmed the recall does not affect other 911 models, all of which are also fitted with six-cylinder boxer engines.

“GT3 has a significantly different engine (to other 911s) – absolutely,” he said.

The latest 991-series GT3 went on sale in Australia late last year, ahead of first deliveries earlier this year.

The uncharacteristic recall of the $294,100 track-focused 911 model forced PCA to withdraw the GT3 from a planned Australian media launch alongside the new 911 Turbo at Phillip Island last week.


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