Ferrari 458 ItaliaFerrari is to recall potentially more than 3000 458 Italia and 458 Spider models in North America because of an unusual ‘death trap’ risk – the internal secondary latch for the front boot may not properly release.

The front luggage compartment, which is 168 litres in size (or little more than half the size of a Ford Fiesta boot), boasts a mandatory secondary latch release in North America. This is a Federal requirement so people who may be trapped in the boot can escape.

In Ferrari’s case, reports the NHTSA, the secondary latch may not release when the vehicle is stationary, thus failing to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

Serious stuff, it says (and we quote): “In the event an individual is trapped in the trunk and the latch system does not release the trunk lid, it increases the risk of personal injury or possible death”.

Ferrari has vowed to contact all owners about this sobering safety flaw and dealers will modify the boot catch with new components to make it safe – all free of charge. Work will begin from next week.

Models affected were built between March 5 2010 and May 20 2013. If you’re worried, call the US number 1-866-551-2828 and quote Ferrari recall number 54.

Ferrari has not yet confirmed if European 458s will be recalled.