Ron Dennis and the McLaren MP4-12C

Ron Dennis and the McLaren MP4-12C

Following reports that McLaren was slowing production of its latest MP4-12C supercar due to niggling quality issues affecting the first batch of cars to come off the line, the boss of McLaren’s newly established road car division and former F1 head Ron Dennis has mailed a personally signed letter to customers addressing some of the issues and what his company is doing about it.

Forwarded to the Teamspeed forums by an owner of the MP4-12C supercar, Dennis admits in the letter that the cars have a number of problems, albeit minor ones.

They include what he refers to as “early software bugs” which result in unnecessarily sensitive warning lights, battery drainage in certain conditions, and IRIS performance issues. IRIS is the name of McLaren’s infotainment system, which is powered by an Intel Atom chipset and runs on Microsoft software.

Importantly, Dennis states that customers will likely have to bring their cars back to the dealer they bought them from for a software upgrade.

To soothe things over Dennis also sent a coffee table book along with his letter.

A spokesperson for McLaren has confirmed the details of the letter and stated that the issues mentioned by Dennis pose no safety threat, quelling claims that a recall may be necessary. 

Concerned MP4-12C customers should contact their dealer or the McLaren assistance hotline on 0800 975 8285.

Hit the next page for a full transcript of the letter from Dennis.Printed below is a transcript of the letter from McLaren boss Ron Dennis addressing some of the issues of the McLaren MP4-12C supercar:

"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."