Image: Bentley Flying B
Scott Barbour  /  Getty Images file
Bentley's retractable Flying B hood ornament.
msnbc.com
updated 9/23/2010 5:08:01 AM ET 2010-09-23T09:08:01

Luxury car firm Bentley is recalling hundreds of vehicles over fears that its "Flying B" hood ornament could impale pedestrians.

The recall affects 620 cars in the U.S. and Canada and a total of 1,436 worldwide, the company told msnbc.com.

It covers the Arnage, Azure and Brooklands models sold between October 2006 and October 2009 for suggested retail prices of $246,999 to $363,000.

The winged B is meant to retract if there is a collision, but the U.K.-based Bentley Motors said it had discovered the mechanism needed to be better protected against rust and corrosion.

It informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which isssued a recall notice in the United States.

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Fixed in an hour
Richard Durbin, a spokesman for Bentley, said the B itself was not an issue and would not be removed from the cars.

"If the car is involved in a collision, the B will [normally] automatically retract," Durbin said.

The problem was "the mechanism which causes that retraction, which in certain cases one can see ... wouldn't retract as quickly as it should," he added.

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"There is a new retraction system, which is better protected against corrosion and rust," he said. "We have all the customers contact details and we will get back in contact with them. We have built a new mechanism which can be fitted in an hour."

The problem with the retraction system was spotted by a car sales firm in the U.K. and Durbin said Bentley was unaware of any accidents in which a pedestrian had actually been impaled.

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