The Ferrari 458 Italia – the supercar to make all other supercars red with envy. As I am sure you already know, the 458 Italia is a hugely capable sports car, and probably one of the finest cars to wear the Prancing Horse badge. 0-60 mph in a smidge over 3 seconds, 100mph just 4 seconds later, and with a starting price of £176,000 it establishes a performance benchmark not just at this price, but at any price.

To compete with these kind of performance figures, you’ll have to find another £30k for the Noble M600 or twice the price for a (less powerful) Pagani Zonda C12S, and neither would likely provide the same feel through the steering, or match the 458 Italia’s fire-breathing engine. Obviously all these cars have quite extraordinary engines, however the fire-breathing nature of the 458 Italia has recently taken on a new meaning and one that’s far from welcome news to its owners.

Ferrari are currently looking into recent occurrences that have left enthusiasts and Ferrari owners alike quite shocked; it appears that 10 of the brand new 458’s sold in the last 3 months have either caught fire or crashed. Pictures have been circulating the web of numerous 458’s damaged at the side of the road, on fire or completely burned out.

The driver of this black car noticed flames licking round the rear clamshell of his 458 Italia as he was driving through Paris. Unfortunately despite stopping and applying his fire extinguisher, he was unable to save the car.

Ferrari says it cannot comment on individual cases, but is aware of the occurrences and is performing its own investigation into their causes.

Perhaps it’s the hotter weather out there, or maybe a consequence of over-filled fuel tanks, either way Ferrari have problems, and are ramping up a damage limitation campaign to maintain customer confidence in the light of these high-profile cases.

All in a day’s work for Ferrari, who in one month have alienated themselves from much of the Formula One paddock, as well as compromising their reputation for building bullet-proof sports cars for the road.

The owner of this 458 Italia was gutted, rather like his car, but Ferrari are considering these as seperate incidents and haven't ruled out driver error.