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updated: 4/30/2013 11:54 AM

Safety agency probes Porsche 911 for coolant leaks

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Associated Press

DETROIT -- U.S. safety regulators are investigating coolant leaks in Porsche 911 sports cars that could cause roadway spills and send vehicles careening out of control.

The probe, announced Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affects about 10,000 models with the GT1 engine from the 2001 through 2007 model years.

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The agency said in documents posted on its website that a hose fitting can fail and cause rapid coolant leaks without warning. The coolant can cover the road and cause drivers to lose control of their cars.

The agency says it has 10 complaints of coolant leaks. One driver said a leak caused a 911 to lose rear tire traction, sending the car into a spin and off the road. The driver wrote in a complaint to NHTSA that it was fortunate that the car didn't hit anything, and that the coolant spill didn't affect other drivers.

"My research indicates that this is a common, systemic problem with this model engine and appears to be a dangerous defect in the engine construction," the complaint said.

Investigators will determine if the problem has caused any injuries and if it's bad enough to cause a recall.

Porsche says it just learned of the investigation and is cooperating with NHTSA.

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