It's supposed to be a security feature.
Aston Martin is recalling 6,076 vehicles in the United States because the double-locking system doesn't comply with federal rules. The campaign affects the 2009-2015 DB9, 2009-2012 DBS, 2010-2016 Rapide, 2011-2016 V12 Vantage, 2012-2013 V12 Zagato, 2010-2016 V8 Vantage, 2014-2016 Vanquish, and 2012 Virage.
Aston Martin's double-locking system is a security feature, which owners activate, that eliminates the ability to unlock the doors – even from the inside. While you might see the advantage of having so much protection for your expensive sports car, the National Highway Traffic Safety administration doesn't agree. The federal regulations state that a person inside a vehicle must be able to unlock the doors, which prevents someone from being trapped.
Aston Martin tried to reason with NHTSA and avoid this recall. The automaker argues that many of its vehicles have an alarm with interior detection, which would activate if someone were inside. Plus, a trapped person could use the horn to get bystanders' attention. The government safety regulator rejects the company's arguments, though.
Aston Martin will begin the recall on August 1, and dealers will install new software to disable the double locking feature. Like most recalls, there's no mandate that owners must bring in their vehicle. We wonder how many might skip this campaign to retain a system that works as intended.