Problems With Rolls-Royce Cars? (4 Most-Common Issues)

Rolls-Royce vehicles are arguably the world’s most impressive luxury cars.

Unfortunately, despite all the luxury and technology, they’re not entirely free of faults.

The bright news is that some of these problems can be handled with the right attention and care.

Let’s discuss these problems, their causes, and possible symptoms to watch out for.

1. Reduced Brake Light Visibility

Dim brake lights don’t immediately come across as a problem for car owners. Drivers may even be able to get away with this problem during the day.

However, at night, when visibility is reduced, drivers have to rely on brake lights most of the time. So when they’re dim, it’s difficult for drivers behind to know if the car has stopped or not.

As expected, this can lead to dangerous collisions at night because drivers behind wouldn’t know when the brakes are applied.

So, while this may not sound like a severe problem, it has the potential to cause life-threatening accidents on highways. The possibilities of chaos it can lead to are endless.

One would expect a car that costs over $350,000 to be free of such hazardous issues. However, the problem is not only hazardous, it also violates federal safety standards.

It is synonymous with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and thankfully; it doesn’t affect too many model years.

Symptoms and Causes

Over 400 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinans were recalled because of dim brake lights. There are no other significant symptoms to look out for other than the problem itself (dimmed brake lights).

After the recall was issued, they rectified the problems with a software update. With that in mind, we can say a software problem was the cause of dimmed lights in the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

2. Improper Airbag Positioning During Deployment

Airbags are designed to protect car occupants from fatal injuries. So we consider any type of problem regarding airbags as severe. Few problems are even as life-threatening as an airbag problem.

Several car models have been recalled due to airbag malfunction, and Rolls-Royce models aren’t an exception. After the recall, sales halted for affected models.

The Phantom is an example of a prominent Rolls-Royce model with this problem. BMW recalled some of these models due to assembly issues with the airbags. The major reason is that the curtain bags may not have been made properly in some models.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the airbags would not deploy in a crash. Instead, they’re more likely going to deploy incorrectly. This is because they may not be rightly positioned.

If an airbag doesn’t deploy, it indirectly causes injury. However, an airbag that deploys wrongly can injure passengers directly.

Hence, although it’s best to have functioning airbags, it’s better to pick the lesser of two evils. That’s why we’d prefer for airbags not to deploy than for them to do so at a dangerous angle.


The primary reason for incorrect positioning and deployment of airbags is a manufacturing error. As such, it’s preferable to have the manufacturers fix the problem themselves than to approach your mechanic.

This would ensure that more damage isn’t done to the airbag system in your vehicle.

3. Footage From the Rear-View Camera May Not Be Visible

The rear-view camera has become a prominent feature in modern cars. So much so that they are also now a legal requirement in cars. This is understandable since they make reversing and parking a lot easier and safer.

Over 440 Rolls-Royce Phantoms have been recalled for this problem. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan may also have rear-view camera problems and the effects are very costly.

In these models, the footage from the rear-view camera might not be visible to the driver under certain conditions.

According to the NHTSA, a car will no longer satisfy safety regulations if there’s no display when it’s backing up. So, the scene behind the car must be displayed whenever the vehicle is in reverse.

Hence, any car without a functioning rear-view camera violates federal safety standards.

As a rule of thumb, it’s always great to know what vehicle components are a legal requirement on roads. This is because the law penalizes car owners if these components are damaged.

Thus, it’s not enough to have them. They have to be functioning seamlessly.

Symptoms and Causes

The images and videos from the camera might be blurry or the backup camera would not function at all.

The primary cause is a problem with the software installation that affects the Central Information Display (CID) system. It affects the CID system by preventing it from “raising to its correct position”.

With this in mind, since the problem lies with the software, a software update would rectify it.

4. Faulty Ignition Coil

The ignition coil, which is also called the spark coil, is obviously part of a vehicle’s ignition system.

What is not so obvious, however, is that a faulty ignition coil can cause more expensive and complex problems. That’s why a bad ignition coil must be replaced quickly, or else you risk damaging your catalytic converter or engine.

Ignition coils are used to amplify the low battery voltage to thousands of volts. This amplified voltage is then supplied to the spark plugs to ignite the fuel-burning process.

Now you know how important the ignition coil is in a car system.

Some of the Rolls-Royce models that have been reported with this issue are the Rolls-Royce Wraith, Cullinan, Ghost, and Phantom.

One of the most prominent symptoms of faulty ignition coils is engine hesitation when accelerating and power loss. There have also been reports of the engine refusing to start because of this problem.

However, an engine refusing to start is highly expected when the ignition coil develops a fault.

We’ve listed other likely symptoms below.

Symptoms and Causes

  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Misfiring engine
  • Poor acceleration
  • Car vibrating and jerking
  • Delayed start

General Pros and Cons of Rolls-Royce Vehicles

Rolls-Royce cars are undoubtedly admirable. Their impressive features and obvious luxurious modern utilities are common knowledge. However, you may want to know the exciting and disturbing highlights of the cars.

These are a few of them:


  • Well-built and well-designed interior
  • High ride quality and performance
  • Extreme luxury
  • Admirable reliability
  • Dependable engine


  • High purchase and maintenance cost
  • Reduced brake lights visibility
  • Improper airbag positioning during deployment
  • Faulty ignition coil
  • Footage from the rear-view camera may not be visible

Related: Problems With German Cars: 9 Typical Issues (Explained)

What Do the Reviews Say?

Reviews or not, most people can agree that Rolls-Royce has set the standard high for luxury and dependability. Also, they are not produced abundantly.

This makes them very limited compared to other vehicles that are produced and distributed yearly in great numbers.

Perhaps it’s also a determining factor in their quality.

According to Car Edge, the best model year in terms of value for Rolls-Royce vehicles is the 2018 model. Additionally, based on multiple factors, including technology, safety, and convenience, the best models are the 2016 to 2022 models.

Edmunds further describes the Rolls-Royce as “a symbol of automotive excellence”. Hence, so far, other than the few potential problems that might occur, we’ve established that Rolls-Royce cars are superb.

The downside remains its cost of purchase, repairs, and maintenance.

This means after the high purchase price, your next worry would be the high maintenance cost. The average Rolls-Royce would swallow a little less than $4,000 in maintenance annually.

Also, you can expect to spend more on maintenance costs if you own a Rolls-Royce Phantom or Ghost.

However, a scarier factor is the insurance costs for Rolls-Royce cars. Insurance for the Phantom can go over $1,400 monthly. Though insurance is relatively expensive for these models, it’s expected from expensive luxury cars.

Related: How Long Do Porsches Last? Years & Miles (With Examples)

What’s the Resale Value of Rolls-Royces?

Based on all you know about Rolls-Royce, you’d expect the depreciation rate to be significantly lower than average. If you have that thought, then you’re not alone.

However, there are a lot of factors that affect how fast cars depreciate.

Let’s check out the resale prices on some Rolls-Royce models.

Model Mileage (Miles) Price ($)
Rolls-Royce Wraith 29,476 175,295
Rolls-Royce Dawn 3,226 379,999
Rolls-Royce Ghost 54,750 124,999
Rolls-Royce Ghost 72,462 103,995
Rolls-Royce Phantom 6,521 459,997
Rolls-Royce Cullinan 22,150 389,800

According to Car Edge, “the average Rolls-Royce outperforms the industry benchmark” when it comes to percentage degradation.

With a Rolls-Royce, you can expect less than 30% depreciation after the first 5 years. That’s a lot less than most cars which can depreciate by as much as 60% within the same period.

So, after 5 years, a residual value of 70% is quite impressive. Nevertheless, most people who can afford a Rolls-Royce aren’t exactly concerned about resale values and getting their money back. For many of them, the luxury is worth every penny.

Final Thoughts

Rolls-Royce has long secured a top spot on the list of the most expensive and luxurious modern cars. Despite the problems discussed in this article, they’ve enjoyed a reputation as a dependable brand for a long time.

Still, the Phantom model has quite a high number of occurrences over distinct problems. This sounds strange given that the Phantom is usually at the top of the list of expensive Rolls-Royce cars.

So maybe models like the Ghost, Cullinan, and Wraith are better options.

Ultimately, if you’re after quality and taste, you wouldn’t be wrong to buy a Rolls-Royce.

Related: Lamborghini Problems: 15 Most-Common Issues (Explained)


Rolls-Royce Depreciation | Car Edge


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