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Mamma Mia: Maserati recalls new Spyder sold in U.S.

DETROIT, May 22 (Reuters) - Italian sports car maker Maserati, a unit of Fiat SpA, said on Wednesday it has recalled 352 of its Spyder roadsters in the United States as a precaution against potential engine fires.

The power steering fluid hose could touch the hot surface of the exhaust manifold and then leak, which could spark an engine fire, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

Maserati officials confirmed the recall, but declined to comment further.

The Maserati Spyder, with prices starting at about $87,000, went on sale in March, marking the return of the famed Italian car brand to the U.S. market since it withdrew about 11 years ago after suffering from poor quality.

Now under the control of Fiat's Ferrari sports and racing car unit, Maserati hopes to sell as many as 1,500 cars in the U.S. market this year.

The Maserati GT Coupe, a hardtop with rear seating, went on sale earlier this month. Next year, Maserati is expected to reveal its third product, the larger four-door Quattroporte.

The return of Maserati to American roads is key to the brand's plans to grow worldwide sales by about fivefold over the next four or five years from about 2,000 cars currently.

Money-losing Fiat said earlier this month it will float Ferrari, including Maserati, on the public markets later this year as part of its efforts to cut is debt load and costs.