Lotus is recalling 5,037 Elise and Exige’s to replace an oil cooler line that may come detached from its fitting. Vehicles assembled between June 1, 2004 and November 30, 2006 are believed to contain these faulty oil lines.
Oil cooler lines can become brittle and flexible and will begin to sweat oil very soon after. This will cause an issue as oil can leak out and spray throughout the engine compartment,potentially causing a fire. Oil can also spray on a tire causing traction to be almost non-existent.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the defective oil cooling lines after receiving complaints from owners whose cars developed leaks in the engine bays. A few cases reported included smoke seeping into the cabin with one instance involving a fire. In August Lotus said it would no longer produce the Elise and Exige to make way for newer models.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by Lotus and local dealerships will replace the oil cooling lines at no extra cost. Lotus has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. For more information owners with affected vehicles may contact Lotus at (800) 245-6887 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236 or go to safercar.gov.