LOTUS IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2005-2006 ELISE AND EXIGE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 1, 2004, THROUGH NOVEMBER 30, 2006. THE OIL COOLER LINE MAY BECOME DETACHED FROM ITS FITTING.
A number of owners have reported that the oil line(s) have detacted from the oil line fitting at the oil coolers or at the engine. A detacted oil line can potentially spray oil on a tire increasing the risk of a crash or spray oil throughout the engine compartment increasing the risk of fire.
The NHTSA notified Lotus Cars of the recall on October 26, 2011. See NHTSA letter to Lotus Cars NHTSA Letter (pdf).
In January 2012 Lotus Cars USA sent a preliminary notification letter to all current owners of the affected cars. Owner Preliminary Notice (pdf).
On September 6, 2012, Lotus Cars sent a letter to the NHTSA with a proposed for the oil cooler line problem. The letter is in two parts. The body of the letter outlines the solution and how Lotus will reinburse owners cost of repairing oil lines that have detached.
Lotus Cars Letter to NHTSA (pdf).
The proposed reinbursement plan looks like this:
Customer Reimbursement Plan
1. Claimants(1) to be reimbursed for repairs conducted between 5th October 2010 and 19th January 2013 (customer notification + 10 days)
2. Claims will be refused if:
a) Repairs2 are not of the same type as the recall remedy (i.e. hose repair or replacement)
b) The repair did not address the problem that led to the recall
c) The repair was not reasonably necessary to correct the defect that led to the recall
3. Claims will only be paid if adequate documentation is provided:
a) Name and mailing address of the claimant;
b) Vehicle make, model, model year, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle;
c) Identification of the recall (either the NHTSA recall number or the manufacturer’s recall number);
d) Identification of the owner or purchaser of the recalled motor vehicle at the time that the pre-notification remedy was obtained;
e) A receipt for the pre-notification remedy, which may be an original or copy
f) Receipt must indicate that the repair addressed the defect or noncompliance that led to the recall or a manifestation of the defect or noncompliance, and state the total amount paid for the repair of that problem.
4. Within 60 days, claimant will be reimbursed for lesser of:
a) Cost paid by claimant for repair – OR
b) Lotus retail cost of parts + labour, taxes etc
5. Claims for reimbursement should be sent to: Mr Ron Mann, Customer Services & Warranty Manager, Lotus Cars USA Inc.
The letter proposes replacing the oil cooler hose end fitting where the original hose end fittings are removed and replace with new end fittings secured by Oetiker clamps.
It is proposed to replace the oil cooler hose end fittings, using a bespoke dealer fitting kit. This technique involves removal of the original hose end fittings and installing new end fittings, secured by Oetiker clamps. This repair will be carried out on the left and right longitudinal oil cooler hoses (4 end fittings). The lateral oil cooler hose will be replaced in its entirety. Following repair, the vehicle will be leak checked to verify oil cooler system integrity.
The letter continues to propose that Lotus Cars will need time to build and distribute the repair kits and train dealer technical staff. Thus the estimated date(s) that notifications will sent to owners, dealers and distributors will be subject to parts and tool availability, notification dates are as follows:
Dealer notification: 2nd January 2013
Owner notification: 9th January 2013
The proposed dealer service bulletin is available here (PDF)