Lotus Elise investigated by NHTSA over oil leaks

2006 Lotus Elise S
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My father had a habit of pointing out "it’s always the one ya least suspect." If you asked the public what they thought the Lotus Elise’s reliability was, the answer was a resounding "very good." However, now this Rembrandt of the racetrack has a small smudge and is now under investigation for a possible mechanical deficiency concerning the oil cooler.

The 2005-2006 Lotus Elise is at the center of this investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA). This problem centers on the right front oil cooler which can potentially come loose and spray inside the wheel well and the engine bay which can lead to a fire. This problem is described as" .. [Complaints centered on] an oil cooler line [that] had failed causing oil to spray within the engine compartment area, and/or near one of the wheel or brake assemblies." It is important to note that no one was hurt due to this malfunction although one person’s car did catch fire. That being said, the NHTSA has received 17 complaints and have calculated that around 4,400 Elises may be affected due to this malfunction.

An important distinction to note is that although this investigation is ongoing, a recall has not been issued for the Elise.

If you were considering a Lotus and now are suddenly running like Usain Bolt towards another sports car, think again because all of us here at TopSpeed would still love to have this pocket racer in our garage. Its combination of incredibly reliable Toyota innards and speed make the Lotus Elise a must have for any car enthusiast. Take this complaint for what it is; a small bump in the road for a great vehicle.


Source: NHTSA

Thomas Nelson
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  (342) posted on 10.18.2011

This news was really a big turn off for Lotus. Alas! I’m so fond with their aggressive cars but hearing this news is a big disappointed for them, well they should really fixed this issue/problem ASAP so that they would not stop from having a buyers.

  (242) posted on 07.28.2011

These would be Lotus fault! They should ensure the safety of their customer! They should come-up a very effective solution for this when they hear the complains of their customer!
Now, they don’t even know how to face this issue! I just hope they will solve this problem as soon as possible! smiley

  (428) posted on 07.27.2011

I think Lotus Elite must be recall and remove in the market to minimize the risk of accidents. The NHTSA did a great job to notify this kind of problem. I think, this is what also happened in the Ferrari Italia 458 and the Porsche 911.

  (256) posted on 07.27.2011

For the first time I got disappointed in the Lotus! I really hate those car manufacturer that make their customer droll over their car then suddenly will announce a recall! Can’t they make an efficient specs? I hope this would be the last time that I will a hear a recall from them.

  (526) posted on 07.27.2011

If the blame was on the Lotus, I’m afraid that their reliability would be questionable for the dealers. I have read that they five models lined up for a future production and I think the Elise was included. However, I still don’t agree that we should put the Lotus on the level of Toyota vehicle.

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