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Supercharged Lotus Evora recalled over fire risk

Stuck on you: A not very off-road friendly Lotus Evora S became stuck on Sydney Harbour’s Middle Beach earlier today.

Lotus recalls Evora S in Australia over potential fire risk from oil pipe leak

16 Nov 2012

LOTUS is recalling nine supercharged Evora S coupes in Australia over a potential engine oil pipe leak that poses a fire risk.

The Australian recall is part of a global campaign initiated in the United States last year with 80 cars affected after two fires were reported, while cars have also been recalled in other markets such as the UK.

A recall notice on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website says failure of the variable valve timing (VVT) oil feed pipe “may result in oil being deposited onto the engine as well as the exhaust system”.

“This could cause engine failure and a potential risk of fire because of the presence of flammable vapour, which could result in a crash,” the notice says.

Australian Lotus distributor Ateco Automotive’s public relations manager Edward Rowe told GoAuto no reports of incidents had been received in this country He said customers had been notified of the need for the remedial work that takes about an hour.

A recall notice filed with the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes a similar problem.

“This engine-mounted oil feed pipe, used to supply oil to the engine cylinder head, can rupture ... the ruptured pipe can result in oil loss and engine damage, and oil sprayed onto hot engine components may result in a fire.” The US notice describes “a number of incidents” of oil loss related to the recall, which in some cases had resulted in engine damage and in two cases had resulted in a fire.

“Initial investigation has indicated that a flexible section of hose that forms part of the oil pipe assembly may be defective,” it says.

“The pipe in question is a Lotus designed part, manufactured by Delta Aircraft Services Ltd and used exclusively on Evora supercharged variants.” The US recall notice suggests the three-piece oil pipe assembly – incorporating the flexible part that can fail and leak – will be replaced by single a rigid item.

Although Lotus says the flexible hose was designed by Lotus and is used exclusively on the supercharged Evora, the recall echoes a voluntary service campaign initiated by Lotus engine supplier Toyota in 2009.

The Toyota campaign also involved replacement of potentially leaky VVT oil supply lines on cars fitted with V6 petrol engines.

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