Porsche is offering to replace the side air-intake grilles on the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman to prevent cigarettes or cigars from entering and damaging the engine.
The issue has long affected Boxster and Cayman models, going back into previous generations. After “continuous quality analysis,” Porsche found that discarded cigarettes can be caught by the model’s airstream and drawn into the side air intakes.
“Fanning from the airflow can cause the cigarettes, cigars or their embers to further ignite there, affecting plastic elements or the like, and damaging the vehicle,” Porsche said in a statement to customers.
“This can ultimately lead to a smouldering fire in the engine compartment. Typical warning signs and indications are smoke development in the rear area, loss of engine power, warning messages lighting up in the central display or burning smells."
The issue will be counteracted with tighter-mesh protective grilles that customers can have fitted free of charge in a process that will take around an hour to complete.
Porsche didn't say how many cars had suffered significant damage from the issue. There's also no indication that other Porsche models are affected, but a recall was issued for 718 models produced between 2017 and 2019. The problem can be traced back to as early as 2005 online.
“The high quality of our vehicles over their entire life is one of the core values of the Porsche brand and contributes significantly to the fascination of our sports cars,” Porsche told Autocar. “To ensure their long-term enjoyment, we carry out continuous quality checks.
“Porsche has already installed or retrofitted special protective grilles in the side air intakes of the corresponding models to prevent cigarettes or embers from entering the engine compartment."
Drivers of cars with the previous style of vent have been asked to contact their local Porsche dealer to have the new ones fitted.