Lotus Elise Being Investigated For Leaking Oil Cooler - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Lotus Elise Being Investigated For Leaking Oil Cooler

In response to complaints from a number of Lotus Elise owners, who say that their tires have become coated in oil, causing handling problems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun an investigation into the root cause of the problem.

In a recently filed document, NHTSA said, on its website that it had received 17 individual complaints from Elise owners that an oil cooler line ruptured, spraying the fluid onto the rear wheel assemblies and elsewhere in the engine bay.

The problem is believed to affect some 4,400 cars from the 2005 and 2006 model years; some individual statements from complaining owners include; "the oil line released from its fitting on the front right oil cooler, wetting the tire with oil. The car spun and left the road," though that same owner reported no damage occurred.

Yet another alleges that his Elise actually caught fire as a result of an oil leak issue, though at present, NHTSA is not aware of any such incidents nor injuries resulting from the problem. It'll be interesting to see if this safety probe turns into a full-blown recall.

More: Lotus Elise Being Investigated For Leaking Oil Cooler on AutoGuide.com
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 10:48 AM
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about time
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 11:44 AM
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 12:44 PM
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Wow.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 03:12 PM
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That is not a defect. Lotus calls that the "Drift Package, Stage 1".

And I thought I had problems with my 1990 Esprit...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 06:16 PM
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Generally a manufacturer has no duty to recall products. However, as a general principle of law, once a manufacturer discovers a life threatening hazard or a defect in a product, the manufacturer has a post-sale duty to warn end-users of the product of the defect or hazard. See, e.g., Patton v. Hutchinson Wil-Rich Manufacturing Company, 861 P.2d 1299, 1315-16.

Clearly Lotus has known about this design flaw for some time but has decided to do nothing. It's only going to take one fatality/crash/mishap etc before the media jumps all over this story.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:55 PM
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Well, there goes my old engine thanks to oil line failure. Thank you Lotus for putting my life and others in risk and killing my motor as well. Well done.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 09:19 AM
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Keep the pressure up!! Report all oil line failures!!
Home | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 06:36 AM
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Since RLS and Sector 111 (prob others) sell replacement oil cooler lines (for $485 a set plus shop time or a Saturday)... should I wait for a manufacturer recall to fix (hopefuly) or pony up the money now?

From my past experience, if a company recalls an item and you can show receipts you took care of the fix yourself, they will reimburse you for your costs... think Lotus will step up?
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:59 AM
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Yes, this happened to mine a month ago, oil leaked all over the place from the driver side cooler. Mine was a dual-cooler Elise and as the three hoses are crimped to both coolers, they recommended having to replace the entire system, around $4,800 in repairs.

I sent an email to Lotus about this with no reply, as I couldn't afford the repairs in my current state of affairs I ended up having to trade in my beloved 05 Elise for a new Mazda 2, it was a very sad day.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 12:04 PM
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Oh, and forgot to mention, I did post this as a complaint on the NHTSA site.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
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...they recommended having to replace the entire system, around $4,800 in repairs.
Who are "they" and what kind of drugs were involved in a $5k quote to change oil lines?
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 09:46 PM
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my buddy's 07 exige s' line popped. so not limited to the earlier MY.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:21 AM
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"They" are Galpin Lotus in LA and the quote was for all three hoses and both coolers to be replaced including labor (which I was told was an extensive job).

Apparently they cannot just add a new hose, as the previously crimped connector on the old cooler wouldn't match up to the new hoses crimping, thus the entire system needs replacing as its all connected.

They said they could just replace one side for half the money but reckoned the hose would fail at some point.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 05:26 AM
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I am a regular on other car forums (Mostly Mercedes Benz). I have to say that Lotus Talk has to be the one with the nicest environment, guys around here are helpful and very friendly. At the same time, this has to be the only forum where (with a reason, as it appears in this case) the marque gets called out on defects due to "corner cutting".

I don't own an Elise or Exige but if these claims are true, it would be too sad. First, because they are beautiful cars, and second, because this makes people think " do I really want to save up and purchase an example of the next Lotus generation?"
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 11:04 AM
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I agree $4,500 does seem a bit excessive. Removing the clam alone is 6 hours on and off for my dealership. And from what I've read, pulling the hoses through is really difficult and probably takes another 5 hours. So you're looking at 11 hours of labor at $100/hr plus $500 for a hose kit... so maybe $1600 to $2000?

I can confirm that the NHTSA is investigating - I got a call from them last week.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 09:30 AM
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Do we expect a recall to happen?

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:46 PM
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My oil line crimp went Monday as I was driving cold car up to Mid Ohio start line just off the trailer. Wow I am glad I was not at speed on track! Ordered a NCI oil line kit.

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz5gxt View Post
My oil line crimp went Monday as I was driving cold car up to Mid Ohio start line just off the trailer. Wow I am glad I was not at speed on track! Ordered a NCI oil line kit.
Please report it.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 06:29 AM
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Please report it.
Reported, the more I think what could have happened I am very lucking I was not driving at a higher speed when my OEM oil line crimp let go. My front and rear tire was all oil and even oil sprayed all over my front rotor. I am now thinking on relocating oil cooler to rear of car by side air intake.

Current 2007 Exige S TOURING PACK, TRACK PACK, LSD, Aspen White, BOE Torque300, Tank,2bular muffler, Larini header/Decat, RLS Intercooler, Intercooler Vent Ducts/tubes PENSKE SINGLE-ADJUSTABLE SHOCKS, CUPdiscs-Front ULTRAdisc rear, Lotus AP 4 Pot Calipers, Fidanza lightweight flywheel, ACT HDSS Clutch......way too much to list..

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