Lotus Recalls 2009 Elise and Exige After Tesla Roadster Problem Reported
Lotus Recalls 2009 Elise and Exige after Tesla Roadster Problem Reported
Date posted: 05-28-2009
WASHINGTON — Lotus is recalling 27 of its 2009 Elise and Exige cars because loose rear hub flange bolts may cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The first vehicle to be found with the defect was the Tesla Roadster, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but thus far, that $100,000 electric vehicle has not been recalled.
Lotus assembles the rolling chassis for Tesla vehicles.
"The rear hub flange bolts on some of these vehicles may be under-torqued and may become loose," said NHTSA in its recall summary of the problem with the Lotus Elise and Exige. "If that occurs, an insecure hub could lead to degredation [sic] in vehicle handling, and a rubbing noise from the rear of the vehicles. If the problem is not addressed promptly, the driver could lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a crash."
In other documentation filed with the federal government, the link with the Tesla Roadster becomes clear.
On April 6, "Tesla informed Lotus that the owner of Tesla Roadster VIN 236 had complained that the car 'felt wobbly' during turns," according to documentation by Lotus Cars USA, Inc. "Tesla informed Lotus that, on investigation, its technicians found that the bolts securing the rear wheel hubs to the suspension had not been correctly tightened."
It added: "Tesla carried out audits on vehicles prior to delivery to customers and reported that it had found a further six vehicles affected (i.e., with all rear hub bolts not correctly tightened). Lotus commenced checks of Lotus Elise, Exige, Europa and 2-Eleven vehicles as a precautionary/investigatory measure (Note: Europa and 2-Eleven vehicles are not sold for use on the public highway in USA)."
Lotus said that recalls of the Elise and Exige outside the U.S. will be handled separately.
Lotus will notify owners and repair the vehicles for free starting sometime in May or June, it said. Owners can contact Lotus at (800) 245-6887.
Inside Line says: If you own one of the aforementioned Lotus vehicles, have it checked out ASAP with your dealer. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent