Tesla is recalling 345 Roadsters - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Tesla is recalling 345 Roadsters

Tesla Recalls More Than 75% Of Its Roadsters

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This has nothing to do with Tesla's powertrain or intellectual property, it's an issue with the Lotus assembly line that builds the Roadster. Lotus is also recalling vehicles.
Has anyone heard about any Lotus cars being recalled? I don't doubt the article's veracity, I just haven't heard anything about it yet.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:54 AM
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Maybe hub carrier to ball joint plinth bolts? I've seen failures there...

It's always something to check during a track day prep... first, they should have been updated to 10.9 grade caphead bolts (unless you've already got 10.9 bolts)... second, put a torque wrench on each bolt, and check to see that they do not move when torqued to 68Nm. If they move, they need to be removed, cleaned, and reinstalled with lock-tite.

Last edited by apk919; 05-28-2009 at 12:01 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:06 PM
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Report Date: May 28, 2009 at 04:05 PM
Search Type: VEHICLE
Make: LOTUS
Model: ELISE
Model Year: 2009

Results : 1 | All records displayed
Make: LOTUS Model: ELISE
Model Year: 2009
Manufacturer: LOTUS CARS USA, INC. Mfr's Report Date: MAY 22, 2009
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V179000
N/A
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: WHEELS:CAP/COVER/HUB
Potential Number of Units Affected: 27
Summary:
LOTUS IS RECALLING 27 MODEL YEAR 2009 ELISE AND EXIGE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JANUARY 14 THROUGH MAY 5, 2009. THE REAR HUB FLANGE BOLTS ON SOME OF THESE VEHICLES MAY BE UNDER-TORQUED AND MAY BECOME LOOSE. IF THAT OCCURS, AN INSECURE HUB COULD LEAD TO DEGREDATION IN VEHICLE HANDLING, AND A RUBBING NOISE FROM THE REAR OF THE VEHICLE.
Consequence:
IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT ADDRESSED PROMPTLY, THE DRIVER COULD LOSE CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE, RESULTING IN A CRASH.
Remedy:
LOTUS WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MAY/JUNE 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT LOTUS TOLL-FREE AT 1-800-245-6887.
Notes:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:16 PM
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does it applicable to all year of lotus (05 and up)? thanks.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gameson View Post
does it applicable to all year of lotus (05 and up)? thanks.
Nope. Just those 2009s produced between the dates in the recall.

I checked all years and this also includes the 2009 Exige.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 01:09 PM
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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
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:09 PM
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Lotus only made 27 Elise and Exige vehicles in four months???

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
Lotus only made 27 Elise and Exige vehicles in four months???
+1

Looking at the 3 local dealers' websites, I see a total of 9 leftover new inventory from 2009, but 0 2009 cars. I'm surprised there are no 2009 cars locally. Maybe 27 is all they have built this year.

Isn't it public information that they are having issues with funds? Lotus is a small company to begin with, so I'm not surprised. I've been concerned about acquiring parts in the future if needed. I really hope that Lotus pulls it together and comes out on top. Lotus makes a great product, of course I'm biased. I've always thought their cars were a great value.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 05:03 PM
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I saw a Blue Tesla on my commute to work yesterday. Orinda, Ca. area on highway 24 east. SMOOOOOOTH acceleration and fast!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 02:08 PM
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there are bolts they didn't tighten all the way at the lotus factory??? never saw that coming

Dude, there's my car!
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 02:23 PM
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I find it rather humorous that Tesla has to recall 345 of their cars while Lotus only has to recall 27 of theirs. This is kind of like the old days at Lotus when they sold Jensen-Healey their new (at that time) 907 engines with no warranty. Jensen-Healey ended up having to replace a bunch of the bad underdeveloped engines Lotus sold them so Lotus was actually using the fleet of new Jensen-Healeys as a free test bed for their new engine. I guess some things never change at Lotus!

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 03:26 PM
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And, I nearly bought one of those early Jensen-Healey's.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tesprit View Post
I find it rather humorous that Tesla has to recall 345 of their cars while Lotus only has to recall 27 of theirs. This is kind of like the old days at Lotus when they sold Jensen-Healey their new (at that time) 907 engines with no warranty. Jensen-Healey ended up having to replace a bunch of the bad underdeveloped engines Lotus sold them so Lotus was actually using the fleet of new Jensen-Healeys as a free test bed for their new engine. I guess some things never change at Lotus!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
Lotus only made 27 Elise and Exige vehicles in four months???
Destined for the US market and thus subject to the recall is my guess.

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance."
-- Laurence J. Peter
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icedog_16 View Post
JANUARY 14 THROUGH MAY 5, 2009. THE REAR HUB FLANGE BOLTS ON SOME OF THESE VEHICLES MAY BE UNDER-TORQUED AND MAY BECOME LOOSE.
On January 13th, Pierce went on a sabbatical to Nepal "to find himself." His last words to Nigel before he left were, "60nM, Nigel. 60." Nigel was then left without his trusty companion. Having had a few too many at the pub the evening before, on January 14th Nigel went to work repeating to himself Pierce's last words to him. "6nM, Nigel. 6."

Pierce didn't return until May 6th.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
Lotus only made 27 Elise and Exige vehicles in four months???
I'd bet that those were all worked on by one guy. He either had a malfunctioning torque wrench or thought it was supposed to be less than it was in reality. That would be a possible scenario for so few recalled vehicles.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 02:23 PM
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I think the 27 figure is the actual number of 2009 Lotus Elises and Exiges imported into the US from Jan 14 to May 5.

I just got my recall paperwork today - it came yesterday via registered mail. From what I can tell it looks like this is all that has come to the US.

I have been saying that it seems odd that we are now nearly at June and there have only been the 3 Exige 260 Sport's here (and it was said there would be 50 in the US and 40 in Europe). Out of the 3, I have 1, Sienfeld has 2 and the 3rd was owned for a month, traded back in and now for sale again already used. Beside these 3 Exige 260 Sports, look how many of the other 27 are still for sale new.

This economy is no kinder to Lotus than it has been other manufacturers - but at least Lotus isn't flooding dealerships with stock. I am impressed they are taking a sensible approach.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 04:31 PM
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Did you know that the new Tesla (the big one) holds 7 people with two jumpseats in the back (that face each other) for kids?

Goes 300 miles on a charge.

And it recharges in 45 minutes or you can change out the battery in 5 minutes?

Sounds like a much better arrangement overall.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 04:33 PM
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Lotus put the front lower wishbone bolts in backwards in my 89 Esprit (actually probably all of the cars before ~'93). I can never remove the lower wishbone without drilling a hole in the body (in the footwell) or cutting the bolt in half.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Grey View Post
Lotus put the front lower wishbone bolts in backwards in my 89 Esprit (actually probably all of the cars before ~'93). I can never remove the lower wishbone without drilling a hole in the body (in the footwell) or cutting the bolt in half.
Curious. Are you sure there's not an access hole already in the footwell? There is on the G-cars by design, and it's still as much a PITA as it sounds to remove (monkey arms holding wrenches inside and out, or breaker secured on the outside end and wrenching from inside )

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2009, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentTripleX View Post
+1

Looking at the 3 local dealers' websites, I see a total of 9 leftover new inventory from 2009, but 0 2009 cars. I'm surprised there are no 2009 cars locally. Maybe 27 is all they have built this year.

Isn't it public information that they are having issues with funds? Lotus is a small company to begin with, so I'm not surprised. I've been concerned about acquiring parts in the future if needed. I really hope that Lotus pulls it together and comes out on top. Lotus makes a great product, of course I'm biased. I've always thought their cars were a great value.
I would bet that lotus is being hit by the credit crunch as much as any other smallish company and that would affect their ability to keep the supply chain going full force... on the other hand, that not necessarliy a bad thing since it allows the unsold product to be moved rather than brutally discounted.

Also consider the fact that lotus is one of the few automakers that has the ability to shift workers from one production line to another to make better use of manpower. e.g. we dont need alot of new elises/exiges so they put all their guys on the tesla chassis line which is good since tesla is still behind on delivering anyway...
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