NHTSA Investigates 4400 Lotus Elises for Oil Cooler Leaks - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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NHTSA Investigates 4400 Lotus Elises for Oil Cooler Leaks



For those of us who have suffered failures this is huge: N.H.T.S.A. Investigates 4,400 Lotus Elises for Oil-Cooler Leaks - NYTimes.com

From the New York Times article:


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating oil-cooler leaks on 4,400 Lotus Elise sports cars from the 2005-6 model years after receiving complaints from owners saying that a tire became coated with oil, causing handling problems.

In a document filed Friday on its Web site, the safety agency said it received 17 complaints from owners who reported that an oil-cooler line ruptured and sprayed oil on the wheel assemblies and or within the engine bay.

“Consumers allege the condition can create a loss of vehicle control and one complaint alleges the vehicle caught fire,” according to the document.

“The oil line released from its fitting on the front right oil cooler, wetting the tire with oil,” one owner reported. “The car spun and left the road. No damage occurred.”

The agency was not aware of any injuries or fires related to the condition.
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post #3 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 08:15 AM
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How about the 07s?!

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post #4 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 08:34 AM
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07s have failed too. Maybe they didn't report it.
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post #5 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 08:40 AM
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I would hope that part of the "investigation" would be to ask the question "has the design or manufacturing changed, and could this problem extend to other models and years". We'll see.

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post #6 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmt63 View Post
07s have failed too. Maybe they didn't report it.
That's what I meant as in why 07s were not included in this investigation!

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post #7 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 11:47 AM
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So is that how many 05's and 06's are out there in the US, 4400 ?






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post #8 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 11:56 AM
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So is that how many 05's and 06's are out there in the US, 4400 ?
I was thinking that too...isn't that a large percentage of Lotuses? lol
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post #9 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:20 PM
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About damn time. Recall please

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post #10 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:30 PM
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post #11 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:34 PM
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About damn time. Recall please
+1!

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post #12 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:42 PM
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About damn time. Recall please
Are they doing anything different in newer cars?

If not, every single Elise/Exige on the road should be going in.

And out of sheer curiosity... How long do these investigations usually take?

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post #13 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:45 PM
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Just to play Devil's advocate, this could have the effect of not seeing Lotus in the US for a while. Recalls aren't cheap.


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post #14 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pray4mojo View Post
I was thinking that too...isn't that a large percentage of Lotuses? lol
They say Elises but does that number include any Exiges?



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post #15 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 04:30 PM
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Cheaper than a person's life

Quote:
Originally Posted by fzust View Post
Just to play Devil's advocate, this could have the effect of not seeing Lotus in the US for a while. Recalls aren't cheap.
I understand what you are saying, but it is cheaper than having someone potentially die or kill others because of this "failure". According to our own little poll https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f312...ailures-94324/ there are more than 17 cars that have had issues.

I don't believe that a $50K+ car should have these type of issues. Squeaks and shoddy A/C I can tolerate. Oil line failures, worn cams, and "cheap" plastic end cap radiators that explode shouldn't happen in the first place.

Don't get me wrong I love my Elise and I would buy another one instantly if something ever happened to it, but Lotus has a long way to go before I believe any of their "improved build quality" PR noise that they are constantly spouting about. The Evora was supposed to have "improved build quality". There is one sitting at my local dealership that had to be "bought back" by Lotus because it had so many issues.

Of course Ferrari 458s shouldn't catch on fire either.
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post #16 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 07:47 PM
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Dissapointed that it had to come down to owners here reporting instead of Lotus offering a fix/solution .. for $50k+, the car shouldn't have these issues period.

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post #17 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demonized View Post
Are they doing anything different in newer cars?
What changed that excludes later models?

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post #18 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM
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Sorry guys, but I see this sort of thing as going along with this type of car.

Don't get me wrong. It's way serious and as someone who hurls an 05 around I'm more than interested. But we are not talking about some Toyota recall here. How in the world could Lotus possibly go out and refit every car they have sold here. This is a big part of why it took so long to get an Elise over here in the first place.

This country is so full of people who are owed something by those who have wronged them it makes me ill. No one forced me to buy an unusual low production vehicle with track heritage made by a small company trying to keep such vehicles available to me. My car has been rock solid overall despite what would destroy most "normal" cars. Much more reliable than I would have been willing to accept.

If I were offered refit parts at a reasonable price and had them installed on my own I would be more than satisfied. 17 out of 4400 is a very low number. It's a wonder I have only crashed mine once. My car is amazing. Overall the experience has been brilliant, stellar.

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post #19 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XoXoX View Post
So is that how many 05's and 06's are out there in the US, 4400 ?






.


I think they mean a total of 4400 cars for Elise/Exige but even then the numbers seem off a bit e.g.:

  • Elise 2004/2005 = 2400
  • Elise 2006 = 1400
  • Exige 2006 = 300

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post #20 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 05:37 PM
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I guess I see it as, in this day and age, these things shouldn't be problems. Especially on a $50+K car. Car quality in general has improved drastically over what it used to be. This isn't the 70s or 80s. I'm fairly certain Lotus has been aware of the oil line, worn cams, and radiator failures for some time now. Have they done anything to proactively remedy these issues? Not that I've heard.

I use my car strictly as a street car. I had my radiator fail. Maybe I've been lucky but in my 22 years of driving it is the first time I've ever had a radiator fail. I don't worry about my Honda's or GMC's radiator failing. My Elise had two weeks left of warranty when it went. Guess what? Lotus was going to replace it with the exact same poorly designed radiator. I chose to pay out of pocket for a ProRAD in hopes of permanently fixing the problem that I otherwise would more than likely have had to deal with again three years from now. Why? Lotus knows there is a problem with them.

It's the same thing with the oil lines and worn cams. Lotus knows these problems exist, but they don't seem to fix anything unless they are forced to, which is where the NHTSA comes in.

I love Lotus and consider myself a fanboy. I hope this doesn't make Lotus disappear in the states again, but let's be honest, the Lotus dealer network is even more of a joke now than it was when I bought my car 3 years ago. If Lotus disappears they have no one to blame but themselves.
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