NHTSA Investigates 4400 Lotus Elises for Oil Cooler Leaks - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #21 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 06:21 PM
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I just put out a polar view for discussion. Indeed if a problem, especially one that can have customers complain about being dead, is known and not addressed, we have an issue.

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post #22 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 06:27 PM
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17 out of 4400 is only what is reported, who knows how many have had their lines fixed without reporting and how many have changed their lines pre-emptively with aftermarket products. It's not about what's 'owed' to anyone, its about a manufacturer standing by its products and workmanship. As a small car company in todays market, Lotus cannot afford to have these known issues drag on for years and expect the buyer to absorb all the problems just because they are labeled 'exotic'.

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post #23 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 05:27 PM
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Has anyone been able to find the actual announcement on the NHTSA site? I saw the NY Times article and then searched the Safety site with no luck. Maybe the Times broke the news ahead of any NHTSA posting.

In any event, thanks to all who took the time to report their incidents.
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post #24 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 05:55 PM
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Has anyone been able to find the actual announcement on the NHTSA site? I saw the NY Times article and then searched the Safety site with no luck. Maybe the Times broke the news ahead of any NHTSA posting.

In any event, thanks to all who took the time to report their incidents.
Recalls Summary | Safercar.gov | NHTSA
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post #25 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:01 AM
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17 out of 4400 is only what is reported, who knows how many have had their lines fixed without reporting and how many have changed their lines pre-emptively with aftermarket products. It's not about what's 'owed' to anyone, its about a manufacturer standing by its products and workmanship. As a small car company in todays market, Lotus cannot afford to have these known issues drag on for years and expect the buyer to absorb all the problems just because they are labeled 'exotic'.
The poll suggests a lot more. One would hope the investigation will include all the warranty repairs Lotus did.

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post #26 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:14 AM
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17 out of 4400 is a very low number.
I couldn't possibly share your opinion on this. I think that number is enormous. 17 out of 4400 is the number of NHTSA reports and it doesn't include all the non-warranty and warranty repairs that have been documented.

Even at 17 (that's roughly 1 in 300) it's high. But, the poll suggests it's more than 60 and that's only people who posted.

Imagine seeing more than 1% of cars on the side of the road every day that were crippled due to a major safety issue like this. Cars spun out into oncoming traffic would be statistically guaranteed.

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post #27 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:33 AM
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Similar to sandwich plate gaskets that have been leaking since the Esprit days. Lotus needs to use 21st century engineering on its 21st century vehicles! This should be a wake up call to them to stop selling us overpriced , underengineered product. To their add lightness mantra, they need to add quality controls.

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post #28 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:41 AM
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Mine is an 05, a mater of fact it is one of the early 05's with the twin oil coolers and I have zero issues with any leaks (knocking on wood). I just had mine in for service and I'm sure they would have said something if anything was leaking!!

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post #29 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 08:56 AM
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As an owner who has had 2 dual cooler Elises I have had ZERO problems. I don't mean to rub anyone the wrong way here but I have to ask. For those of you who have had failures, what is you pre-drive routine? I know from the get go that I'm going to drive my Elise very differently than my Sorento. Since I drive my Elise 3 to 4 times a month I go through a pre-drive check list to ensure my car is safe to drive. This not only includes checking belts, fluids and pressures, but getting into the crevices with a flash light and looking for leaks, checking the torque or tightening bolts and keeping a log of what's going on. Hoses like this don't just fail.

Someone wrote earlier that they lost their radiator. I did as well and I had plenty of warning. I had my car in at the dealership at least twice before it actually let go because I could smell the antifreeze and I could see the splatter marks. I had plenty of warning.

I believe it is my responsibility to ensure that the vehicle I'm driving is as safe as it can be. I am the last line of defense to safe driving. And that's not just my behaviour behind the wheel, but under the hood as well.

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post #30 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:07 AM
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I had one crimp fail by the driver side oil cooler and dump a lot of oil instantly all over the windshield, brake, and tire while I was driving around 55mph with a wall right next to me and a car on every side at night. Not sure how I survived. It's not like the other cars can see the issue in the dark or know that I couldn't see. I fixed it with out reporting it or engine failure. I had been at the Vegas drag strip earlier that night and they have a high altitude if that matters.
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post #31 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:12 AM
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So how does this all work? NHTSA investigates and if proven faulty, a recall is initiated?

Any news on the radiator issues as well? My '05 Elise is on it's 3rd OEM radiator! Next time my OEM rad goes bad, I'll be purchasing the black triple pass aluminum radiator from Elise Shop...

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post #32 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:18 AM
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subscribed. haven't had any issues with oil lines but do check them regularly. I agree that these major things on a car should not happen regardless of the cost. This is a major part of the car running, like the transmission, radiator or engine. Should last much longer then 10-20k miles.
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post #33 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:30 AM
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So how does this all work? NHTSA investigates and if proven faulty, a recall is initiated?
Then you take your Elise/Exige to your local Lotus dealership for repair.


In a nearby state.

Last edited by Aedo; 07-25-2011 at 05:20 PM. Reason: fixed quote tag
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post #34 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:34 AM
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Someone wrote earlier that they lost their radiator. I did as well and I had plenty of warning. I had my car in at the dealership at least twice before it actually let go because I could smell the antifreeze and I could see the splatter marks. I had plenty of warning.
See this thread Radiator failure. Your radiator failure was a whole lot different from mine and others. I'm glad you had warning. I did not.
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post #35 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 10:52 AM
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Anyone know of the "lowest mileage" failure on the oil cooling loop? Most of the posts I have read indicated 30k-40k miles at failure? FWIW - my 2005, twin coolers - no problem @ 9k miles.

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post #36 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 12:08 PM
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i had an oil cooler line problem at about 10k miles.
my dealer said that an oil cooler line came loose after its plastic fitting that held it in place broke.
this caused the oil cooler line to come in contact with the belt and quickly wore a hole through the line coating my entire engine bay with oil.

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post #37 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 12:11 PM
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For those defending Lotus on this one I have to disagree. The majority of people who buy any car are not experts on the car and should not have to be. I shouldn't have to put a ton of research into how many parts of the car are going to fail. And just having something that is built properly is a lot better than have warning that it is about to fail.
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post #38 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 01:21 PM
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OK, so here's a question. I have the Forced Fed turbo on my car. Some of the oil lines in the rear (to serve the turbo) have been replaced with aftermarket ones but the lines coming from the oil collers in the front are original, I believe. So if there is a recall am I sh*t out of luck in getting Lotus to replace the original ones since the system has been monkeyed with even though it's a safety hazard?

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post #39 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 01:32 PM
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Anyone know of the "lowest mileage" failure on the oil cooling loop? Most of the posts I have read indicated 30k-40k miles at failure? FWIW - my 2005, twin coolers - no problem @ 9k miles.
From the poll I think there were 3 or 4 that failed around 12K to 13K miles.
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post #40 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 02:53 PM
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Found this while reading through the news articles . . . Appears this crash was possibly related to this no?

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