NHTSA Investigates 4400 Lotus Elises for Oil Cooler Leaks - Page 3 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #41 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 03:02 PM
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You can't tell much from that photo other than the car is smashed including an oil cooler. The windshield is clean though and so is the wheel so that's a good sign. Mine happened just before 30k miles. There was no sign of leaking before hand and the hose did not break, just pop out of the crimped coupling. I sawed off the outer part of the coupling and used screw a few straps to re-attach, no more problems. The center part of the coupling inserts into the hose by an inch or two maybe.
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post #42 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 06:18 PM
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My 2005 Elise was one of early sufferers of the bad crimps. It started as small oil drips noticed under driver side cooler. I had 7K mi and 13 months of ownership at the time. The negative was it took ~4 weeks to get my car back from dealer due to lack of parts and district service managers romping around Europe.
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post #43 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 07:20 PM
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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.
Good job everyone. This shows that just a few of us working together can get things done. To the above poster, based upon the new direction of Lotus as directed (dictated?) by Dany Bahar, I am not sure that we will be missing out on too much.
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post #44 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Vangman View Post
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.
Horrible post with an incredibly self-righteous message. What you consider "normal" activity for a car is not what many owners consider normal. This isn't and shouldn't be like flying a Cessna where you have to spend 30min doing pre-flight checks.

I presume before crossing the street you make sure each time to take a look at the traffic light controller box and make sure everything is working and in order before entering a crosswalk?? Or before washing your clothes, you take apart your machine to check that the motor functions are good and there are no chances of water leakage?

Get real.

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post #45 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:02 PM
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I understand why some people may say "Oh Lotus is a small company, they can't afford a recall" but the cold hard fact is, something on the car doesn't work and that something is pretty important. I would understand if this was a windshield wiper recall but this is about the freaking oil line. You would expect Lotus to make sure that issues like that don't occur on a car that costs 60,000. It's not like the Elise is ultra rare and extremely special and a specialized track only car that isn't meant to be street legal. The fact is that Lotus is advertising the Elise as a roadcar. A road car should not have an issue like that, especially not a 60k car.

@Vangman
A check list? This isn't a plane or a boat etc. There are a lot of owners who actually drive their cars more then once a week and these people expect their car to you know... WORK. I know it's a silly thing to expect from a car but there are some crazy people out there with some outlandish expectations...

On that note anyone have any idea how this will affect used car sales? I still want one anyways (preferably a fixed one)
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post #46 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 09:10 PM
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Pre Flight check list: check....
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post #47 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 09:56 AM
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Just keep in mind that this is a SAFETY issue. I think we all understand that low volume, hand built cars won't have the same reliability as a Corolla that has army of engineers worrying about reliability and warranty holdbacks. I would put radiator failures, bad resistor packs, etc in a whole different category...

But this is a failure that can kill you and is purely due to a bad design or inadequate QC at the factory. Lotus needs to step up.
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post #48 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 10:09 AM
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Just playing devil's advocate here but what happens if the investigation proves the manufacturer is not at fault here? Seems unlikely but but what if? Just throwing it out there and FWIW, I'm glad if for nothing else that its being investigated..safety first.

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post #49 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vangman View Post
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.



Come on guys,

Vangman's right.. Automaker's should never be blamed for manufacture defects that could quite possibly kill you... It's our responsibility as owners.

Remember the Toyota Prius's that had brake issues a few year back? I can bet you my left nut (and possibly my right one) that if these owners used a "pre-drive" check list similiar to Vangman's before entering their vehicles, all of this would have been prevented and the world would be a better place...

Cheers!

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post #50 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:14 AM
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I don't see what the big deal is... I got up 4 hours early each morning to run through a whole 10 point inspection which included replacing the engine, transmission, all oil lines, and the chassis. If everyone would simply do this before driving the car each morning they would not have any such problems!!

Last edited by ItsThaMonsta; 07-26-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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post #51 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:44 AM
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^ lmao

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post #52 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsThaMonsta View Post
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.
Then don't buy a Lotus.
Maybe the "new" Lotus will be more like what you want.

Seriously some of these other posts are overly dramatic. Driving is statiscally dangerous and if safety is such a high concern then a Lotus is not for you for many other reasons beyond an oil line failure.
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post #53 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 12:52 PM
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Awareness is a good thing. My car is going in to dealer for First time in 7 summers of track abuse because the sandwich plate seal is leaking. A good look under the car told me and I have been hunting for a while, that the diffuser should not be sprayed with oil. One or two drops maybe, but not sprayed. Car never "burned" oil before, last 2 track days I was down a bit less than a pint. I was "aware" a problem was brewing. There is a line in the sand between a plane preflight check and being aware of your vehicles critical components.. If they only blew on boosted cars or at the track, c'est la guerre, but because it can happen on the street while being relatively passive, not so good!! Should be an easy fix to remove old connectors and add new ones to existing lines (remember lines are not the issue)

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post #54 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:07 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.
i would be willing to bet the Evora will do that! lol - i mean, i LOVE the Evora, but man... that lots of warranty work going on there for the handful of cars sold.

this oil line issue, if recalled - would not be cheap... lots of labor involved!

'05 dual coolers- not problems in coming up on 7 years.
..wow... almost 7 years i have had my car?! doesn't seem that long!! time flies when your having fun

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post #55 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:18 PM
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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.
Yup. I guess it's totally my fault. You convinced me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by komiko View Post
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.
Mine failed around 20-something I think?

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post #56 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:47 PM
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Im not sure about this one, like everything in life it is not black and white. On the one hand it seems like a serious design flaw by lotus. On the other hand, many if not most cars have significant weak areas. Hell most porsche sports cars from 99-07 ish have serious reliabilty issues. Its british sports car right it shouldent be totaly oiltight!

The issue is a bit scary though. I would hate to puke out all my oil at an hpde or 85mph on the freeway. I think a reasonable compromise would be for Lotus to issue a "update kit" with improved lines and offer some sort of discounted installation. Unfortunately, I am not that optomistic that this is possible.

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post #57 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:14 PM
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Maybe the guy at the lotus factory (who was doing the crimps)
was tippin back the lager just a wee bit too much and not quite getting them tight enough?





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post #58 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:16 PM
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I'm sure Lotus is aware of the situation.. I don't know how much a recall on 4,000+ cars would cost but I'm thinking it could potentially cripple the company... I mean they've got no incoming funds outside of the Evora sales with nothing coming on the horizon!?

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post #59 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 02:42 PM
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Pretty sure a recall will kill any future Lotus car development in the US and Europe, believe it or not Europe have safety standards also. But I thought Lotus couldn't find the money to develop any car beyond the Evora anyway -- all those new "future" models are nice, but without money to develop them ... ?

I think at this point Lotus should try to determine if this is an assembly problem or if it's a component manufacturing problem -- it might help them (or not).

I would highly recommend Lotus get MORE involved in complaints ... as in pro-actively involved, rather than sitting back, being silent, and waiting. In this case (and I know folks from Lotus do monitor this place), contacting those owners and resolving to their satisification would have been the far less costly route over an NHTSA investigation. It takes a lot to get an investigation started, not just a few complaints.

On the plus side, if Lotus do toss in the towel, the value of our cars will most likely increase significantly!

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post #60 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 06:21 PM
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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. This will go from New York Times automotive blog to New York Times front page. It's only a matter of time.

I have to say Lotus was very unsympathetic when I almost slid off the highway at 70mph when my passenger side oil line separated. This was after they had already repaired the driver side oil line several months earlier. All I got was the old "gee, sorry, these cars are known to do that."

In comparison: I had an early E36 BMW that had the water pump fail and the engine overheat several months after the warranty expired. With very little effort on my part BMW-NA offered to cover the cost of labor of replacing the water pump and the engine gaskets that had warped.

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