NHTSA Investigates 4400 Lotus Elises for Oil Cooler Leaks - Page 7 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #121 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:17 PM
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If you race or drive above the legal speed limit then get it fixed now.
That's probably most of us here....

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post #122 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 07:19 PM
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The Government is going to look at the data and if they determine that this is a safety issue then those that did the oil line fix will be reimbursed.

Man up and fix the problem if your worried about it instead of posting hysterically.

I would think that the only people who have to worry about crashing are those that take their car to the track. If you race or drive above the legal speed limit then get it fixed now.
Then you would be dead wrong and I mean dead literally. Everyone who owns a car with this issue needs to worry about it. That is why the NHTSA is investigating.

I don't get your point about reimbursement (which doesn't always work out as well as you imply it does) and I don't see any hysterical posts.

I think you're out of line.

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post #123 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 09:02 PM
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I'm an engineer too, and I was required to take ethics in engineering courses.
Funny thing that, I'm an engineer too but for some reason chemical engineers weren't required to do ethics I like this "I'm an engineer too" game.

I know this is your guys fight but is this problem a common problem(worldwide) or does it seem to be isolated to the states? I dont think i have heard of any cases in south africa.

I'm in two minds about it, if there was damage done in an accident caused by an oil line popping then i might be upset with lotus for a little while, but thats what insurance companies are for really, fixing the problem if things do go that wrong.

But if it was such a big issue and i was overly worried then i would probably strip my front clam and take the car in and have the hoses reclamped. I dont see it as a big cost nor a waste of time, talking a days work. maybe install a better radiator and an air horn and see what else can be done.

I do wonder if you have a recall what would happen to ours cars here?

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post #124 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 10:12 PM
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All I can say as a mechanical engineer is this should never happen from the start. But....if Lotus is willing to fix the problem I will be more than happy to except their fix. It is kind of ridiculous that it had to come to this and I feel extreme pity for everyone that has had a failure but as an engineer....it should NEVER happen. It is ridiculous. I hope the NHTSA does something about it and requires Lotus to do something even though i dont believe they can afford to. I love my Elise and was planning on putting on the S111 kit on it but I am going to wait until the results of this investigation are released because I have zero issues with my lines. Again, my regards go out to anyone who has had to deal with this issue.

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post #125 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 10:47 PM
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I thought a lot about this, and I think the most likely root cause is not a design flaw. This is most likely a manufacturing flaw.

In my uninformed opinion (in order of likelyhood): Most likely is the crimp (probably worn crimp jaws or inadequate pressure), next is improper fastening of the hoses, then maybe a manufacturing flaw in the fitting, then maybe defective hose material.

These parts are off the shelf components that "should" not fail a such rates.

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post #126 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 08:19 AM
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also... oil on your tires is probably one of the worst failures you can have.

Radiator blows: you see steam, pull over, kill the engine. done.
Engine catch on fire: you have time to pull over, get out of the car, maybe even have time to extinguish the flame.
Brakes fail: you steer the car into a safe area, drop it down a few gears, pull the parking brake then coast to a stop.

Oil on your tires: no visual warning, no steering and no brakes, you are going down a freaking cliff. good night.

ps, I never had to take an engineering ethics class, but shouldn't this be basic human ethics?

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post #127 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 10:06 AM
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From a systems engineering standpoint this is how I see it:

Lotus probably had the oil coolers on their risk register during the design phase. Someone did an analysis and ultimately the program manager decided that the risk was worth taking because the probability of it being realized was fairly small. The decision is up to the management but it is the engineers job to make sure they know about the risks and can make decisions accordingly. Engineering ethics come into play if they had knowingly deceived their management in order to stay on budget/schedule.

I honestly do think this is being blown out of proportion a little bit. My perception may be skewed due to working in an extremely high-risk environment though.
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post #128 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 01:38 PM
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I was told by my dealer last month when I had my car there for an oil change that one of my oil line fittings was weeping a small amount of oil. The leak was on the engine compartment end and the service advisor recommended that the lines be changed out. I told him that I wanted to look at alternative hoses plus a preventative upgrade to my radiator if the front clam was going to be off anyway.

After seeing the notice about the investigation, I called NHTSA this afternoon on their hotline (1-888-327-4236) and reported my situation. They took down the information and gave me a case number. I know that it's been beat to death here, but if you've had the problem or like me are having it now, report it so that LCU will do the right thing. You can call NHTSA M-F from 8:30 to 5:30 EDT. You can also register your complaint online atHome | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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post #129 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 04:22 PM
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I guess as a 2005 dual cooler owner I'm at twice the risk. I'm regularly inspecting the engine bay and no issues there. How difficult is it to inspect the front coolers? Even if I inspect the lines, if there is no sign of a leak does that suggest I am not at risk?

My car is track only and obviously I'm very concerned about a failure given the speeds I travel. I've been very pleased overall with the Elise as a track car from all aspects. It fit my purpose and drive style (unlike Rob-sorry) and I'm most interested in addressing a problem if there is one and not why or who is to blame. This is a handbuilt barely street legal race car afterall.

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post #130 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 05:41 PM
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Is there a simple DIY at home remedy for this short of spending $500 for Sector111 or similar solutions?

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post #131 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 07:35 PM
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Is there a simple DIY at home remedy for this short of spending $500 for Sector111 or similar solutions?
See my post above. It doesn't get any more simple.

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post #132 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 07:38 PM
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I guess as a 2005 dual cooler owner I'm at twice the risk. I'm regularly inspecting the engine bay and no issues there. How difficult is it to inspect the front coolers? Even if I inspect the lines, if there is no sign of a leak does that suggest I am not at risk?

My car is track only and obviously I'm very concerned about a failure given the speeds I travel. I've been very pleased overall with the Elise as a track car from all aspects. It fit my purpose and drive style (unlike Rob-sorry) and I'm most interested in addressing a problem if there is one and not why or who is to blame. This is a handbuilt barely street legal race car afterall.
dual / single cooler risk is the same since the number of connections is the same.

Based on everything I've read to date, it doesn't matter if there is no sign of a leak.

I think everyone is most interested in addressing the problem. There's still the question of what Lotus should do.

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post #133 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 12:18 AM
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"I'm an engineer too". More or less.

Seriously - I do not own an Elise, but I have owned a couple of cars that had varied and frequent issues, including design defects. My solution to said issues was simple... I took them to the garage and got them fixed.

If I owned an Elise and was concerned about this issue, I would just go and have the hoses and connectors replaced, then move on. It would cost money but it would be done. My 2 cents.

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post #134 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 05:48 AM
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See my post above. It doesn't get any more simple.
Regarding a DIY fix I'm interested in a solution that maintains full functionality of the oil coolers.
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post #135 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 10:58 AM
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Did Lotus hand make all oil lines and crimps? Or did they get them assembled from an outside vendor? If a recall is issued the vendor will be responsible for the parts and labor, not Lotus. That is how it works at my manufacturer.
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post #136 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 11:41 AM
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"I'm an engineer too". More or less.

Seriously - I do not own an Elise, but I have owned a couple of cars that had varied and frequent issues, including design defects. My solution to said issues was simple... I took them to the garage and got them fixed.

If I owned an Elise and was concerned about this issue, I would just go and have the hoses and connectors replaced, then move on. It would cost money but it would be done. My 2 cents.

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So by this logic... if the foundation cracked at your 5 year old house you'd just pay someone to fix it out of pocket and not hold the builder responsible?

It's not a matter of money. I think (and hope) that all of us can afford a $500 repair bill.
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post #137 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 02:36 PM
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It's not a matter of money.
Exactly. Fixing it is the easy part. Getting people to fix it can be another story. Some people will choose not to fix it even though they should. Others will be unaware that there's an issue. A recall helps alleviate both issues.

I don't know that a recall would mean Lotus must pay for the repairs. I suspect they should given the number of pre-warranty failures but it's really secondary.

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post #138 of 161 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 02:37 PM
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Regarding a DIY fix I'm interested in a solution that maintains full functionality of the oil coolers.
Then the answer to your original question is no.

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post #139 of 161 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 07:32 AM
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Then the answer to your original question is no.
you sure about that?

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f293...alation-91341/ (post #8 lays out the cost of meterial needed)

you can feasibly assemble a quality homemade kit for a fraction of the price sector111 sells for (& I’m not trying to take customers away from s111, they have phenomenal products) but to say that there are no alternatives for what they offer is clearly wrong, just involves a little more homework.

& from the failure reports, the majority of them are happening at the fittings/clamps, not the lines themselves... so assuming the lines check out ok with no signs of damage, you could save a tad more by just getting better quality fittings/clamps

Last edited by driftwood; 08-02-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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post #140 of 161 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:52 AM
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you sure about that?

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f293...alation-91341/ (post #8 lays out the cost of meterial needed)

you can feasibly assemble a quality homemade kit for a fraction of the price sector111 sells for (& Iím not trying to take customers away from s111, they have phenomenal products) but to say that there are no alternatives for what they offer is clearly wrong, just involves a little more homework.

& from the failure reports, the majority of them are happening at the fittings/clamps, not the lines themselves... so assuming the lines check out ok with no signs of damage, you could save a tad more by just getting better quality fittings/clamps
clamps
I didn't say there were no alternatives. The question included, " . . . simple DIY at home remedy . . . " to which I say the answer is still no. Even if you just replace the fittings, it's a clam-off operation that requires care with the oil cooler fittings.

I would not recommend going through the trouble and not replacing the lines. They have been known to fail as well.

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