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I came across this on the Lotus UK site - anyone on the forum from the UK have this problem????

Elise Footwell Floor Corrosion

Lotus would like to reassure Elise owners that we are continuing to investigate the cosmetic corrosion of the top surface of the footwell floor panels experienced by a small proportion of cars when factory fitted with plastic floor covering. This condition may take the form of staining and/or deposits of either powder or a paste like substance in the footwell.

Our engineers have been working with the chassis manufacturer and a number of specialist institutes to identify the causes of this specific issue and provide our customers with an appropriate resolution.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding whilst the necessary testing and validation of solutions are pursued. Lotus places a high value on the satisfaction and loyalty of its customers and it is for this reason that we wish to make sure that we have identified the possible causes and have verified that the solution we introduce is effective and inconveniences our customers as little as possible.

We would like to reassure our customers that the footwell floors are not part of the primary load bearing structure and therefore the integrity of the chassis is not compromised by this condition.

Once Lotus has completed its investigations, affected vehicles will be individually assessed and where necessary will be treated under warranty through the dealer network (subject to normal warranty terms and conditions). Until such time, owners may adopt the following routine maintenance practice:

Remove any footwell floor covering to reveal the alloy surface.

Using suitable hand and eye protection, wash the footwell floor and underside of the mat using a nylon brush and clean water (do not use soap solutions as these often have a high salt content).

Mop the floor using paper towels and allow the floor and mat to dry thoroughly before refitting the mat.

Refit the mat using a 25 mm wide strip of double sided tape only along the rear edge.

It is important to lift the mat periodically and wipe the floor and mat underside to ensure the area is kept dry.

No other action should be taken at this time in order to protect against possible interference with any future recommended treatment.

As soon as further news is available, this will be advised via the Lotus Cars website and via the dealer network.

1,063 Posts
Yup.. Have it on my S2.

Not too bad though (just some corrosion spots) and I suspect that the new cars will have a new floor covering that will 'breathe' and let the moisture evaporate.

The problem is called 'crevice corrosion' and happened because water droplets (either because of leaks or simply condensation) were caught between the rubber (well.. PVC containing actuallly..) floor covering and the aluminium floor.

After sitting for a long time this produces an alkaline aluminium hydroxide solution, which slowly starts to eat away at the aluminium itself and causes pitting or (in extreme cases) holes.

If the water has a way out then it's no issue. Cars with normal carpets (aka. the Sports-Tourer models) don't show this problem as the carpet allows the water to evaporate.

Chassis bond/glue lines are also no problem, becuase these are fully filled with glue, so no water can get in or trapped.

Bye, Arno.
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