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Hi all -

Prompted by the recent thread on (more) broken shifters, I did a little digging and found:

NHTSA Campaign ID: 05V571000
Component: Power Train: Manual Transmission
Manufacturer: Lotus Cars Of America Inc.
Year: 2005
Make: Lotus
Model: Elise
Recall Date: 12/21/2005
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,740

Defect Summary:

On certain passenger vehicles equipped with 6-speed manual transmissions, the gear lever may break.

Consequence Summary:

This could result in the inability to change gears, increasing the risk of a crash.

Corrective Summary:

Dealers will replace the gear levers. The recall is expected to begin in January or February 2006. Owners may contact Lotus Cars USA at 1-678-417-9073.

I posted this tonight on the thread "It finally happened - broken gearshift!" and Jared (JnC) suggested its importance warranted its own thread, so here 'tis. HTH.
 

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Much more information is available here:

http://199.79.180.162/prepos/files/Artemis/Public/Recalls/2005/V/RCAK-05V571-7202.PDF

http://199.79.180.162/prepos/files/Artemis/Public/Recalls/2005/V/RCDNN-05V571-1011.PDF

Included are things like procedures to fix, affected cars (= ALL with the hexagonal cross section shift lever), diagrams / service procedures and Lotus and NHTSA contacts and admin info and other things.

Build Dates: April 8, 2004 through February 3rd, 2005

Vin range: SCCPC11155HL30002 - SCCPC11105HL32482

But also see page 9 of the second PDF...US cars with a vin prior to 2415 are affected. The main thing to note is that if you have a hex shaped shift lever you are affected. You will get the later round cross section shifter. If your car came with the round shifter, you are already all set and are not affected by the recall. You can feel the shift lever shaft through the leather shift boot to determine if you have a hex or round shifter. The hexagonal cross section levers that break have the same approximate shape and cross section as a pencil.

The fix is a new round lever such as is used on the post February 3, 2005 cars. It takes 1/2 hour to swap out. Technical Service Bulletin (TSB): 2006 / 1R a draft of which is at the end of the 2nd PDF above. The install is similar to what some of you have done for the B&M shift lever. Not sure what impact having a B&M in your car may or may not have as far as the recall goes.

I had my car repaired under warranty over the Summer after the lever had failed. At that time the entire shift console and shift cables and e-brake cable had to be replaced. Now what will happen is the plastic console cover gets removed and the old lever and new lever are exchanged. The console frame and other bits are not swapped out. Shift geometry and travel are unaffected but the heavier round cross-section lever has more inertia to it which I think subjectively helps the shift feel. I prefer the round lever to the hexagonal lever.

If you have not done it already....add the bolt or stud I suggested back in September 2004 to firm up the shift console frame. AKA the stan-stud. Various thread or posts mention this tweak.

I noticed that Lotus states that failure can occur without warning. And that they claim that "high handling force" is a factor. That I disagree with as there is a metal fatigue issue, which requires cycles and not necessarily excess force. I can say this with confidence after examining the failure of my shift lever, whose point of fracture was photographed. It showed classic signs of gradual and progressive metal fatigue.
 

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It's about friggin time!! :clap:

They can put the new design in my car. I really, really look forward to that.

Hey, filing a complaint really DID work! I'l be damned...
 

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This is an official announcement that there is now an official recall to the stated VIN range, and that by calling your dealer, you will have your shifter replaced free of charge.

Is this a correct statement?
 

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More or less - actually, if it works like other recalls, I believe they will be sending out postcards to Elise owners in the affected VIN range, telling them to contact their dealers for scheduling the replacement. The replacement should be done for free, and has no warranty period.

However, you don't need to have the postcard to get it replaced.

FWIW, if you call today, the dealer may not yet have the appropriate kit: "The recall is expected to begin in January or February 2006."

ed
 

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EdHahn said:
FWIW, if you call today, the dealer may not yet have the appropriate kit: "The recall is expected to begin in January or February 2006."
I think that's a misprint. I think it was supposed to read "Fall 2003".
 

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:clap:
 

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Having the intent to replace is one thing.......supplying the parts to the dealers, is another. The dealers were in short supply before. Hopefully, we'll get one before they break.

I'm surprised that Lotus didn't have the integrity to voluntarily issue the recall without the NHTSA getting involved. Oh well! A very sincere "thank you" to all who filed a complaint to the NHTSA.
 

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pianomaniac said:
I'm surprised that Lotus didn't have the integrity to voluntarily issue the recall without the NHTSA getting involved.
Is that the case, though? Reading the NHTSA docs, I'm under the impression that it was initiated by Lotus, that it's routine for the manufacturer to notify the NHTSA of any safety related recall, and that THAT's what those documents were.
 

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pianomaniac said:
I'm surprised that Lotus didn't have the integrity to voluntarily issue the recall without the NHTSA getting involved.
What exactly makes you think that?

From the date on the letters, it appears that Lotus notified the NHTSA that there was a problem and that they were about to issue a recall to correct the problem. Then NHTSA issued the notice.

Without other information, it appears that Lotus did "have the integrity to voluntarily issue the recall".

I'm sure that there are lots of other legal requirements that are going on that we are not aware of (there's probably a requirement that the parts must be available and in stock prior to the recall, etc.)...:shrug:

Here's an exerpt for Lotus' memo:
 

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What makes me think that.

We owners have been complaining about this for more than a year. Seems that it would have been cheaper to simply correct the defect on first service, but I'm assuming.....it appears to me that they were forced by the NHTSA....but I may be wrong.

When I last asked a dealer, they had little shifter stock as of last week and what they did have was to be issued to press cars first and customers last. Makes me think that they weren't (aren't) too interested in correcting this problem but again, I'm only basing this on the information and perception that I acquire.
 

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Or it could be that Lotus had to determine the actual problem, correct it in production. Make sure that it worked. Determine exactly how many cars needed fixing. Document that information. Manufacture the replacement parts. Get the parts shipping. File all the proper paper work with all the appropriate government agencies (on both sides of the Atlantic). Make sure all other legal requirements have been considered and taken care of. Then start the actual process of replacing the shifters.

Believe it or not, such things actually do take time. Even if they had wanted to swap them as soon as it was actually figured out that there really was a problem, things take time. :shrug:

At least they are taking care of the problem.
 

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Stan said:
Build Dates: April 8, 2004 through February 3rd, 2005

Vin range: SCCPC11155HL30002 - SCCPC11105HL32482

But also see page 9 of the second PDF...US cars with a vin prior to 2415 are affected.

So to clarify, it's the last 4 digits of the VIN that tell you if you're in the recall group?
I guess the next question is - until the fix is made - to drive (with "high handling force") or not to drive??:confused:
 

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e-Lise said:
So to clarify, it's the last 4 digits of the VIN that tell you if you're in the recall group? I guess the next question is - until the fix is made - to drive (with "high handling force") or not to drive??:confused:
Not exactly...it's whether you have a shift lever with a hexagonal shaft or not.
 
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