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First things first- Waiver news?

909 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  zvezdah1
I was just reading this article about the Elise and it states the following:
"Lotus in Wonderland
Cute, isn’t it? The new Lotus Elsie looks like a cross between an Opel GT and a
mini Ferrari P4. OK, maybe not…. but it is good to have a new Lotus to kick
around. In the tradition of Chapman, the car weighs next to nothing coming in at
less than 2000 lbs. The motor is from an outside supplier, in this case a 1.8 four
banger from Toyota. A gaggle of plastic, aluminum and composites, the new Elise
is an expensive bit of entertainment. But then again, that is also in the tradition of
Chapman. Damn, where are my old tapes of the Avengers with Diana Rigg and
her Elan. However, before you run down to a Lotus dealer, check first to see if the
Elise is even legal for the US. Lotus Cars USA is saying that final approval and
waivers from the DOT and NHTSA for the Elsie are days away. I called back to
Washington DC and this may not be the case. You have to wonder why any
manufacturer would risk offering a car for sale in the US without having all the
paperwork in order. Not these days."

Anyone heard any news on the waivers?
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A very good and relevant question. I have no idea... How do we find out what's going on with this?
I can hear it now, in the faint distance is Arnie Johnson doing his best Bon Jovi impression. "OHHHHHHHH we're half way thereeeeee....OHHHHHH, Livin on a prayer!"
"Fed our cars, we've got to sell them- somewhere!" "OHHHHHHHHH, Livin on prayer!"
Damn, what a "BadBoy" car this is. Sexy, Fast, and Illegal! Too bad I have to pay with my honest dollars. :)
The folks on SELOC report that British dealers should be getting their first demos of the Fed car as early as next week. They'll be zipping around in "OUR" cars while the fate of the car in the US is not finalized. Is there no justice in this world?:mad:

I'm actually glad (ed) that at least SOMEBODY will be enjoying this car soon!
Everything I have heard from Lotus folks is that the federal waivers is a non-issue.
As noted elsewhere, the actual waiver request from Lotus to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (and subsequent addendums) can be viewed by browsing to:

and then enter "16341" in the search window.

I also noticed some dockets from a previous waiver request related to crash safety for the Esprit, filed in 1999 and apparently successful, since the Esprit continued to be sold here.

What I did NOT find, to my dismay, was documents that indicated the formal DOT response to the Esprit requests. In other words, I don't know if we'll even see it on the DOT site when the Elise waivers are granted.

Particularly since the Esprit waiver passed, and since the Elise issues are mere technicalities and not really safety issues, I have no reason to doubt Lotus's assertion that the approval will be a formality. They undoubtedly had a lot more communication with the DOT than what is shown on the dockets, and if they are pretty confident that things are on track, then there shouldn't be a problem.

But, having said all that, it sure would be nice to put this one to bed! :D

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Just spoke to someone at NHTSA, DOT - as far as the individual knew it hadn't been ruled on. I'm still pretty confident it's a done deal tho.

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