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The following was a direct quote form a LEO of NY/NJ newsletter. I thought some might find it interesting.


On page 167 of the owner's manual (I actually read the whole thing), it states that the warranty is
void if the vehicle is used in any kind of "timed competition". As the LOG is coming up and I had
entered the autocross, I phoned Lotus Cars USA to ask about this. They indeed confirmed that the
drive train warranty is void if you enter an autocross, so readers be warned as a number of Mitsubishi
owners have learned to their cost (see the September 2004 issue of Car and Driver magazine, page 33)
 

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Wear and tear is much less from autocross (banned) than from a Track day (allowed). But the track day is okay?!?! Autocross has much less stress on the suspension and motor, not to mention the time duration. No all-out starts are needed for auto-x either. Many autocrosses are around 30 seconds to One minute in duration. Most track days have four 20-25 minute sessions. Autocrosses around here generally are about 3/4 mile in distance and you get about 5-6 runs for about 4-5 miles of hard driving. Average speed is something like 30-40 MPH in autocross. DEs put about 150-200 miles per day on the car. And brake pad wear for example is much higher on the open track - big difference in heat due to duration and higher speeds.

In autocross most of your time is in the mid RPMs. For Track days you can stay between 6000 to 8500 RPMs the whole time.
 

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I would recommend checking with the LOG 24 autocross chairman but I heard that there is a general amnesty for Elise owners who autocross at LOG. As there will be LCU and Lotus Cars UK people at LOG 24 and at the autocross it would be a good idea to get this straight before the event.
 

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If a vehicle does many 200 mile track days (allowed) but does one 5 mile Autocross (banned), is the car covered if a drivetrain/brake/suspension issue arises some time down the road? What if the issue could have arisen in normal street driving, and has to others? This stuff can get a bit tricky I suppose.

If someone goes Drag Racing and keeps dumping the clutch at 8000 RPMs as the magazines did in their Elise tests and something breaks right then and there at the event then things might be pretty clear in that particular case. But even that would need to be reviewed.
 

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They cannot void your warranty. It's against the law. All they can do is refuse warranty repair in a specific case if they can proove that the damage was caused by abuse.
 

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I read that article and I think the manufacturers are putting these disclaimers in their warrantees to cover themselves from obvious abuse of a car. I've heard of guys going back to the dealer 3 times for clutches with a car that had less than 20K miles. Things like this fall into the abuse category and the manufacturers are just covering their arses.
 

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ConeFusion said:
They cannot void your warranty. It's against the law. All they can do is refuse warranty repair in a specific case if they can proove that the damage was caused by abuse.
Yep! The only problem is, if they deny your coverage based on abuse, it's gonna be up to you to fight them in court, and that just may not be worth it.
 

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I have a novel idea, Its something I did with my last 5 cars. I decided not tell the dealership I auto-x the car. If you're real paranoid take your license plate off and use an alias when registering for an event. I honestly don't think they should cover thinks like wheel bearings and bushings, but if the car explodes or some other catestrophic failer happens. There is no way they should be able to blame that on a bit of auto-x. The only reason I'm buying this car is for track days and auto-x. If they they want to void my warrany I have a better idea. How about they sell me the car with no warranty but 5k cheaper.
 

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del105 said:
I have a novel idea, Its something I did with my last 5 cars. I decided not tell the dealership I auto-x the car. If you're real paranoid take your license plate off and use an alias when registering for an event. I honestly don't think they should cover thinks like wheel bearings and bushings, but if the car explodes or some other catestrophic failer happens. There is no way they should be able to blame that on a bit of auto-x. The only reason I'm buying this car is for track days and auto-x. If they they want to void my warrany I have a better idea. How about they sell me the car with no warranty but 5k cheaper.

Don't forget your disguise...I suggest a black mustache, black hat, and black cape. I would also constantly walk around asking "Where is moose and squirrel...???" ;)
 

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define "abuse."
to me, abusing a car is driving it fast over bumpy roads or something...
taking a fairly brand new car, that is still at about factory power levels, and dumping the clutch now and then, or racing it here and there, should not result in failure anytime soon if the components are up to snuff.....
 

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I have a friend who rented an S2000 and went to a track day shortly after the S2000 came out. The engine, which was not really broken in yet was trashed. After much negotiation between
himself, the renatl company, the Honda distrib and a hired attorney, he spent $8k to buy a new engine. I'd use a great deal
of caution arcing while under warranty. But then caution is not what racing is about is it ?

Steve
 

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The warranty does NOT say it will void it if you participate in timed events unless it's determined that abuse took place.

Genjuro, why do you always want to sue someone? This is the thing SELOC laughs most about the Elise in the US, as we're so suit happy we'll put them out of business with litigation.

Iit seems if you're willing to autocross or track a car you should be willing to pay for any repairs, track days DO accelerate wear on a car.

You guys don't think autocrossing is putting extra strain on a car?? The ones I've seen seems like premature failure of components could happen if done on a regular basis. Just my opinion.
Chris

Looking for someone to sue or blame for something.;)
 

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In 2002, Toyota's website touted the great racing capabilities of the MR2. Of course, the warranty was (allegedly) void if you raced the car. Hmmmmm.....

Lawsuit!!! :D
 

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Question - Why does anyone expect Lotus (or Honda or Mitusbishi or Subaru...) to sponsor you as a factory race car driver? That is essentially what you are asking them to do by racing your car and demanding they supply damaged parts under warranty.
 

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I never confuse legal jargon, designed to protect a company in a worst case scenario, with what I really think the company will do.

I autocross. Big deal.

And if I wear out suspension bushings, shocks, wheel bearings, tires, clutches... I am responsible. If I stuff the car into a wall at Willow Springs... I am responsible. If I blow the engine because I failed to check the oil levels for 3 years... I am responsible. If I hit a driveway curb and hurt the front of the car... I am sad. :(

If the A/C fails to work... LOTUS is responsible. If the speaker grill pops off. Lotus is responsible. They know that. I know that. No debate really. Is there?
 

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aty,
I actually posted the warranty pages on a thread here a few weeks ago, but for the life of me can't remember where.

As I recall the gyst was that participating in timed events could lead to loss of warranty coverage for specific components if it was proven abuse had taken place, again, I'm paraphrasing this so wording may be the key.

As discussed before I think, this is probably more/less legal cya which I imagine are in most manuf. owners handbooks.

This IS a street car after all not a race car.

Chris
 

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Randy Chase said:
And if I wear out suspension bushings, shocks, wheel bearings, tires, clutches... I am responsible. If I stuff the car into a wall at Willow Springs... I am responsible. If I blow the engine because I failed to check the oil levels for 3 years... I am responsible. If I hit a driveway curb and hurt the front of the car... I am sad. :(

If the A/C fails to work... LOTUS is responsible. If the speaker grill pops off. Lotus is responsible. They know that. I know that. No debate really. Is there?
Randy, I agree with you about the parts you've listed. I'd even go so far as to include things like gearbox synchros that I damage by shifting too fast. It's the other cases I've heard about that's screwing the Evo owners. Things like stock, unmodified, well-maintained engines failing. I agree that since I'm not a factory-sponsored track-day attendee, I don't get free parts. OTOH, if you design and build a high-performance car (such as the Elise or Evo), and advertise it as such, the car should be able to withstand running at an open lapping day or autocross. If your valvetrain, oiling system or cooling system is not up to snuff, that's your fault as a manufacturer. You should have tuned the EMS to prevent damage instead of eking out every last hp in order to win the magazine showdown.

Now, a lot of this is pure speculation when it comes to Lotus, so I'm going to be optimistic about them supporting reasonable repairs to the car. They *have* said they expect people to drive them at track days, have they not?

Jim
 

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How many times have we heard from Lotus reps that the Elise shines on the track, that they encourage owners to do this? Certainly, there are several posts about this.

I don't think it's a black and white issue, and that's the problem. 'Abuse' is can be defined rather liberally, and I think at some level it's misleading for an automotive company (and they all do this) to go on and on about what a great performance car they've made, and then to void warranty work when the car is used in such a manner that this performance is extracted.
 
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