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Discussion Starter #1
So I had my door locks/latches replaced under the recall a couple of months ago. Since that time, the passenger door handle was always a little stiff. I didn't think much of it assuming it just needed to get broken in. Well Saturday night while out with a friend from out of town, the door wouldn't close and latch. It would just bounce off the seal. I fiddled with the interior and exterior handle a few times, then the door closed. Great . . . but then the door wouldn't open. Neither from the interior or exterior handle. Locking/unlocking made no difference.

Fast forward to today at the dealer. Despite working on it for 1.5 hours, they can't get the door open. After a call to California (supposedly a guy who was heavily involved in the door latch recall), they are going to have to drill into the interior door panel to hopefully get the door open. They are of course covering the replacement of the interior panel, but the worry is that even then they still won't be able to get the door open. Still developing . . .

Wondering if anyone else has seen this type of catastrophic door latch failure.
 

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So I had my door locks/latches replaced under the recall a couple of months ago. Since that time, the passenger door handle was always a little stiff. I didn't think much of it assuming it just needed to get broken in. Well Saturday night while out with a friend from out of town, the door wouldn't close and latch. It would just bounce off the seal. I fiddled with the interior and exterior handle a few times, then the door closed. Great . . . but then the door wouldn't open. Neither from the interior or exterior handle. Locking/unlocking made no difference.

Fast forward to today at the dealer. Despite working on it for 1.5 hours, they can't get the door open. After a call to California (supposedly a guy who was heavily involved in the door latch recall), they are going to have to drill into the interior door panel to hopefully get the door open. They are of course covering the replacement of the interior panel, but the worry is that even then they still won't be able to get the door open. Still developing . . .

Wondering if anyone else has seen this type of catastrophic door latch failure.
I cant imagine why they need to go that drastic to open a door. Dose the handle work at all? Did you push on the end of the door with your leg while pulling the latch? Is it locked? HANDLE? dose it feel like its not conected(easy to pull up?) if so I bet the cable is disconected and it broke the plastic holder. Its a bad design I have pulled my doors apart and so far resolved the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The dealer says the issue is internal to the latch. They have cut open the interior panel and are manually trying to activate the latch, but it won't let go. They are now saying they may have to cut into the door from the exterior and basically cut the latch away.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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I hope there's another door floating around somewhere. My pass interior door latch stopped working, was fixed and 3 weeks later stopped working again. Annoying .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks like they are going to get it without damaging the exterior door panel. They removed the interior rear side panel and are cutting off the back of the latch stud bolts. Lotus USA has been in touch and are on top of the situation. FWIW, the guys here have seen this happen before on other car makes, it's just that the Evora's door/body shape make getting at the latch very difficult.

Moral of my story - if your door handle mechanism is at all stiff, have it checked. My assumption that the revised latch was just stiffer was apparently incorrect. It seems it was just a bad latch from the beginning.

As stated before, having a great service department makes all the difference in ownership experience. I'm very fortunate in that respect.
 

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Looks like they are going to get it without damaging the exterior door panel. They removed the interior rear side panel and are cutting off the back of the latch stud bolts. Lotus USA has been in touch and are on top of the situation. FWIW, the guys here have seen this happen before on other car makes, it's just that the Evora's door/body shape make getting at the latch very difficult.

Moral of my story - if your door handle mechanism is at all stiff, have it checked. My assumption that the revised latch was just stiffer was apparently incorrect. It seems it was just a bad latch from the beginning.

As stated before, having a great service department makes all the difference in ownership experience. I'm very fortunate in that respect.
Yea that is good news replacing a door on this car would not be good -eek-:no:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They finally got the door open by cutting the bolts off the back of the striker plate. Even with the door open, they still can't get the latch to open. They are going to have to saw the striker plate off so they can get to the bolts to remove the latch. Crazy. They are going to overnight the seized latch to Lotus for inspection.

Good news is parts are ordered and she should be road-ready Monday afternoon.
 

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dang it lynn now you got me all worried lol

when I had the latch TSB done, the driver door was considerably stiff. It still kinda is, but I thought that was a good thing (as it in everythings on tight, nothing loose, etc).

Makes me not want to lock my doors but most of the time my car is parked outside.

What to do.. My warranty is expiring in a few months and I'd be damned if this happens to me!
 

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These are the kind of stories that can make a car legendary. Although not the kind of legendary that you may want.

Instant classic!


1998 Lotus Esprit V8
 

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World imports sells them in FL, roughly $1537.00 for 4 yrs its the gold plus package..
this was 3 months ago though...
 

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dang it lynn now you got me all worried lol

when I had the latch TSB done, the driver door was considerably stiff. It still kinda is, but I thought that was a good thing (as it in everythings on tight, nothing loose, etc).

Makes me not want to lock my doors but most of the time my car is parked outside.

What to do.. My warranty is expiring in a few months and I'd be damned if this happens to me!

My passenger door was difficult to open after the latch recall. Kinda felt that I would break the handle it was that hard to lift? I solved my problem with a squirt of WD40 onto the pivot thats under the handle
 

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My passenger door was difficult to open after the latch recall. Kinda felt that I would break the handle it was that hard to lift? I solved my problem with a squirt of WD40 onto the pivot thats under the handle
To clarify, for me the latch operated with a loud pop. No stickyness or stiffness in the actual movement of the door handle. In other words, the latch itself it required about twice the force to unlatch the car as before. But right after the pop, the handle lifted up easily.

Also, the movement of the handle was half the distance it was before, although I actually prefer it because on occasion my grip had a tendency to slip when pulling open the door, causing the latch to snap sharply back into position--which couldn't be too good for the parts involved. But with the handle stopping at half the distance I had a more confident grip pulling the door open..
 

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Holy crap.

But I have absolutely no idea why they didn't try to remove the interior panel from the door by cutting along the lower edge & popping it off. I've had my interior panel off several times & know how it works pretty intimately. [edit] Ah yes, the dash is still in the way 'cause you can't open the damn door!

Then they wouldn't have to cut that access hole. But as you've stated, they needed to get to the back of the striker plate anyway to cut the bolts. I know that striker plate well too...mine was pretty loose on the passenger side!

And they should have covered your front seat backs (to prevent scratching) and covered the interior trim with plastic or something. Bloody mess they are making - I wouldn't have made such a mess, that's for sure.
 

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I tend to agree with my Antipodean friend: I feel like they could have found a way to preserve the door panel. But since they are on billed hours, and since Lotus will pick up the cost of the panel as a warranty item, perhaps it made more economic sense for them just to go through it.
 

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My passenger door was difficult to open after the latch recall. Kinda felt that I would break the handle it was that hard to lift? I solved my problem with a squirt of WD40 onto the pivot thats under the handle
Thanks for the tip. What a difference! My door handles were super stiff after the recall work and the dealer said TADTS. A quick WD40, and they are back to normal.
 
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