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Lotus should address this problem before someone gets killed if they haven't already. My friend had a 2006 Jeep Liberty which had a similar problem, he lost his wheel at 65 MPH on Route I-95 in Delaware with his 5 month old daughter in the truck. He spun around 3 times and crashed into the concrete divider and made about 10 other drivers swerve to miss him. He was lucky not to get killed and when he took his car to the Jeep dealer to get fixed a mechanic told him that this problem wasn't uncommon with the Liberty.I dont' know if Jeep has addressed the problem but it seems like they ignored it for a long time. After he got it fixed he traded it in on a BMW because he didn't feel right about selling it to someone else. There is no reason that a new car should have a problem with critical bolts loosening on the control arms under normal driving conditions, it's poor engineering and there should be a recall. Lotus can't expect everyone to have access to ramps and a torque wrench to adjust critical parts on a regular basis. I don't care about my windows rattling or other detail oriented engineering problems with my car but if I have to worry about my wheel falling off on a 2 year old car because I haven't had time to get ramps, jack and a torque wrench from my local Snap On dealer, that pisses my off! I was going to buy an Exige S but after reading this thread I am going to put more consideration into a Cayman S because my wheel never fell off my 1986 944T and I drove it hard for 15 years and I have not even seen my torque wrench in 20 years. For a company that claims that the Elise was one of the most advanced cars ever made, Lotus should hire some engineers that know how to keep the wheels on or just market the car as a handyman special and throw in a Lotus torque wrench, do it yourself video and some mechanix gloves at the time of sale.
 

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Chris said:
Man, this thread may be getting a bit out of hand. What are we at, a grand total of a few Elises that have had this problem? Of the thousands sold?

If you are not mechanically inclined and have concerns over this I am positive the mechanics at the Lotus dealership will gladly go over the car if you request them to do so at your next service. I wouldn't compare this to something like the firestone tire debacle of a few years ago, the infamous pinto exploding gas tank issue or the FORD cars cathing on fire burning down peoples houses while they sleep dealio. Big car companies (especially in north america) have multi million dollar recalls all the time and for each one there are usually tonnes of deaths involved before they take action.

Like I said before, at the time Lotus claimed they had never encountered anything quite like this before and I believe them. They also completely took care of me and fixed it better than new even replacing parts that were fine just in case. Now a year later a few others have had the problem and maybe it is time to start looking a little more closely into it. Make the checking of these bolts part of the regular service check list. I do have complete faith in the design of the suspension, it just needs to be put together properly.

Don't get me wrong, I completely see your points and Lotus should (and probably will) look into it, but you may be a tad over reacting talking about getting a p-car -poke-
I wouldn't have complete faith in the suspension based on what I have read. Based on the small number of cars built, I think that even if 5 cars had this problem it should be something to be concerned about. I like my car as much as anyone on this site and I am not trying to bash Lotus. Whether it is an engineering flaw or assembly flaw is irrelevent, it should just be fixed. It seems that many of us have rattling windows, black tape oozing out from our door sills, unprecise shifting, poor headlight adjustment, poor softtop liner adhesive, etc., etc. Maybe more than just a handful of these cars have the same problem that these unlucky people have had but it might take more time and accidents to find out because we all don't drive them everyday. I have 8,000 miles on my 05 and my wheel hasn't fallen off yet so I probably shouldn't even complain. -poke-
 

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carlover said:
Let me just say that I think Lotus is a great company with a great product. Perhaps the issue with some of our cars was an assembly oversight, it can be easily corrected (if the above theories on the cause is correct). My reasons for starting this thread was two fold: 1) find out what the heck happened, and 2) to inform others of this possibility.

On the whole I still believe our cars are safe, but, IMO, this is an issue that needs to be addressed with our cars. Five cars out of all the good elise drivers on this forum (assuming they are all elise drivers and all read this post - not likely - is still a lot of cars, especially when you consider the relatively low mileage of these vehicles and that fact that many (most?) elise drivers are not even members of this forum. For that reason I have sent a notice to the NHTSA so that this problem will be taken seriously, and hopefully prevent a potential fatality.

Thanks for all the info collected on this thread, it was very helpful.

Joe
Thanks Joe,
Hopefully they will have a recall. I don't think a recall to install Loctite or something equivelent is going to bankrupt Lotus.
 
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