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Have you filed a complaint with NHTSA?
 

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'05 Lotus Elise Outlaw
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Yo--
The exact same thing happened to me, and the drive shaft ripped out of the differential, breaking the seal and spilling oil everywhere! Talk about dangerous... My Elise has been dealer-maintained since day one too.

k.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
NCZ06 said:
Have you filed a complaint with NHTSA?
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
 

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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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Hi guys
This is tough to read. Not being a gear-head (but getting a heckuva education reading this I must say) gives me pause. I am all set to buy one in July and I am doing my homework but this gives me concerns. I probably won't track it (wish I could but I can never get out of the office) and I won't do anything more but use it for my daily slog commute in Atlanta.

This happened to folks just driving, not the lucky trackers. I agree it may be too soon for hysteria and panic but now I am wondering if I should run my prospective Lotus to a "Second opinion" before I buy it.

Should I do that?
Thanks for the education - you guys are the best.

K
 

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Post your VIN or production date if you have this problem?

I haven't had this failure happen and it appears that this is not a design flaw but an assembly problem. For those that have had the problem, I think it would be interesting to see if those cars have VINs that are close together or not. If the affected cars were made during the same time frame, we could narrow it down to an assembly problem affecting only a small range of production dates. I am not going to be waiting for a recall from Lotus, but I am going to immediately check the torque of all the fasteners on my suspension. With the safety issues involved, I really don't think waiting for Lotus to do something is a good way to deal with this problem. I agree this isn't something you should ever have to do on a new car, but the reality is that these cars are hand built and humans make mistakes. At least it isn't like the old days when something major broke on your Europa or Elan and the response from Lotus was, "It's a sports car--it is supposed to break!"

I urge everyone to check the torque of their suspension fasteners ASAP and if you find them loose or if you have already had a failure, please report it here and give your VIN and/or production date.
 

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cbelon said:
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.
Exactly and it will ultimately cost way less that having to repair all the future broken cars under warrenty. Makes economic sense to me.
 

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Quick question; do you have to drop the undertray and/or diffuser to check these bolts, or do you simply need to remove the wheel?
 

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You just have to remove the wheel to check both sets of bolts discussed in this thread. (upper A-arm bolts and the hub assy. to hub carrier bolt)
 

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AZReason said:
You just have to remove the wheel to check both sets of bolts discussed in this thread. (upper A-arm bolts and the hub assy. to hub carrier bolt)
True, though given the little surprises like this one, I recommend that you check every bolt that you can get to with the wheel off!
 

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tesprit said:
I haven't had this failure happen and it appears that this is not a design flaw but an assembly problem. For those that have had the problem, I think it would be interesting to see if those cars have VINs that are close together or not. If the affected cars were made during the same time frame, we could narrow it down to an assembly problem affecting only a small range of production dates. ...
Build date: February, 2005.
I didn't have a failure, but did notice that there was no Loctite (Permabond A130 in the service manual) on the bolts connecting the upper ball joint plinth to the hub carrier. The manual specifies that there should be. Hence, there is a risk of them coming loose.
 

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Chococar said:
I checked the torque on all my front and rear suspension/steering fasteners and they are all fine :)
Me too. Build Jan '05 (late), #32116. Note: the track link bolts were loose the first two inspections (5K and 10K) but they've been fine since.
 

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Doe's any body actually have a picture of a broken bolt. last night i swapped all of mine out and upgraded them to 12.7 they are about 25%stronger as the 10.9s. lotus wants $30.00 for a set I can get these for $25.00 if any body wants a set let me know I'll send you a set. freight would be about 5or 6 bucks. carl
 

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4carl said:
Doe's any body actually have a picture of a broken bolt. last night i swapped all of mine out and upgraded them to 12.7 thats about twice as strong as the 10.9s.....
Was there any sign of a thread locker (Loctite) on the threads of the original bolts?
 
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