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Discussion Starter #1
Autoweek has just posted a story regarding the warranty of vehicles with autoX and track use. Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler and others are sticking it to Owners who race their cars. The exception? Ford. Evidently they understand the advantage to factory supported track exposure. It does bring to mind what will Lotus offically except and not except when it comes to the use of the Elise?


http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content...=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=02612566
 

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interesting but,

The article did say the idiot shredded his turbo and the drivetrain with only a few miles on the car and wanted covered by warranty!

They are looking at competition and timed events. I remember a buddy that car clubbed his car and it was untimed. Their rules were if you were timing your car in anyway you were asked not to return. Because they did not time the event there were no postings.

check out

http://www.gglotus.org/trkdays/ggtrkday.htm

Note that there is an email address for questions.

You should contact your insurance company before you take your car on to a track and see what their policy is. You may be also advised to talk to Lotus about it and your warranty. Don't try to sneak around the rules.

Many years ago the car rental agencies started banning certain drivers who generally had the rental car towed back to the agency - turned out to be race car drivers.

have fun and looking forward to #42.
 

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Lotus wouldnt be stupid enough to void warranty for track or autocross use cause I for one would never buy this car then!...they would lose half their customers I bet...some based on principal and some due to the fact they intend to track/autoX it...why else would anyone want this car??...sure isnt practical and driving safely at normal speeds in this car is just a waste imo.
 

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Re: interesting but,

Nick said:
The article did say the idiot shredded his turbo and the drivetrain with only a few miles on the car and wanted covered by warranty!

They are looking at competition and timed events. I remember a buddy that car clubbed his car and it was untimed. Their rules were if you were timing your car in anyway you were asked not to return. Because they did not time the event there were no postings.

check out

http://www.gglotus.org/trkdays/ggtrkday.htm

Note that there is an email address for questions.

You should contact your insurance company before you take your car on to a track and see what their policy is. You may be also advised to talk to Lotus about it and your warranty. Don't try to sneak around the rules.

Many years ago the car rental agencies started banning certain drivers who generally had the rental car towed back to the agency - turned out to be race car drivers.

have fun and looking forward to #42.
The thing I don't understand ishow the heck do you shred a turbo and driveline at an Autox event? I'm absolutley positive that gridlock traffic 10 hours a week is much worse for a car than 4 minutes of auto-x a week. I think it is complete bullshit to deny warranty based on auto-x participation. Engine modification is a entirely different subject.
 

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The exception? Ford. Evidently they understand the advantage to factory supported track exposure.

Don't believe that. Ford will find a way (ANY way) to void your warranty. They denied warranty coverage on a (clearly) factory defect stud in a hub in my brand new Mach 1. When I tried to press the issue, they pointed to my K&N Aircharger and said that they could void my warranty on high performance products on my car that suggested that I raced it. In addition, Ford claimed "racing abuse" on my (then) brand new 2003 Mustang Cobra because of my complaint of excessive driveline lash. (The car had 300 miles on it and the ring and pinion wasn't set correctly.) I sold that car with 670 miles on it because of all the defects the dealer and Ford wouldn't fix. And don't EVEN get me started on my former '98 SVT Contour that spent 8 months at Ford Service with no compensation, loaner, etc...

Bob
 

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mact3333 said:
Lotus wouldnt be stupid enough to void warranty for track or autocross use cause I for one would never buy this car then!...they would lose half their customers I bet...some based on principal and some due to the fact they intend to track/autoX it...why else would anyone want this car??...sure isnt practical and driving safely at normal speeds in this car is just a waste imo.
Then you will have to avoid buying most any car "on principal" as most manufacturers will not cover cars that are raced.

As for your, “why else you would buy this car” comment... I'm not buying mine to race. I will likely do some driver education classes but that's it. I am buying the car as a fun to drive weekend/spare time toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have to say personally I have been extremely happy with my Ford Expedition (1998 Eddie Baurer). It's been better than my BMW's, Mercedes and only God knows how many Jap cars. But all that said, I'd rather have an Audi or VW. The only reason I don't is I needed a 8 Passanger (I have 5 kids and a wife) and she would have nothing to do with a Vanagon or Audi allroad.
 

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Manufacturers have always been doing this. The differences that is newsworthy is that a dealer (or some manufacturers) now scour the sweb for your name and if they see you have autocrossed, flag your account.

I think a lot of this is just common sense. If I was to rip out my swaybar on my car, that is not a warranty item. The car company never expected me to put Hoosiers on the car and race on concrete. If the radio quit working, I would expect the dealer to not care if I raced the car. Certain things would be in a gray area, things that could be hastened to failure by hard use.

I always thought it made sense to make sure that my racing harness and such were removed when taking the car into the dealer. Easier to avoid dumb questions, and I don't want to provide ammo to a dealer trying to screw me.

Most statements in that article on AutoWeek (and again, note how AutoWeek follows the internet! This is the most discussed issue starting two weeks ago)... in that article, the official spokespeople are saying they would just look and see if the repair was racing related. If that is true, I would have no problem with it. You race, you pay for what you break.
 

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del105 said:
I'm absolutley positive that gridlock traffic 10 hours a week is much worse for a car than 4 minutes of auto-x a week.
AutoX severely taxes a car mechanically. The powertrain and suspension are repeatedly loaded to maximum conditions from cone to cone. This will prematurely wear 'n tear your car.
 

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rtking said:
Don't believe that. Ford will find a way (ANY way) to void your warranty. They denied warranty coverage on a (clearly) factory defect stud in a hub in my brand new Mach 1. When I tried to press the issue, they pointed to my K&N Aircharger and said that they could void my warranty on high performance products on my car that suggested that I raced it. In addition, Ford claimed "racing abuse" on my (then) brand new 2003 Mustang Cobra because of my complaint of excessive driveline lash. (The car had 300 miles on it and the ring and pinion wasn't set correctly.) I sold that car with 670 miles on it because of all the defects the dealer and Ford wouldn't fix. And don't EVEN get me started on my former '98 SVT Contour that spent 8 months at Ford Service with no compensation, loaner, etc...

Bob
You must be a glutton for punishment. With all of the headaches why keep going back to Ford? There's an equally priced and better car than every one you bought. I bought a brand new Prowler that I loved to death. But this crappy customer service I got with the lemon I bought turned me away from Chrysler forever. If a dealership or brand rub me the wrong way I never go back.
 

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rtking said:
Don't believe that. Ford will find a way (ANY way) to void your warranty. They denied warranty coverage on a (clearly) factory defect stud in a hub in my brand new Mach 1. When I tried to press the issue, they pointed to my K&N Aircharger and said that they could void my warranty on high performance products on my car that suggested that I raced it. In addition, Ford claimed "racing abuse" on my (then) brand new 2003 Mustang Cobra because of my complaint of excessive driveline lash. (The car had 300 miles on it and the ring and pinion wasn't set correctly.) I sold that car with 670 miles on it because of all the defects the dealer and Ford wouldn't fix. And don't EVEN get me started on my former '98 SVT Contour that spent 8 months at Ford Service with no compensation, loaner, etc...

Bob
sounds like you need to stop buying Fords!
 

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shinoo said:
AutoX severely taxes a car mechanically. The powertrain and suspension are repeatedly loaded to maximum conditions from cone to cone. This will prematurely wear 'n tear your car.
Have you seen me drive on the street? :)

The funny thing of course is that I can drive almost as aggressive on a back country road, and that is not racing. And I can do that for 60 straight minutes. And add in an average of 60 minutes a day of street driving, or a total of almost 2000 minutes a month of driving... and compare that to less than 3 minutes of autocrossing in a month.

I do agree that the limits of stress mechanically in autocross are significant. I would cover my own repairs to suspension stuff, ball joints, wheel bearings, tire wear.
 

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Originally posted by AMCMahon:
You must be a glutton for punishment. With all of the headaches why keep going back to Ford?
Originally posted by Shay2nak:
sounds like you need to stop buying Fords!
No kidding! I actually swore off Ford after the '03 Cobra. I got no satisfaction... even being a Director of a local Ford Car Club! Apparently Ford didn't care one bit. Even Tom Scarpello (then head of SVT) didn't care and never replied to my emails, telephone calls and certified letters.

My friend (Russ) brought me to a Ford dealer one day to look at the Mach 1. It was incredibly cheap and it reminded me of my Grabber Blue 1970 Mach 1 (which I had very fond memories of.) So that's the only reason I bought it. But I don't rely on that car to be daily transportation and it WILL be sold when the Elise arrives. My Audi is my choice for daily transportation. My '97 A4 has 164,000 miles and never gave me any problems at all. I'm having an amazingly difficult time parting with that car.

The Elise will make a VERY welcome addition to the garage. I plan to autocross it and it will see some light track usage. I don't know what the outcome of the warranty issue might be (whether Lotus will void warranties based on autocross usage) but how can you not autocross it? I'll take my chances and, if something will break, I'll fix it myself.

Bob
 

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rtking said:
In addition, Ford claimed "racing abuse" on my (then) brand new 2003 Mustang Cobra because of my complaint of excessive driveline lash. (The car had 300 miles on it and the ring and pinion wasn't set correctly.)
Nothing new...

I had the ring & pinion blow at 11,900 miles (of the 12,000 mile warranty) on my '72 Chevy Vega Wagon. They tried to blame me for "burning out" too much - they even claimed that I had replaced the tires (I hadn't). I had to show them that I had taken the car into the dealer 6 times for various things, and each time I had complained that "there was too much play in the ring & pinion". TADTS (only they left off the "Sir" part) was the only response I got each time.

Another hundred miles, and they wouldn't have replaced the rear end...:huh:

To keep this on thread; I do hope Lotus doesn't pull this (and I don't think they will), as it would be hard to justify selling someone the LSS and then voiding the warranty because it was used...

Tim Mullen
 

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This will futher encourage street racing.

Did you know if you take your 4x4 off-road, then most companies will say that your warranty is void?

All the while they show their 4x4 in 3 foot water, climbing rocky mountains, and racing in a sand desert.

Grrrr............
 

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rtking said:
Don't believe that. Ford will find a way (ANY way) to void your warranty. They denied warranty coverage on a (clearly) factory defect stud in a hub in my brand new Mach 1. When I tried to press the issue, they pointed to my K&N Aircharger and said that they could void my warranty on high performance products on my car that suggested that I raced it. In addition, Ford claimed "racing abuse" on my (then) brand new 2003 Mustang Cobra because of my complaint of excessive driveline lash. (The car had 300 miles on it and the ring and pinion wasn't set correctly.) I sold that car with 670 miles on it because of all the defects the dealer and Ford wouldn't fix. And don't EVEN get me started on my former '98 SVT Contour that spent 8 months at Ford Service with no compensation, loaner, etc...

Bob
The Ford service departments I've used have been great and even covered a big ticket item just after warranty expired, despite the fact that I had an aftermarket intake, short shifter, part of my interior ripped out and I don't use them for regular maintenance. Hell, they didn't even charge me when one of the after-warranty problems they investigated was my intake tubing having come loose and throwing a CEL (stupid, stupid me but I park in a fairly public lot among high rises so car work and maintenance is awkward). I hear service complaints about most every make but I have to say I've been thoroughly impressed with the two Ford service departments I've used for repairs. It in no way refutes what you're saying, I'm just offering my own experience. It's too bad for me they don't make any cars I want, outside of the GT.

With the small number of Lotus service departments I hope we can keep a fairly organized set of data on our experiences with them. I fear, though, in our lawsuit-happy land that it may not be the best idea for Randy's sake.

Lotus' attitude towards autocross and warranty is going to be a major factor in my purchase. If the guinea pigs are finding they have trouble getting things covered, it may be better for me to wait to buy a used one. I'd feel quite silly buying a new car much more expensive than I'd normally pay and not using it either on the track or for my commute.
 

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As one of the "guinea pigs" I'll speak up here. At no point has Lotus said they'll void the warranty on the car for autocrossing/track events. However I assume, they will void the warranty for "dumba**" behavior with the car on the street or track as any manufacturer would.

For instance: taking a car to a track day with 10 miles on the clock and blowing the engine. If they didn't have some type of disclaimer "as all manufacturers do" they'd have a tough time denying a warranty claim for Jackass behavior.

Look at the UK and Europe, Lotus sponsor track schools and SELOC and other groups have massive numbers of track days there. Warranty concerns haven't been an issue. (although Martin/Rawr had some probs).

If you do something stupid with your car, you should pay for the repair (you pays your money and takes your chances), if the engine falls out, locks up etc through no fault of your own by all means should and would be covered under warranty.

Chris
 

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Derek said:
Then you will have to avoid buying most any car "on principal" as most manufacturers will not cover cars that are raced.
Correction: they will not cover damage due to racing. That's what every last one of them said in that article, including Ford (note that the Ford rep specifically excludes coverage for "abuse" or "aggressive driving" even at the Ford track days).
 

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John Stimson said:
Correction: they will not cover damage due to racing. That's what every last one of them said in that article, including Ford (note that the Ford rep specifically excludes coverage for "abuse" or "aggressive driving" even at the Ford track days).
Aren't we picky? That's exactly what I meant. After all, there is no need to fix something under warranty that isn't broken. Most manufacturers would not void a warranty if you're not having problem?

And correction for you. The Evo got black listed before anything was broken. The owner just didn't know until he tried to get it fixed under warranty.
 

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Derek said:
Then you will have to avoid buying most any car "on principal" as most manufacturers will not cover cars that are raced.

As for your, “why else you would buy this car” comment... I'm not buying mine to race. I will likely do some driver education classes but that's it. I am buying the car as a fun to drive weekend/spare time toy.
who said anything about racing?...please re-read my post...autoXing and doing track events is NOT racing(esp DE sessions at track). I would never race a street car cause then your insurnace is no longer valid. You just supported my argument by saying that you will do some track events(which I intend to do also). IMHO, driving it the speed limit on street is a waste. Im not saying you should race either but I do think spirited yet safe driving or track events is what this car made for.
 
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