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RichardProof

Evora IPS gearbox issue warranty/goodwill

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Guys - I've had a very poor experience with Lotus - has anyone else found them to be difficult to deal with?

 

Short story - bought a 3 year old Evora S from Silverstone who were and continue to be brilliant. Car was one of Lotus' own vehicles and had been serviced every six months by their engineers. Stunning IPS model. It had six months Lotus warranty remaining and all was fine but two months after the warranty ran out the gearbox developed a whine and it was diagnosed as a pump in the IPS system which really needs replacing.

 

I appealed, as did the dealer, to Lotus to take care of it given their drivetrains should really last more than 36 months and they have spent two weeks deciding to tell me to sort it out myself. Whilst I appreciate the car is out of warranty and there is no legal obligation to help Lotus has effectively sold a car less than 3 years old, which they ran themselves until I bought it, which is now experiencing problems after just six months of customer ownership. They seem to be OK knowing that their gearboxes can only remain healthy for three years.

 

I can't believe they would leave loyal fans high and dry like this. I've even got the dealer to suggest a compromise - get a local Toyota specialist to recondition the gearbox - instead of asking them to cover a £10k fix themselves at a quarter of the price but basically they have suggested its my problem now. 

 

Terrible really. So disappointed. I really thought Lotus was different. Such a shame. Knew I should have gone German. 

 

No way I can keep the car now. If I have to spend the money fixing it I'll just hate being in it because I'll know they left me in the lurch. 

 

Anyone else had problems dealing with them?

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Sad for you but it's your car, you knew how long the warranty was when you bought it so you have to pay to fix it like everyone else whose warranty has expired. Do you think the Germans fix out of warranty cars for free?

 

How is it costing ten grand? A whole new gearbox from Lotus is £6k so I'd be confident it can be sourced elsewhere for much less.

 

eg http://www.toyotapartsoverstock.com/p/__/TRANSAXLE-ASSY--AUTOMATIC-U660E-U660E-J/4044822/3050033470.html

 

$3k or just over £2k plus shipping.

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I utterly accept the warranty issue but this is a core drivetrain component. Is it really acceptable that they are happy these high performance vehicles can throw parts in the main engineering guts of the car within three years? Warranties are indeed not open ended but Lotus needs to think about the message it sends when a gearbox fails within such a short period. They want to be seen as a higher quality manufacturer. How does this support that message? 

 

More importantly - I have always bought a Lotus (had three now) because I love the company and what it stands for. Now I want to sell the car and move to another manufacturer because they are happier to save £2.5k than support a customer who has clearly ended up with a duff vehicle. Who has done well out of this? Not them? Not me? Not the dealer? Generally lose lose all round. Defend them on the warranty if you want. Mechanical parts fail, I get that. But the manufacturer always has a choice whether to fail the customer too.

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Can't imagine Porsche doing anything different either.

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The gearbox is made by Toyota, Lotus just fit it to the car. They do offer a warranty on that even though it's not their part for 3 years in fairness. 

 

Just to get this right, you're facing a £2.5k bill? What's it for exactly?

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Can't imagine Porsche doing anything different either.

To be fair, it would have come with 2 years warranty, not 6 months

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£10k is for the new gearbox from Lotus swapped out by the dealer and reprogrammed. £2.5k for a Toyota specialist to replace the parts within it that have gone wrong. Lotus has walked away from both options apparently. 

 

I don't think the fact it isn't their part means much - they chose it for the car during design phase.. They obviously thought it was fit for purpose and it clearly isn't. They absolutely should offer a warranty for the three years on it - they provide the vehicle as a unit and the gearbox is part of this.

 

And yes I know the Germans wouldn't do anything about it. But actually all that says is that Lotus is in the same frame of mind as Porsche and I know that most people on here revere the company for being more accessible, more supportive, and a brand they therefore want to associate with. Porsche should leave you high and dry. I didn't think Lotus was a company that would.

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Now just rethink what you just said. Porsche, an incredibly profitable company where you pay 20% more for your car wouldn't cover such issue, but you expect Lotus, a company figting for survival to do such. 

 

You're not a business man yourself, are you? 

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To be fair, you're the first person I believe to have had this problem and we've a good number of IPS owners on here. I'm sure you'll not find anything like this in the Evora gearbox section of the site so 1 failure in however many hundreds or thousands, while unfortunate for you, doesn't make it unfit for purpose.

 

I've had a Google for U660E problems with the pump and there aren't many results on Toyota or Lexus forums either. 

 

Sorry but personally, I think you're being unreasonable about Lotus. They do an awful lot for owners with the budgets they have and are very fair. If I took my Elise back to Lotus I'd not expect them to fix it out of warranty, they have a line drawn and I understand where it is and that it's up to me to ante up when it goes wrong.

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Now just rethink what you just said. Porsche, an incredibly profitable company where you pay 20% more for your car wouldn't cover such issue, but you expect Lotus, a company figting for survival to do sucH

You're not a business man yourself, are you?

 

Sold my second business this year for seven figures. So I know what it takes to build and run a successful operation. 90 percent of it is customer loyalty.

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Then pay the £2.5k bill and get on with enjoying life. Just sayin'...  :)

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Bibs - if this is indeed an isolated incident It surely demonstrates that this is therefore a particular part fault on this car. It's certainly not wear and tear is it? I didn't fit the part aftermarket so it must be a faulty component when lotus built this particular car. Why is that then my liability?

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1 failure in hundreds is an aberration.  Not a design fault.

 

If a large percentage started to fail in a similar way, then Lotus might be compelled to fix it under a recall if it were a safety issue (US law, not sure about UK law).

 

I think your statement that Lotus should cover it, since it is the only failure, is not-logical.  

 

It possibly could be your driving style, who's to say what has happened since it left their hands.  It could have been their rough driving while they had it, which normally I would say you should have either gotten an ECU dump, or negotiated the price lower with that in mind...  Or possibly negotiated an extended warranty at the time of purchase.

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Sorry but I have to agree with the majority here. Once warranty expires that's it. If by some fluke a dealer agrees to split costs then great but I know of no manufacturer that would do that. If you want the car protected you need to take out a policy with a 3rd party.

I don't think this reflects badly on Lexus at all. It's just one of those unfortunate things. It wouldn't put me of a brand personally but I guess we all have different expectations.

Stu

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If you bought the car from Silverstone second hand, did it not come with a 1 year warranty ?

The Sale of Goods Act covers you for 6 years. The government's guidelines say: "Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description." Might be worth exploring this with a solicitor.

Seeing as Lotus themselves owned the car before you, they can't exactly say the car was abused (although if used by the press....).

At the end of the day it's poor PR for Lotus when a main, expensive component fails at such an early time :(

Porsche have been mentioned, who also have problems with engine failures from IMS, bore scoring etc, which have stopped me buying specific models. Porsche can afford to lose me as a customer as they have others queueing up for the cars, Lotus aren't in that position , so should be bending over backwards to keep loyal customers happy. Just my 2p worth.

Best of luck anyway.

Edited by DJW

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Doubtless none of the parties involved are relaxed about the situation, but I have to agree with the majority view here that warranties do time out. I imagine you discussed warranty with your dealer at purchase time.  If a solution based on £2.5K is available that hardly seems unreasonable given the initial cost of the vehicle.

 

However the main thing I'm highlighting is that you are certainly achieving some publicity; 42 readers at my time of writing.     

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So am I right in thinking that Lotus Cars owned the vehicle for nearly 3 years and then Silverstone sold it to you?

So why does it need a new gearbox, why can't the pump be replaced?

On another note, does this mean you're selling this now?

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

David

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Reading this thread with interest. I should be buying a new Evora 400 in the next twelve months. Has this put me off purchasing? Absolutely not! I would not buy a car knowing it had an x year warranty and then moan that outside this period the manufacturer wouldn't fund the repair bills -it makes no sense whatsoever. Most reasonable people will agree.

I cannot think of a single car manufacturer that would act otherwise.

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On another note, does this mean you're selling this now?

 

Someone smells blood :lol:

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If you bought the car from Silverstone second hand, did it not come with a 1 year warranty ?

The Sale of Goods Act covers you for 6 years. The government's guidelines say: "Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description." Might be worth exploring this with a solicitor.

Seeing as Lotus themselves owned the car before you, they can't exactly say the car was abused (although if used by the press....).

At the end of the day it's poor PR for Lotus when a main, expensive component fails at such an early time :(

Porsche have been mentioned, who also have problems with engine failures from IMS, bore scoring etc, which have stopped me buying specific models. Porsche can afford to lose me as a customer as they have others queueing up for the cars, Lotus aren't in that position , so should be bending over backwards to keep loyal customers happy. Just my 2p worth.

Best of luck anyway.

 

At least someone here seems to get the gist of it! Why create an unhappy customer who is loyal to the brand already when your total cost to keep them is 2% of the cost of a new car they may have bought if you kept them happy? Makes no business sense. Yes of course they have no legal liability but is this about legal argument or brand value? People who own Lotus love Lotus and there are considerably less of us out there than Porsche owners or TT owners or M3/4 owners. Any business owner worth their salt would say keep the customer happy, have them come back for more, rather than 'let's do nothing for two weeks then send them a three line email bowing out of the game. 

 

Net result = immediate loss of current and future customer and a load of stories to friends/colleagues etc about never buying a Lotus. Can't see it does anyone any good. Decent companies have more foresight than this.  

Reading this thread with interest. I should be buying a new Evora 400 in the next twelve months. Has this put me off purchasing? Absolutely not! I would not buy a car knowing it had an x year warranty and then moan that outside this period the manufacturer wouldn't fund the repair bills -it makes no sense whatsoever. Most reasonable people will agree.

I cannot think of a single car manufacturer that would act otherwise.

This isn't about funding repair bills - I pay my way on wear and tear. I have a supercharged rangey as well and that costs me thousands a year to keep on the road - that is the deal - its expensive to run and it goes wrong. But what do I spend the money on? New brakes, the odd dodgy bit of electronics, the bulbs, occasional interior wear, little niggles. I don't spend several thousand pounds on core components that are supposed to last the lifetime of the car. I can live with things going wrong outside of warranty but this is a core drivetrain component it needs to be capable of more than 3 years of driving.  If you bought your M400 new and then three years and two months down the line it fried its piston rings, you would happily replace the engine I assume? Thought not. 

So am I right in thinking that Lotus Cars owned the vehicle for nearly 3 years and then Silverstone sold it to you?

So why does it need a new gearbox, why can't the pump be replaced?

On another note, does this mean you're selling this now?

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

David

Quite possibly - what is the point of owning a lovely car that makes you feel p*ssed off every time you get in it because its delivered you a bill the manufacturer should have picked up.  

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This link is quite interesting

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland/consumer_s/consumer_cars_and_other_vehicles_e/consumer_problems_with_the_car_you_bought_e/the_car_you_bought_is_faulty.htm

My uncle in law works as an insurance intermediary for the trade - acting on complaints between consumer and the dealer to agree a satisfactory outcome.

It doesn't seem fair lotus turned their noses up without any 'good will' gesture, but a warranty is a warranty.

I had a 520ED on a 61 plate, the box started wining @ 58k / 2 1/2 yrs. it was replaced but they also commented the warranty on the box only ran till 60k miles.

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No-one has disagreed that good customer service is very important, but most people are saying that Lotus don't have any liability in this instance. To be fair, from a legal perspective, you've no contract with them anyway as mentioned so your relationship to Lotus is about as close as it is to Toyota in terms of tort. 

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