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ColinH

Problems!

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I'm just curious whether any other Exige V6 owners have had any issues with their cars. I absolutely adore mine, but I have to be honest and say that ownership has not been easy. I have had so many problems with the car - it's currently sitting in my garage with a driver's side door that won't close or lock, waiting for the AA to take it back to the dealer on Monday, yet again. That's the latest of the shocking build quality problems I've had...

I really hope that it's just me that has been unlucky. Lotus Silverstone have certainly been amazing, attending to all the problems brilliantly, but the quality of my car has been frankly dreadful. I was really looking forward to a Lotus renaissance and upgrading the car as new models came out, but I'm really nervous now.

Please tell me that I've been unlucky and that the cars are well made now. Mine sure as hell ain't!!

Sorry to be negative but it really has not been a good ownership experience. I spend most of my time just waiting for something else to go wrong... :((

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Sorry to hear that :(

 

Too early to tell just yet, but this will be my third Lotus. The first one (an S2 Exige S) was probably the most reliable car I owned, it was my daily driver, and I had it from new.  

 

The second was a "weekend" car, an early Elise S2 with the Rover engine, was faultless other than a failed alternator. However it was 10 years old, and otherwise it did me proud over 8K miles including track days and a trip to Monaco.

 

My S3 Exige is a bit too new to be 100% certain, but it seems much better screwed together than the previous ones. 

 

Overall I'd expect the reliability to be pretty high, the basic car has been around so long, it will be teething troubles to put right, rather than inherent design issues. Small comfort I know..The big question is where/how QC has failed, because I don't think you should be seeing these on a 60k car.

 

My daily driver is a Tesla Model S, and that's been to the dealers 4 times in 8 months. In that case, it's design problems that keep getting resolved and upgraded parts being fitted. 

 

Anyway, keep faith, and I hope you get it all sorted. 

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Hi Simon

Thanks - you're quite right you shouldn't see these issues on a £60k car! I adore the whole Lotus thing but surely it's vital for the future of the company that they don't allow lemons like mine to reach the customer. To give you some idea if just what a turkey this Exige is: (it's under one year old with 4400 on the clock)

Panel gaps (very) eneven

The front access cover full of water when delivered(!!)

Water leaking into passenger footwell

Creaking doors

Broke down when engine timing sensor fell off

Underbody had to be repaired when knocking noise became unbearable

Battery compartment cover broken

And now the door won't close

You know, I spent £60k on this thing. It's wonderful, butit's also making my life a misery and that's just not good enough. Lotus Silverstone really are good though. They've given me three years free servicing for all the grief, but even so I think life is too short to put up with this nonsense. I was seriously thinking of the new Evora 400 but not any more. I'm really pissed off.

Think I'm gonna have to take the hit and buy...what? Don't want to fork out £250k for a Mclaren, don't like Porsches... anybody got any suggestions??

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I drove a 'new' (1000 miles) 15 plate Elise S not long ago and the build was pretty poor. The engine cover / boot lid wouldn't open and the rattles were pretty poor. Some things just reflect what is a very old design - others just poor QC.

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Really sorry to hear of your problems. I'm sure all those issues can be easily fixed, but you're right, they have no place on a £60k car. I really think it's worth persevering with as I can't think of anything for similar money that rewards like an Exige. When I bought a brand new Elise in 2002, it had a list of faults that could fill two sheets of A4! After a few months I was ready to bail out of it, but once it was all sorted my love affair with Elise based cars began.

 

My Exige is five months old and it's done 1300 miles. So far, no major faults. It's also definitely the best quality Lotus I've owned, even if its no Porsche, but I forgive it every time I drive it :wub:

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Colin I really hope you do get to the bottom of it one way or another.  As Neal H says, it will all get sorted eventually, and I think you'll end up with a reliable car.

 

It's a shame the dealer is forced to finish the job properly, and exactly what Lotus don't need right now, as their cars get ever more upmarket :(

 

As for other suggestions, if you are set on leaving Lotus...

 

The obvious one is the Jag F type, if you've ruled out Porsche. 

 

I've had a go in a BMW i8, and it's not a bad bit of kit.  Bit artificial and the styling is like marmite, but BMW will have made sure it's spot on as it rolls out the door given it's halo car status.

 

You've missed it timing wise on the Honda NSX, which very well might be what replaces my Exige in a few years time.

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Thanks all!

But you know the thing that's really sad? The dynamic performance of this Lotus is so good, yet the build is so bad that I don't really trust it. If they built the thing so badly - and they did, and they should be ashamed - will it really be safe when it's going round a corner?

I can't believe I'm having to write this about a car and a marque I love. But they took £60k of my money and couldn't be bothered to build the car properly. I take my wife out in this thing. How dare they. I've now decided to ask Lotus to give me my money back or a new car. Wish me luck !

Again, I'm really sorry to attack Lotus on a forum that is dedicated to the company. I really regret having to do it. But the car they sold me is rubbish...

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Hmmm, just reading my last post...maybe I was a little over the top.... But you know how it is when the sun's shining and your car is stuck in the garage, broken again..!

Thanks everyone for your good wishes...

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Your comments and feelings are understandable - You've spent a lot of money on a car you want to love, and it's giving you loads of trouble.

 

I really hope that Lotus and Silverstone can get it all sorted to your satisfaction.

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Thanks Neal. You know something, I really feel sorry for the guys at Silverstone. I have never come across such a fantastic dealership. Matt, Aimee, Pam and all the guys are a pleasure to deal with - totally professional and really care about the customer experience.

I feel sorry for the engineers at Lotus who's skill creates some of the finest handling cars in the World. Yet mine is stuck in the garage on a sunny day 'cos the idiots who build it haven't got a clue what quality is.

Lotus need to take a long hard look at the cars they're selling, the price they're charging and face up to the fact that it just isn't good enough. If someone like me who loves everything Lotus us fed up they're in big trouble.

I gave tried for too long to deny this fact but I can't any longer - Lotus cars are expensive and badly built. That's pretty hard to disagree with isn't it..?

I've had a think about it and the truth is there is no performance car under £100k that interests me at all apart from the Exige so I don't know what to do... Jesus I'm feeling really depressed :(

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Hi Colin, really sad to read your words especially now that I'm spending my nights surfing on the web to find a good V6 for me.

Especially because I have no dealer nearer than 150 km from home : (

The "good" fact is that those I read seem to be "minor" issues that coming from an S1 almost seem natural!

Did anyone hear about worse mechanical issues with suspensions, engine or gearbox?

I already read about some little electrical problem, all sorted out by the dealers.

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Well, my engine packed up when the cam sensor fell off! But seriously, in 2015 Lotus cannot get away with allowing such shoddy build quality to reach the customer - and certainly not for £60k. It lets down the brand, it lets down the dealers and it lets down the engineers. As to the customers? Well they might just not buy another one...

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My neighbour managed 5 miles in his £65k F-Type before the check engine light came on a trip from Glasgow to Kent to bring it home from the franchised dealer after the 500-odd point approved checks.

 

This isn't a pencil, it's hundreds, if not thousands of parts stuck together in a pretty harsh environment. If cars were perfect, garages and warranties wouldn't exist and companies as perfect as Porsche wouldn't need them or use them.

 

IMO, ce la vie and get it fixed, enjoy the car with a few foibles in the past or get it fixed, sell up and move on. 

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Sorry to hear about your problems, Colin. Bleedin' frustrating for you, and I totally know what it feels like. Hope you find a resolution soon.

 


Did anyone hear about worse mechanical issues with suspensions, engine or gearbox?
I already read about some little electrical problem, all sorted out by the dealers.

 

 

Yes! The clutch on my first V6 packed up after 2 weeks of ownership, 2nd owner with 1800miles on the clock! I ended up rejecting the car as I wasn't satisfied with the repair. One issue was the initial problem itself, the other was the poor standard of aftersales service. Now on my 2nd V6.

 

As it happened my first one turned up to the TLF meet at Brooklands today but I didn't manage to catch the owner. On a private plate now, but I recognised it as my old one :)

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My neighbour managed 5 miles in his £65k F-Type before the check engine light came on a trip from Glasgow to Kent to bring it home from the franchised dealer after the 500-odd point approved checks.

 

This isn't a pencil, it's hundreds, if not thousands of parts stuck together in a pretty harsh environment. If cars were perfect, garages and warranties wouldn't exist and companies as perfect as Porsche wouldn't need them or use them.

 

IMO, ce la vie and get it fixed, enjoy the car with a few foibles in the past or get it fixed, sell up and move on.

Sorry Bibs, can't agree with this. Things go wrong of course. That's true of everything in this World. But my car was not made well enough. The quality control was not good enough. They really didn't try very hard to make it well - that's what I won't accept. It's the only thing that's holding Lotus back, and if people like me don't point it out I don't think that's helpful.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing as fantastic as a Lotus but that doesn't mean they couldn't or shouldn't be better. Why shouldn't Lotus strive for excellence in build quality?

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My neighbour managed 5 miles in his £65k F-Type before the check engine light came on a trip from Glasgow to Kent to bring it home from the franchised dealer after the 500-odd point approved checks.

 

This isn't a pencil, it's hundreds, if not thousands of parts stuck together in a pretty harsh environment. If cars were perfect, garages and warranties wouldn't exist and companies as perfect as Porsche wouldn't need them or use them.

 

IMO, ce la vie and get it fixed, enjoy the car with a few foibles in the past or get it fixed, sell up and move on. 

 

I can beat that, my brand new, V6 Roadsters check engine light came on during my journey from collecting it from the dealer :(

 

The advice was to switch the car off, leave it for a bit, then see if it came back on.  Fortunately it didn't. It's something for the dealer to inspect at 1k miles when they download the logs on the first service.

 

TBH I was a bit nervous about it, and not a great first impression, however I'm almost up to 1000 miles and the car has been faultless since.

 

I don't want to go into Lotus bashing, but I did sort of expect this sort of stuff, and was willing to risk it on balance for the other attributes the Lotus has over something more mainstream.

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Sorry to read this Colin, for you and also for Lotus. Build quality needs to be prioritised at Hethel and continuously improved if they are ever going to shift a negative reputation outside their core fanbase.

 

I have found that most modern Lotuses are generally very reliable once you've worked through some niggles early on and this is usually the case with most cars. My 2006 Elise was absolutely faultless during the time I owned it but there were a few things to correct at the first service. To be fair most of your list could be catagorized as minor irritations (before they become major irritations) that need to be fixed permanently by the dealer. Water in the access panel must be related to the water in the footwell and both could well be a dealer issue. I can't comment on the panel gaps without seeing the car but creaking doors are usually fixed with a squirt of WD40 (mine were!). The issue that really stands out for me was the engine failure. That really shouldn't have happened and would do a lot to undermine anyone's confidence. But 3 years free servicing sounds like fair compensation in return, demanding a new car after 4000 miles, less so.

 

My own V6 has performed far beyond my expectations so I feel very uncharitable listing the faults but if it helps I have had issues with the dash pod and rear engine cover catch, both replaced under warranty, both permanently fixed. The wiper stopped working once but that was fixed in less than a minute with a 10mm spanner. I suppose those with a zero tolerance for issues of any kind could feel aggrieved but on balance it remains quite possibly the most enjoyable car I have ever owned.

 

I really hope you give the car another chance, as you say there's nothing else out there for the money that delivers such a pure, thrilling and exotic experience. Hopefully once the door is fixed all will be well.

 

Let us know how you get on.

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I can beat that, my brand new, V6 Roadsters check engine light came on during my journey from collecting it from the dealer :(

 

The advice was to switch the car off, leave it for a bit, then see if it came back on.  Fortunately it didn't. It's something for the dealer to inspect at 1k miles when they download the logs on the first service.

 

TBH I was a bit nervous about it, and not a great first impression, however I'm almost up to 1000 miles and the car has been faultless since.

 

I don't want to go into Lotus bashing, but I did sort of expect this sort of stuff, and was willing to risk it on balance for the other attributes the Lotus has over something more mainstream.

I completely agree about not Lotus bashing. That was never my intention, and despite some things I've written I have no intention of getting rid of the car. And of course I expected some issues with a Lotus - they don't have the resources of other manufacturers, but many of the problems I've had are nothing to do with money. They just did a bad job.

And it's a really bad advert for Lotus when my mates ask if I'm coming over in the Lotus and I say 'no it's broken again.' They of course find it very amusing..!

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I bought a new Mini when they came out in 2001. Brand new from their flagship Park Lane dealership. It wasn't so bad apart from the 14 recalls in the first 12 months.

 

Cars aren't perfect, none are as they are complicated machines. That's my point but most people accept that and appreciate it. Look at the very public £130,000 911 991 GT3 fire issue and then the pedestal everyone puts Porsche quality on, the 996 IMS and bore scoring issues. The most expensive and well engineered cars in the world break down, catch fire, things fall off, it's just how it is. 

 

As with most things in life, it's not the issues but how they are dealt with which are important.

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Sorry to read this Colin, for you and also for Lotus. Build quality needs to be prioritised at Hethel and continuously improved if they are ever going to shift a negative reputation outside their core fanbase.

 

I have found that most modern Lotuses are generally very reliable once you've worked through some niggles early on and this is usually the case with most cars. My 2006 Elise was absolutely faultless during the time I owned it but there were a few things to correct at the first service. To be fair most of your list could be catagorized as minor irritations (before they become major irritations) that need to be fixed permanently by the dealer. Water in the access panel must be related to the water in the footwell and both could well be a dealer issue. I can't comment on the panel gaps without seeing the car but creaking doors are usually fixed with a squirt of WD40 (mine were!). The issue that really stands out for me was the engine failure. That really shouldn't have happened and would do a lot to undermine anyone's confidence. But 3 years free servicing sounds like fair compensation in return, demanding a new car after 4000 miles, less so.

 

My own V6 has performed far beyond my expectations so I feel very uncharitable listing the faults but if it helps I have had issues with the dash pod and rear engine cover catch, both replaced under warranty, both permanently fixed. The wiper stopped working once but that was fixed in less than a minute with a 10mm spanner. I suppose those with a zero tolerance for issues of any kind could feel aggrieved but on balance it remains quite possibly the most enjoyable car I have ever owned.

 

I really hope you give the car another chance, as you say there's nothing else out there for the money that delivers such a pure, thrilling and exotic experience. Hopefully once the door is fixed all will be well.

 

Let us know how you get on.

Thanks - you're quite right that asking for a new car would be unreasonable - bit embarrassed about that - just venting! The truth is that all of the problems - apart from the door have been fixed by the excellent dealership that is Silverstone.

The water problems were in fact unrelated to each other. The water in the footwell was due to seals not put in properly (build quality). The actual access cover was full of water so that when you removed it and held it up water dripped out. When I first took it off it weighed a ton. That had to be drained and re-sealed with an ugly black sealant (build quality).

My engine failed, dangerously as I was accelerating onto a roundabout when a cam sensor fell off. The power was immediately cut to limp mode, which was err, alarming (build quality)

The really bad thing though was the dreadful noise from a problem with the underfloor. Pretty much ruined my first summer with the car. Took ages to isolate and fix (build quality)

The other things are of course much more minor - apart from the door. When I've finished writing this I'll call Lotus Assistance.

And will I give the car another chance? Absolutely. As I said Silverstone have been amazing, and, when it works, nothing (that I can afford) comes close. I am prepared to accept that I have a bit of a lemon - I can deal with that, but I care about Lotus, and hate the fact that I really can't excuse these kind of problems in 2015. A friend has a Jag XKR, and I have to deal with his smug grin every time my Blue Toyota has another problem...

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I bought a new Mini when they came out in 2001. Brand new from their flagship Park Lane dealership. It wasn't so bad apart from the 14 recalls in the first 12 months.

 

Cars aren't perfect, none are as they are complicated machines. That's my point but most people accept that and appreciate it. Look at the very public £130,000 911 991 GT3 fire issue and then the pedestal everyone puts Porsche quality on, the 996 IMS and bore scoring issues. The most expensive and well engineered cars in the world break down, catch fire, things fall off, it's just how it is. 

 

As with most things in life, it's not the issues but how they are dealt with which are important.

Yeah Bibs I agree with all that (though I disagree that people accept poor quality!) but it misses the point. With all the cars you mention, the perception is that quality has been prioritised, which is not the case with Lotus. Of all the cars I've ever owned, the Lotus has been the worst built - by far. I think I have been unlucky - I know the problems I've had are rare, but as Pits said, Lotus has to do more to change the perception.

And you're right about Porsche quality - check out Nick Murray on YouTube for a real tale of woe!

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A friend has a Jag XKR, and I have to deal with his smug grin every time my Blue Toyota has another problem...

 

Sounds like an ace pal, have you thought about giving him a good shoeing? :huh:

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Well, I call his car a middle aged golf caddy, and of course I just tell him where we're going and wait for him there..! Seriously though Bibs, please don't think I'm down on Lotus. Yeah I get fed up when things go wrong that I don't think should, but I still love the company and the car.. :)

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and of course I just tell him where we're going and wait for him there..!

 

:lol:

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I would think we are all onside with the perception issues.

 

It get's very tiring to hear the "Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious" nonsense repeated over and over again. I would argue since the Elise this is simply not true any more. 

 

Lot's of niggles especially new, maybe, serious as in you can't continue the journey, not really.

 

My business partners continually think it's funny to come out with the saying.  Admittedly their cars came niggle free new, but have all required towing back to the dealers at some point in their life.

 

Merc SL (Failed power steering), Jag XF (Some weird DPF problem) , Audi RS5 (sensor issue), 911 C4 (transmission related)

 

It feels even as their cars are actually on the flat-bed they still feel qualified to come out with the anti-lotus phrase.   :huh:

 

How can Lotus ever shake the image?   It's so hard for a brand to turn perception around. They'd need to build perfect cars 102% of the time for years. I guess Skoda did it, but it took the VW "quality halo" to be transferred.

 

One thing I guess I'm not completely comfortable with is the changes introduced under Bahar, removing dedicated QC steps, and instead devolving responsibility to the builder.  Given the production methods (i.e. large complex multi-staged, and largely manual builds, on multiple vehicle lines) I can see it being very easy to miss something, and a second pair of eyes to check. Will the S3 be as reliable as my old S2 built under the old regime, only time will tell. 

 

There's a good video of how the cars are put together and mention of the QC changes here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5BLYcuGLig

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