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The majority of the Tesla Roadsters currently delivered have been recalled for a suspension defect. Tesla blames Lotus, which assembles the cars in Britain.

Lotus has recalled 27 of the 2009 Lotus Exige (pictured here) and Elise for the same problem. The problem was first found by a Tesla driver complaining about poor handling.  (Source: AutoBlog)
Tesla is not happy with Lotus for mishandling its manufacturing

Tesla Motors has become, for the time being, the face of U.S. electric vehicles.  After making news with the release of its all-electric high-performance roadster, and more recently for its partnership with German automaker Daimler (owner of Mercedes-Benz), the young startup now has some less pleasant news to report.

The company is recalling 345 of its Roadster sports cars produced before April 22.  It wants to inspect their suspensions as it suspects that a "small percentage" of the Roadsters have improperly installed bolts in their rear chassis, possibly compromising the suspension.  Tesla blames automaker Lotus for the problems.  Lotus assembles the Roadsters in Britain, and then ships them to California for redistribution inside the U.S.

Tesla has said the problem does not affect the $109,000 USD car's powertrains and no accidents have been reported. 

Lotus is also negatively impacted by the problem, as apparently it made the same mistake on some of its sports cars.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has issued a recall on 27 of its 2009 Elise and Exige vehicles.

The 345 returned Roadsters represent over two-thirds of the 500 units currently shipped.  The problem was actually found by one alert owner, who reported that their vehicle was experiencing "uncharacteristic handling."

To minimize inconvenience on customers, the company is looking to send technicians to their homes to make repairs, or to take the cars to a service shop nearby.  Greg Zanghi, Tesla's director of service and parts operations states, "We plan to do everything we can to address this matter swiftly and keep customers satisfied."

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By Smilin on 5/29/2009 10:23:17 AM , Rating: -1
Wait a mean Tesla has actually shipped something?? I thought they were the 3DRealms of car manufacturers.

RE: Wait
By phorensic on 5/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Wait
By omnicronx on 5/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Wait
By MozeeToby on 5/29/2009 11:20:02 AM , Rating: 5
You have zero respect for Tesla because they were almost broke and were forced to lay off people to stay operational? Especially when doing so hurt their business significantly by delaying the release for their far more mainstream car by a year or two?

RE: Wait
By omnicronx on 5/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Wait
By MozeeToby on 5/29/2009 12:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
You are kidding yourself if you think laying off these workers would enable them to release the sedan sooner than stated.
Quite the opposite, I'm saying that being forced into laying off engineers and designers caused or increased the delay because of the expertise lost. I'm saying that Tesla, if they had a choice, would have kept that expertise for the developement of future products. The fact that laying off these people hurt their business plans significantly indicates to me that they didn't have any real choice but to do so.

RE: Wait
By omnicronx on 5/29/09, Rating: -1
RE: Wait
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/29/2009 3:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
That loan was done after the fact....

RE: Wait
By nixoofta on 5/29/2009 9:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
...were these the bolt-tighteners that got laid off?


RE: Wait
By PlasmaBomb on 6/1/2009 9:26:24 AM , Rating: 2
now you come to mention it...

RE: Wait
By Truxy on 5/29/2009 11:29:50 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, they should have just pulled a GM - hound the government for billions (for sustainability) and then lay them off.

Tesla's a relatively small company. With the economy how it is, plenty of companies have had layoffs. The difference is Tesla laid the right people off and still released a (mostly) solid product.

RE: Wait
By mdogs444 on 5/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Wait
By aGreenAgent on 5/29/2009 1:35:08 PM , Rating: 1
No it's not. They didn't request any bailout money.

They laid of some workers, and subsequently requested $350M in grants from an already existing government fund designed to help production of electric vehicles. Their intent was to use this money to build another production plant (so that they could make their second model, that more people COULD afford), not to bail out the company.

RE: Wait
By omnicronx on 5/29/2009 1:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that is true, everyone I've seen it says it is a loan, which they would have to pay it back. A grant would imply they would be given the money.

RE: Wait
By Spuke on 5/29/2009 3:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
It can be a grant or a loan. Depends on their eligibility.

RE: Wait
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/29/2009 3:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
I believe it was Daimler who offered to loan the 350 million, not the government...

RE: Wait
By IcePickFreak on 5/29/2009 11:27:24 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, a company who fires people via the company blog over the weekend, demands gas be taxed to a minimum of $5/gal to help their own cause, and raise prices on a vehicle people already had money down on sure sounds like a refreshing breath of fresh air. But they don't have corporate jets, so whats not to like??

RE: Wait
By Smilin on 5/29/2009 11:58:52 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah whatever... Tesla has been promising mass production for years.

RE: Wait
By Jedi2155 on 5/30/2009 12:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
They've been promising mass production for 2012 before the credit crisis. Since that happened, their plans went out the window.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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