Print 48 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Jun 1 at 5:26 PM

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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RE: hopefully
By Durrr on 5/29/2009 3:09:42 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, cause 50+ years of racing pedigree is complete crap.. they still make some of the best handling cars on the planet. The simple fact is torque specs get messed up, and they're doing the right thing by recalling them. If it was that big of a deal, Tesla could simple sue Lotus. This doesn't seem to be happening, so my guess is it's pretty minor.

RE: hopefully
By Samus on 5/29/2009 4:59:30 PM , Rating: 3
I think the days of companies building their own platforms is nearly dead. Ford wouldn't be nearly as successful as they are today if they hadn't joint-ventured with Mazda to build and share many platforms dating back to the mid 80's. The focus platform (jointly built by Mazda and Ford of Europe, loosly based on the previous generation Escort/MX3 platform, adding control blades to the rear subframe) is the most successful platform sold today, carrying 11 different vehicles on top of it across four manufacturers!

RE: hopefully
By mindless1 on 5/29/2009 5:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Could be something simpler than torque specs messed up, what if the equipment torquing it fell out of calibration during their assembly due to inadequate maintenance or wear, or defect or design problems by the company that made the assembly equipment?

If fault finding were easy for us armchair quarterbacks to do, certainly the companies actually building such things would have zero defects.

I agree it's the right thing to do a recall, although it may be a "cover our arses liability wise" move instead of an altruistic one.

RE: hopefully
By Durrr on 5/30/2009 8:56:53 AM , Rating: 1
When is a for-profit company ever altruistic? There's always an alternate motivation

RE: hopefully
By mindless1 on 6/1/2009 5:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
Most exotic car manufacturers started out with an altruistic goal, to build a great sports car. That costs money so yeah, profit is required if it takes up enough time that it's more than a hobby.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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