Dealers - How crap?

Got to finally get this off my chest.Anyone looking to buy a Lotus I suggest they choose the dealer they use with extreme care.Whilst I understand many dealers maybe finding trade difficult with low volumes of Elise and a few Exiges to sell, this should never be an excuse for the appaulling quality of service experienced.I purchased my Exige from Kings of Warwick in May this year.Sales persons were the normal ‘helpful’ bunch and when the car was delivered some 10 weeks later I was only mildly annoyed that the car had air con, as I had searched for a non-air con version to allow for more engine modifications.The service side of King’s totally useless. They have not resolved a knocking from the front end following three return visits of the car. I have had adhesive smeared over one door. 23 miles managed to be added to the tacho at one visit without explanation.Resolving a loose item in the chassis took three visits and a highly technical solution of expanding foam.The sales manager (Fred Kay) never returns your calls, it took them 15 weeks to resolve a tear in the ceiling lining, finally agreeing on braided brake hoses as a compromise.Some may say that this is just my point of view, but 2 colleagues at work (one a fellow Lotus owner and another a TVR owner) both state similar levels of service. The classic example of the Elise owner having his car booked in for new brake pads only for the service attendant to admit I’m sorry we sold the pads we ordered for your car yesterday, as the car was on the ramp.Enough was enough, I rang Lotus last week to recite my experiences and I have the car booked in at the London Lotus Centre for a meeting with them and a technician from Lotus(current problems: Knocking from front end -anti roll bar, suspension bushes/ball joints, steering rack?, loose baffle in exhaust and severed air con hose).So now I feel better that my trips to Warwick are no more, just one piece of advice to anyone thinking of buying, avoid King’s or be extremely patient.

Yeah, Kings Lotus aren’t bad on the sales side, but as their servicing people also do Chrysler/TVR car I don’t think there’s much Lotus specialism in their workforce… Shame for a dealer having Lotus Motorsport status.

Sadly I have to agree - service/parts at Kings requires CONSTANT chasing otherwise NOTHING will get done.

Just got mine back for having the alarm fixed again(didn’t manage it first time).My left speaker doesn’t work and where they took the seat out they have gouged all the aluminium floor, handbreak shroud and paint on the way out!Always got ****ty marks on the Alcantara every time as well.Tim

Maybe Kings are bad, but from what i have heard and read on BBS’s i certainly would’nt go near the London Lotus Centre !!!

Dealers, don’t talk to me about b***d dealers!!! This is going to be a long post…! Oh, still not heard anything from JCT600 about my car either…Paul, I had the same knocking from the front - turned out to be the steering rack that was goosed…Tim, under the Supply of Goods and Services Act of 1982, the dealer must repair/replace anything they damage whilst performing repairs/servicing. Therefore, if they’ve gouged the aluminium floor of your car, they should put it right. This does NOT mean spraying the chassis with some dodgy silver paint as was the case with my car. Tell the dealer that they should repair the chassis - obviously, they’ll probably not be able to this and if that’s the case, will have to replace the chassis - Circa �10,000 I believe and a complete ball ache to do!!! This should make them book their ideas up a bit! It may at least get you some compo!!!I am totally p****d off with dealers screwing up our cars. We pay �30K+ for our Exiges and don’t expect Lotus authorised dealers to fk them up. It’s about time Lotus did something about all these shoddy dealerships and kicked their arses big time… I’d suggest anyone who has a problem with a dealer gets in touch with Lotus immediately, either on the Lotus Life website (under Feedback to Sales and Marketing), or by telephone/email - the more people that complain the better… It’ll make the world a safer place for our cars!!!Oh, and another thing - why is it that Pit Lane Garage uses chassis protection stuff to prevent the inside of the car from getting scratched and my dealer doesn’t - Pit Lane are way cheaper than my local dealer and actually look after and care for the car - Go figure??? I reckon our good friend Mr Whitter is on to a winner here and that’s where my car will be going from now on - Sod the Lotus stamp… Rant over now - I’m off for a beer now to calm down a bit!Tony.[This message has been edited by TT (edited 10 September 2001).]

…interesting!Tony, are you talking about ‘Pit Lane’ on stanley green ind.est. cheshire? (formaly Kinseys) as roco and his team seem good lads. I live locally an have just purchased my first lotus, an elise in silver, and after a couple of visits I beleive I’ll be taking my mota there for its service’s, I’ve always shown my previouse vehicles with various clubs and so intend keeping the elise as ‘clean’ as possible and if this means loosing the lotus stamp for a ‘perfect’ service I know where I’ll be heading!.. ben.

Hi Guys - interloping from the Esprit list… can’t help but notice this interesting thread on my local lotus dealer (kings are 1 mile from my house).I’ve dealt with them several times, both sales department and aftersales. Without exception, they’ve proved themselves in every instance to be complete and utter t*ssers.I now take my car up to Nick Whale in Birmingham.Interestingly, we have just set up a “poll” on our list for members to rate the dealers, good and bad. Kings have received several negatives, as have SGT…CheersRob98 V8-GT Esprit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uklotusesprit

Ben,That’s the one - You can read all the good reports on this site about Pit Lane… If/When I get my/an Exige back, I’ll be taking it there - sod JCT600!!!T

I have used many official and unofficial Lotus garages over the past four years. I wont post publically about them - but if you ever want my comments on a dealer feel free to mail me - [email protected]

quote:Originally posted by rob.ellis:I now take my car up to Nick Whale in Birmingham. I do the 200+ mile round trip up to Pit Lane garage nr Manchester, as they’re the only people who seem to know what they’re doing.

Suppose it’s god to know I’m not the only one to have suffered Kings in Warwick. Fred Key does indeed never return calls - if you’re reading, what progress have you made ‘looking into’ the service manual for me?I’ve got a letter from Fred for a free A service (goodwill gesture on their part to try to balance earlier ineptitude), but whether I’ll use it is another matter. Probably better for me if I don’t!Chris

I’m considering using another local dealer for servicing. Does anybody have any views on Storm in Leicester, and Peter Smith’s?

IMHO Peter Smith’s are infinitely worse than Kings Of Warwick. Steer clear.Storm misdiagnosed a faulty thermostat as a possible crack in the cylinder lining but to be fair they didn’t charge me anything and this was after PSSC had already completely FOOBAR-ed my cooling system.

Thanks for the repy, Jimbo.I’m getting a bit peed off with Nick Whale’s after they’ve replaced my throttle bodies twice. The original one was sticking very slightly, but each time they replace them, it gets 10 times worse. I wouldn’t mind so much if they said “Sorry, the new one’s crap, we’ll have to get you another” But instead they send it back and tell me it’s perfect now. I had to get the AA out today to get me home after the throttle stuck wide open at 100mph. I’m not too thrilled by the fact that Lotus won’t replace the TBs with new ones. They keep giving me reconditioned parts which are utter ****e. Grrrr…I’d better go and take my happy pills now.

Couldn’t you just turn off, yank the cable back then carry on using part throttle? I’ve done 50 miles with a jammed clutch before :-)I find the double pronged approach works best when I’m having problems. Moan to the dealer and moan to Heathcliffe Robertshaw ([email protected]) at the same time. Also say what you want them to do e.g. these throttle bodies keep failing - I want new ones now! Get stuff in writing (or email) then you’ve got a record to go back to.Nick Whale’s aren’t brilliant but they are cheap (for a Lotus dealer) and have been pretty reasonable with me when it comes to owning up and giving some recompense for screw-ups. Also they have courtesy cars, the courtesy cars are not sh1t, and they are free too.[This message has been edited by Jimbo (edited 26 November 2001).]

Cheers for the reply again, Jimbo.No, I tried shutting off the throttle, but it was totally siezed.I used a bit of strong language with poor Ian at Nick Whale’s today. He seems to be really trying to sort my problems out. He’s ordered a brand new throttle body for me instead of the crappy recon units I had before. Lotus are obviously a bit reluctant as they cost something like �1,200.I get a bit fed up with them sometimes because the car is always going back to them several times for the same problem before they get it right. I’m just going to have to complain more. It seems to be the only way to get things done.

I use Stratton Motor Co- superb in every respect

quote:Originally posted by neil glover:I use Stratton Motor Co- superb in every respect I had intended to buy my Exige from Stratton, even though they are a long way away from me. I had been impressed with Guy (Munday)'s service when he was at SGT, and I hoped this would continue once he moved to Stratton.However, he didn’t seem at all interested in selling me a car, and I gave up chasing him in the end - settling instead for using SGT, as they found me a car and were a lot nearer!Pity their after-sales service is a joke.Ian.