Duff Gearlevers - Official Recall

At last, the problem is acknowledged - in the USA at least. Is there a similar recall in the UK?

[color:“blue”] NHTSA Campaign ID: 05V571000
Component: Power Train: Manual Transmission
Manufacturer: Lotus Cars Of America Inc.
Year: 2005
Make: Lotus
Model: Elise
Recall Date: 12/21/2005
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,740

Defect Summary:

On certain passenger vehicles equipped with 6-speed manual transmissions, the gear lever may break.

Consequence Summary:

This could result in the inability to change gears, increasing the risk of a crash.

Corrective Summary:

Dealers will replace the gear levers. The recall is expected to begin in January or February 2006. Owners may contact Lotus Cars USA at 1-678-417-9073.

Mr Pesky,
I bet I am not too popular at Lotus at the moment then! At least I know they have the correct design data now. As a designer, immediately I saw a photo of a broken gearstick it was obvious to me that the cross sectional area was too small for the length of lever, and alarm bells were ringing before I even reached for my calculator.
The uprated 10mm diameter gearstick using 700N/mm2 steel has a safe working load of 10.2lb(4.6kg) and the worst case load when engaging reverse gear is the same, so it meets its design criteria.
It does make me wonder though how a design error can be made on such a simple component. Maybe the gearstick evolved during the development stage and it was felt that the gearstick should be slightly higher and a convienient piece of 8mm hexagonal steel in the development workshop was welded on as a temporary measure, but the gearstick never went back to the design department for them to evaluate?
I suppose we will never know, but it will be a costly mistake.
So I think I will pat myself on the back!



Nice one David

Did you change your “name” by deed poll?

PS Look forward to seeing you again at Donington in April

Anyone know whats happening for UK car?

Mr Pesky,
We had new computers installed at work recently and I treated myself to a computer at home but I found that I could not log on with my old name “Goupille” so I changed it to “splitpin”. Goupille was a nickname I was given when I was working in France and is French for splitpin.
Regarding the “duff gearsticks” if you look at this: www_odi.nhta.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallsearch.cfm and enter the Campaign ID Number: 05V571000 and when at the new page if you press the document search button you will be able to see interesting correspondence between Lotus and NHTSA. The gearsticks are apparently made by Teleflex Morse at Basildon, their core business seems to be aircraft controls so they should be making high quality products.
My car is currently with Bell & Colvill having the air conditioning repaired, think that a pipe on the heat exchanger has fractured = major refrig gas leak. Whilst the front clam is off I am getting them to fit braided brake hoses, have fitted the rear ones already.



I would suggest that you go along to your local Lotus garage and ask them to change the gearstick to a 10mm diameter version. Have had mine changed under warranty but had my design calculations which proved that the original 8mm hexagonal gearstick is overstressed. I must admit that I was nervous about driving the car in the true spirit until it was changed.
Now that the problem is in the public domain and there is a recall in the USA you should be OK.



Regarding the “duff gearsticks” if you look at this: www_odi.nhta.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallsearch.cfm

It doesn’t work for me

Got there in the end…interesting to note:

  • Lotus failed to provide the full information required
  • they are upgrading the material spec as well as the size
  • 04 and part only 05 (up to Feb) Exige production was 2,394 LHD alone!
  • despite the recall notice stating the distinguishing characteristics of the remedy item being it is a round cross section, the service bullitin asks technicians to look for a red blob of paint on a grubscrew to see if the modification has already been done!
  • Lotus know of no incidents involving an accident for this defect
  • Lotus have yet to provide the chronology of the events leading to the determination of the defect.

I think these are better links:

Sorry Steve it should have been www- and not www_