US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

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US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Mon 24.09.2012, 14:43

This is basically an announcement that as of 2 months ago, Lotus US ceased honoring their voluntary recall for the potential cracking of the fuel tank in the M100. The recall started 10 years after the debut of the M100 and they kept it active for 10 years, so they got permission with NHTSA to cancel the program.

This means that if you need a tank in the US, you will have to buy one just like everyone in the rest of the world. The bare tank Part # D100L0087F was replaced by D100L0028H
The current price for the bare tank is GBP330.44

I am looking into the possibility of a bulk buy discount, but it WON'T be a huge adjustment. The BIG issue is the size of the tank and the cost to ship it to the US.

Everyone with a leaky tank should try to group together and see how many tanks it will take to make all of the cars safe again. Maybe there will be enough demand to get a better price from Lotus.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby John Syracuse » Mon 24.09.2012, 17:11

As Cartman so eloquently says, "LAME!"

Sucks that I'm a victim of this having bought my Elan just two months ago. If I were aware that the recall were expiring I'd have done more due diligence on it. Oh well, lesson learned.

I would be someone interested in a fuel tank, I'm first going to see if I can repair it without too much fuss though and will document that if it turns out successful.

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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby lotos » Wed 26.09.2012, 13:46

John, are you certain the recall wasn't previously done on your car?
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Wed 26.09.2012, 13:51

Randy:

John Syracuse is really Chris, I am John.

Chris checked with Lotus and their records show his car was never checked for the recall; My two cars have been checked with one tank replaced and one tank noted as not needed.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby lotos » Wed 26.09.2012, 14:08

Brit-Car-Nut wrote:John Syracuse is really Chris, I am John.

Okay that's not confusing at all :bonk:

Hmm, I'll have to check myself - is this done at the dealer?
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Wed 26.09.2012, 14:14

The dealer can contact Lotus US to check if your VIN is in the record or you can contact Lotus directly at inquire@lotuscars.com They will check the records and let you know the results.

The inside of the Fuel door was supposed to be marked when the recall was performed but that isn't a good check as neither of my fuel doors were marked.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby lotos » Wed 26.09.2012, 14:32

Thanks for the info - fingers crossed here.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby John Syracuse » Wed 26.09.2012, 14:39

More or less as stated above, I had the Lotus dealer in Colorado run the VIN with Lotus USA, dealer came back to me and said hasn't been done and Lotus says it's not getting done for free anymore. Contacted Lotus USA directly and was told the same thing.

I just got the last of my brake kit yesterday and am hoping to install it this weekend though, during that I'll see if I can get up in there and see what would be involved in a fix. I'll keep people posted on what I find.

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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby lotos » Wed 26.09.2012, 18:35

That email bounces back. I guess I'll try the dealer.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 27.09.2012, 00:48

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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby lotos » Thu 27.09.2012, 18:16

That one bounces too.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby John Syracuse » Thu 27.09.2012, 18:20

The e-mail I used was inquiries@lotuscars.com.

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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Quanta » Thu 27.09.2012, 19:33

I bought my Elan July 26th. It had less than a quarter tank of petrol in it. When I filled up for the 1st time the cabin had such strong gas fumes in it that it might have exploded if I had tried to light a cigarette. I called Lotus and was told the same thing, no more free tanks. This is what I did but it might not suit some purists. I cannot justify staying pure when my goal is to fix a problem with out adding unnecessary costs to my total investment in this car.

I opened up the hood storage area by taking out the plastic floor to access the tank access cover. I used a Dremel with cutting disk to cut a rectangle out by the edge of the tank where the filler hose is. I made sure to have access on both sides of the filler spout. The piece I cut out was about 8"x 4". I placed aluminum foil on the inside of the body cavity where the tank if fitted, basically opposite of the wall of the talk itself on the inside wall of the cavity. This is used to assist in any eventual removal of the tank. I bought 1 can of Great Stuff Fireblock foam from Home Depot ($7). I bought 3' of clear tubing ($1) to extend the reach of the foam application and to direct it where I wanted it. Then I started spraying the foam into the cavity making sure to seal the entire area around the filler spout and also the entire area on the top of the tank that was exposed from the piece I took out for access. I placed the cut out back into place squeezing foam out of the edges of the cut and allowed to dry overnight, trimming the excess when tack dry.

When I drove the car the next day I went to fill up with petrol and there was not even a trace of gas fumes entering my cabin. Total cost: $8.00 Time for fix: 45 minutes. This fix worked for me, shows no external signs of butchery, was cost effective and allows the easy removal of the tank in the future if needed.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 27.09.2012, 19:34

Sorry, it was scrawled on the back of the director's business card almost 2 years ago. Rick will answer but their records are limited.

The foam repair described is like a wick on a molotov cocktail. Foam is reactive to petrol and the actual crack hasn't been corrected, just covered until the foam melts. I really think you need to reconsider your "repair". I was badly burned and spent almost 4 months in the hospital and I have to tell you, burns are not a fun thing to have to recover from.

I try to tolerate most improvised repairs, but I have to say that anything regarding fuel and fire potential needs to be resolved at any expense or it might be paid for by your life - which should be priceless!
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby lotos » Thu 27.09.2012, 21:40

John Syracuse wrote:The e-mail I used was inquiries@lotuscars.com.

Chris

Awesome, Rick already replied, my recall was completed.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Quanta » Thu 27.09.2012, 21:42

This is not just any foam, it is FireBlock foam, designed to retard the spread if fire.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 27.09.2012, 22:01

I know what fire block is. I do infrastructure wiring and we have to maintain firewalls all the time. It ISN'T rated for contact with gasoline. Most foam will disolve when in contact with gasoline. Try putting some in a styrafoam cup sometime - be careful as the cup will disolve as fast as you pour.

I don't want to sound harsh, but I really don't think that is a safe solution.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Quanta » Sat 29.09.2012, 16:28

John's critique got me thinking, so I decided to test this FireBlock foam myself. I took some dried cutoff , a piece a few inches long but completely dry. I let it float in a small cup of gasoline. I went back to it every few hours to see how long it would take to dissolve. Even after an overnight soaking where it absorbed some petrol into the foam, it never dissolved one bit. I took some of the dry foam and tried to light it with a lighter. It would burn for a moment and them just fizzled out. Now I'm sure that if it had been soaked in petrol it would not fizzle out. The question all along as posed by John is: Is this a safe application, blocking a small crack in a petrol tank with FireBlock foam.

My tank never leaked any fluid, just gas vapor while the system was under pressure. It presumably would be capable of leaking liquid petrol if the crack was low enough for the fluid level to escape through the crack. But the crack is not that low. Only petrol fumes escaped through the crack. Now the crack is blocked by perhaps 2"-2.5" inches of foam. It is not likely that the petrol fumes alone will be able to penetrate and then be absorbed to a degree of high penetration or density into the foam. It is also unlikely that the foam will ever be exposed to direct contact of the liquid petrol since the crack was too high on the tank actually leak either. If there was an accident impact that compromised the structure of the tank and petrol was then spilling over the foam and caught on fire I do not see that such a fire would be more explosive with the foam than without the foam and since the amount of foam is in actuality so little, a few cubic inches at most (perhaps 20-25 or so), this would not be any significant additional fuel to make a significant difference as well.

It is likely that any impact would compromise the fuel tank at it's weakest point and that is the very crack(s) that the foam is now blocking. It could be that the foam would help continue to seal the cracks even if they became larger, thus preventing the larger spill of petrol into the body cavity. Having now tested the foam's reaction to petrol direcctly I am satisfied that this is a safe application that provides more protection than without it. Others may have different opinions but I for one feel that I have not contributed to a possible greater hazard but have solved the petrol fume leak in a reasonable and cost effective way that may provide a margin of extra safety in the event of an impact.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Sat 29.09.2012, 17:03

If you can't see how crazy your solution is, you will not understand how dangerous it is to advertise ideas like this as a real solution. Gas is highly flamable. Gas vapours are even more flamable and will ignite if you look at it wrong. Gasoline that is on fire will remove skin from bone in a heartbeat. It is damn near impossible to get skin to grow back after a severe burn.

Anyone with a gas leak around their gas tank needs to take the tank to a plastics expert to decide if the crack can be properly repaired. If not PLEASE REPLACE THE TANK.

There are NO OTHER SOLUTIONS, just patches that make your car dangerous to you, your passengers and anyone else that is around when it catches on fire.
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Re: US FEDERAL Fuel Tank Recall

Postby epipete » Sat 29.09.2012, 17:10

Brit-Car-Nut wrote:If you can't see how crazy your solution is, you will not understand how dangerous it is to advertise ideas like this as a real solution. Gas is highly flamable. Gas vapours are even more flamable and will ignite if you look at it wrong. Gasoline that is on fire will remove skin from bone in a heartbeat. It is damn near impossible to get skin to grow back after a severe burn.

Anyone with a gas leak around their gas tank needs to take the tank to a plastics expert to decide if the crack can be properly repaired. If not PLEASE REPLACE THE TANK.

There are NO OTHER SOLUTIONS, just patches that make your car dangerous to you, your passengers and anyone else that is around when it catches on fire.


:agree: hear, hear that's one for common sense! Well said John
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