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Car shows "limp mode" or "reduced acceleration" warnings (possible ECU issue)

Lol none of you guys would have made it back in the 60's. Owning a British sports car back then guaranteed two things: Lucas electrics were voodoo, and even if nothing was wrong with the car on Tuesday, you always planned on working on it on Sundays because by Sunday, something would need looking at. You carried a tool kit in the trunk, which, if you had Stromberg carburetors, your kit included a balancing tool to resynchronize the carburetors which liked to get out of sync at the most fun times.

This was any British sports car, not just a Lotus.

EVERY manufacturer has those few cars that come off the assembly line, that for whatever reason, have problems that just don't want to be sorted out. Cars are so complex today, that we're really not driving cars as they used to be. We drive computers now with wheels attached to them. It's frustrating that some of the new Emiras are having these teething problems, but they'll get it sorted out.

We're not likely to get the first cars here in the U.S. for at least another 4-6 months, so if you've waited this long, hang in there a few more to see how it goes unless you've just lost interest and want out. Geely was able to get Volvo sorted out, they'll get this sorted out too.
No, but we are not in the 60’s now and this forum plus those I know who have their cars plus the demos and would love to hear from someone with zero issues!!
 
No, but we are not in the 60’s now and this forum plus those I know who have their cars plus the demos and would love to hear from someone with zero issues!!
Well I can see you got your forum name for a reason lol. I don't know what the other 6 dwarves drive, but typically people who have zero problems usually don't say anything. It's the people who are having problems that tend to be the ones making noise.
 
We name ourselves lol. I’m not grumpy in the slightest just a long term Lotus owner of multiple cars plus other makes who was a pre reveal depositor, who waited for nearly two years for his car with more than many delays and poor comms. I have driven Emira 4 times and know three non Forum Members who now have their cars and all of them have return to dealer problems. Add that to problems reported on this forum and the facebook groups against the still very low level of car deliveries and it is disappointing. I very much wanted this car but have now cancelled and feel very sorry for those having problems. Lotus are aiming to play at a level where the sort of issues they have are no longer acceptable.
 
UPDATE :)

Wow, lots of chat while i've been away haha. I really hope no one has cancelled their orders based on me having my ECU replaced however. So following Friday night's update, where ECU replaced, got car back, randomly throwing up an ECS error that cleared after a battery disconnect.
 
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UPDATE :)

Wow, lots of chat while i've been away haha. I really hope no one has cancelled their orders based on me having my ECU replaced however. So following Friday night's update, where ECU replaced, got car back, randomly throwing up an ECS error that cleared after a battery disconnect.
Regarding your fault, I connected my Crafter to my diagnostics tool today to initialize the new battery I just fitted, because the old one died. There were 33 fault codes because of the malfunctioning battery, nearly every control unit the car has got upset. I just cleared them all and none came back. Long story short: Modern cars don't like being disconnected from power or getting under voltage. Obviously your car had no power when they switched out the ECU. Maybe that just threw a whole bunch of other fault codes which the car then cleared after a few miles because it recognized that there are no faults anymore. When I first started the Crafter with the new battery, nearly every system reported failure. ESC, ABS, lane assist, etc. After a few meters they all cleared.
 
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My Emira had the same issue after only 1500km of driving. Lotus Shanghai sent us a service vehicle to diagnose the problem and possibly found the faulty ECU. The vehicle was towed back to the Lotus flagship dealer to be further diagnosed. I would update this post once I hear more information from the service team. The vehicle could not start nor detected the keys a few days before the reduced engine power output warning message.
Faulty ECU confirmed. The dealer will update the software of my new ECU and install it. I'll keep you updated.
 

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I don't know.. I have a feeling Lotus are grasping at straws with these ECU replacements. I don't think they REALLY know what the root cause is. Feels like a "let's throw a new one in and see if it happens again" sort of approach.

The fact your car is throwing new codes after ECU replacement is a good indication of that. I am sorry you have to go through this. It sucks.
The faulty batteries have to be a contributor, maybe....?
 
The sensitivity of modern cars to voltage drop or full discharge is something that I think is under reported and poorly understood even among car enthusiasts.

Cars today are a networked environment, in some cases literally, and the communications between different modules have a dizzying array of ways that they can fail or go awry, particularly when some modules boot slightly more slowly than their design spec after months or years of churning operational logs in flash memory. There are some rather funny anecdotes about this particular problem related to Tesla which I won't go into here, but all modern cars suffer from different forms of the same network complexity problem.

Big manufacturers have entire teams dedicated to troubleshooting weird uncommon failure modes and figuring out nuanced timing adjustments and automated health check solutions to work around them. A manufacturer at Lotus' scale doesn't have that luxury, so they are stuck trying to diagnose odd conditions that never occurred in their testing in a post-sale environment, which is hard for everyone. I'd expect nothing different from any other low volume producer, be it McLaren, Alpine, Polestar, etc. These companies don't have VW or Fiat behind them with a dedicated "module comms wizard team" that can step into any product's dev/test process to do complex long-term networked systems troubleshooting at scale.

I really think the best we can do as informed owners is to collectively try to figure out a reliable set of reset measures that can put these cars back into operable state if they get into a weird electronic "warn" or "fail" condition.

Expecting anything different from a modern, computationally complex vehicle produced in low volume is probably a recipe for unhappiness. Best to accept that there will be the automotive equivalent of a "Konami code" if/when your particular car decides to go crazy after a battery disconnect, long storage, or other low/no voltage scenario.

Just my 2 cents/pence.
 
The faulty batteries have to be a contributor,
@Mr D seems to have the intel
Is everything under control at the factory just a few initial teething issues that are actively getting quickly diagnosed and resolved to ensure upcoming customers cars will be fault free from the issues that have been experienced: limp mode, ECU issues, seatbelts, windwipers, heaters, batteries, main screen glitches etc etc
or do upcoming customers have valid concerns of cars being recovered / trips to dealers - what % is the factory operating at ….
 
@Mr D seems to have the intel
Is everything under control at the factory just a few initial teething issues that are actively getting quickly diagnosed and resolved to ensure upcoming customers cars will be fault free from the issues that have been experienced: limp mode, ECU issues, seatbelts, windwipers, heaters, batteries, main screen glitches etc etc
or do upcoming customers have valid concerns of cars being recovered / trips to dealers - what % is the factory operating at ….
I’m supposed to get my car in April (March build) and I’m very worried at this point. Hopeful but worried.. I don’t want to have a brand new car with issues that’s why I got rid of my older car
 
The pause to deliveries during Jan was while Lotus sorted issues out for future builds. Existing cars, as we've seen on here, are being picked up and dealt with. Sometimes not as fast or effectively as owners would like , but they are being dealt with. For example, the car with the transmission hose leak (a cause of much discussion last week) is now fixed and back with the owner.

It's still a cause for concern and no doubt everyone will be watching Feb deliveries to see if further issues arise.
 
On the Alfa when we were first having battery issues, if you disconnected the battery completely, then reconnected it, upon starting the car you'd get a Christmas tree display of warning lights all over the place. The fix was to drive it for a few minutes, pull over, turn it off, wait a few seconds, then start it again. The warning lights would all disappear. You'd have to then do the reset procedure for the steering and windows, and all was good.

Even after a battery disconnect, apparently some portion of the memory systems in the car retain the last condition encountered, and it takes a bit for it to read that the conditions recorded are no longer valid, and then those fault codes clear.

The odd thing was, not every battery had these issues. Believe it or not, I'm still on the original battery my Alfa came with 5 1/2 years ago and I've never had issues with it. Others had nothing but issues not only with their original battery, but sometimes the replacement or even another replacement after that. It didn't take long before people were replacing their batteries with 3rd party batteries instead of the factory ones from the dealer because so many of them were problematic.

Some of these issues on the Emira look awfully familiar in that regard, which is why I would look at the batteries first before starting to replace expensive components. Alfa dealers made that same expensive mistake before they began to realize the batteries were most likely the problem. Those were expensive, unnecessary warranty repairs that cost FCA a bundle.
 
Just as a precaution, for these sudden limp modes, error lights, etc., BEFORE tearing into the car and starting to replace expensive components, have the dealer try replacing the battery with a new one. See what that does. It's a quick and easy test. If that 'fixes' things, then that's going to save the owner and Lotus a lot of headaches. These issues I'm reading about seem awfully familiar with what Alfa Romeo owners experienced in the first year that the new Giulias were debuted. In the vast majority of cases, it was the battery that needed replacing. Dealers replaced a lot of expensive components under warranty, which the factory paid for, before they figured out that the batteries were causing the problems.

After the battery is replaced, start and run the car for a few minutes. The warning lights and prior condition may still remain. Turn the car off, let it sit a few seconds, then start it again. If it was the battery, the warning lights should now go off and the car should perform normally again. On the Alfas it took one start-stop-restart cycle for the computers in the car to recognize that the condition that caused the errors was no longer valid, and they cleared the codes and the car was good again.
 
The sensitivity of modern cars to voltage drop or full discharge is something that I think is under reported and poorly understood even among car enthusiasts.

Cars today are a networked environment, in some cases literally, and the communications between different modules have a dizzying array of ways that they can fail or go awry, particularly when some modules boot slightly more slowly than their design spec after months or years of churning operational logs in flash memory. There are some rather funny anecdotes about this particular problem related to Tesla which I won't go into here, but all modern cars suffer from different forms of the same network complexity problem.

Big manufacturers have entire teams dedicated to troubleshooting weird uncommon failure modes and figuring out nuanced timing adjustments and automated health check solutions to work around them. A manufacturer at Lotus' scale doesn't have that luxury, so they are stuck trying to diagnose odd conditions that never occurred in their testing in a post-sale environment, which is hard for everyone. I'd expect nothing different from any other low volume producer, be it McLaren, Alpine, Polestar, etc. These companies don't have VW or Fiat behind them with a dedicated "module comms wizard team" that can step into any product's dev/test process to do complex long-term networked systems troubleshooting at scale.

I really think the best we can do as informed owners is to collectively try to figure out a reliable set of reset measures that can put these cars back into operable state if they get into a weird electronic "warn" or "fail" condition.

Expecting anything different from a modern, computationally complex vehicle produced in low volume is probably a recipe for unhappiness. Best to accept that there will be the automotive equivalent of a "Konami code" if/when your particular car decides to go crazy after a battery disconnect, long storage, or other low/no voltage scenario.

Just my 2 cents/pence.
"The sensitivity of modern cars to voltage drop or full discharge is something that I think is under reported and poorly understood even among car enthusiasts"

Talk to an F-type owner. Part of the ownership experience is battery management, especially since many of them are weekend cars. Seems to be a big deal judging from the vlogs.
 
I wonder if they see these kind of software problems in the factory?
 
I ran a 1500 Midget for years when I was a 'lad'.
I did everything myself, basically rebuilt it over time then started again. thats how it was.
It died in a tiny village 50 miles from home. I carried a multitude of spares and tools but was stumped.
Knocked on a door. Retired chap went to get his mate (older guy) who diagnosed a cracked rotor arm. He had a similar one but not the same. He disappeared with the old one and came back in 15mins with a working hybrid he had created with a soldering iron and a file.
Good old days indeed when the common sense and ingenuity of WWII veterans was still among our communities
Love that. Stories like that make me wish I was older!
In ever other circumstance I wish I was younger!
 
I had a “limp mode “ issue with the Elise after the battery was 7 years old. Talked to “my man”, who just said “new battery “. Disconnect positive from battery and short the lead to the negative while this is still connected. This cleared the ECU. New battery, no lights, no limp mode. Result.

Only problem was when the car was in limp mode it did 25mph and I needed to get home for a wee after a flexible cystoscopy 😳
 
2/6 Updates regarding the faulty ECU: Lotus UK flew one of their tech guys in and helped Lotus Shanghai to diagnose the issue further. Kudos to their customer service. They also reimbursed any transportation cost up to 80 ish dollars per day which is fantastic. I pretty much had a Mercedes chauffeur drove me to anywhere in town free of charge. They found the faulty ECU, determined that there was an internal short circuit on the board, and decided to replace the entire thing. Reprogrammed the car with 1/23 Patch software and rebooted the entire system. (The entire reprogramming process took about 30 minutes to be completed) Seems like the problem has now been resolved. I am currently seeking a solution for 3rd cat delete to improve the overall sound and trying to fit an aftermarket exhaust system on it. Here is a picture of the chassis components. Enjoy!

I would have to start up a new thread if I touched anything on the exhaust system. Stay tuned~
 

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2/6 Updates regarding the faulty ECU: Lotus UK flew one of their tech guys in and helped Lotus Shanghai to diagnose the issue further. Kudos to their customer service. They also reimbursed any transportation cost up to 80 ish dollars per day which is fantastic. I pretty much had a Mercedes chauffeur drove me to anywhere in town free of charge. They found the faulty ECU, determined that there was an internal short circuit on the board, and decided to replace the entire thing. Reprogrammed the car with 1/23 Patch software and rebooted the entire system. (The entire reprogramming process took about 30 minutes to be completed) Seems like the problem has now been resolved. I am currently seeking a solution for 3rd cat delete to improve the overall sound and trying to fit an aftermarket exhaust system on it. Here is a picture of the chassis components. Enjoy!

I would have to start up a new thread if I touched anything on the exhaust system. Stay tuned~
Is that some kind of foil wrapped around the rear anti-roll bar?
 
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