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Old 08-19-2016, 10:03 AM   #1
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Blaming the right party in warranty work

Of late I have had some issues with my Kwikee steps, starting with a grinding sound and now culminating with a warranty claim for a new motor. Personally I hate to travel back to the dealer to replace a motor which is clearly badly designed. I removed the motor and verified that the gears are stripped after only 18 months. Powergear will replace the motor under warranty but will only do this through a service center. I have been working with my dealer for almost a month to get this done and finally resorted to buying a new motor which I will then swap out before they get around to fixing it for me. The new motor will then be my spare.

I could get on my dealer for their slow response but in looking at the Powergear info I see that all they will allow is .2 hours for "diagnosis" and then .4 hours for repair. That is a total of .6 hours or a mere 36 minutes! Now, perhaps they can fix it in that time, but what about filing the claim, getting the part shipped in, dealing with ME multiple times, scheduling the service call and all that. Of course there will be no markup on the part for any additional profit.

This is especially irritating since I know that removing the plate will shear at least one of the bolts and there is really nothing that can be done to avoid that. (don't ask me how I know that!) Repairing that is not simple.

Personally, I don't blame them for being slow to only book 36 minutes of labor for a service call!
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:26 AM   #2
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While I have zero experience in the Rv service industry, I do have about 25 years in the auto service business working in dealerships of various manufacturers. They all have warranty labor times and generally speaking the aftermarket (read for example, Chilton) times add 40 to 50% to the posted warranty labor rates. The tech knows this when they started working at a dealer. They are frequently allowed an addition .2 or .3 for paperwork time. Paid to the dealer, not the tech. One exception is diagnosis time is quoted at one hour if vehicle is not under warranty.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:47 AM   #3
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While I have zero experience in the Rv service industry, I do have about 25 years in the auto service business working in dealerships of various manufacturers. They all have warranty labor times and generally speaking the aftermarket (read for example, Chilton) times add 40 to 50% to the posted warranty labor rates. The tech knows this when they started working at a dealer. They are frequently allowed an addition .2 or .3 for paperwork time. Paid to the dealer, not the tech. One exception is diagnosis time is quoted at one hour if vehicle is not under warranty.
your post is correct .with that i see no reason anyone would work for a RV dealer as a tech . having done so for a few months 4.5 to be exact i will never do a so again . The manufactures get free work for their warranty repairs all on the back of the tech .the paying customer get's the shaft with the min 1 hr diag and manufactures pay no diag 90% of the time . it all takes time to look at issues , see what's wrong , do write ups .write up order sheets , turn into warranty take pictures . all of which the tech gets squat . then to say well 12 mins for this is all good . or after spending 30 mins to write up etc and then get 18 mins to do the job . what a joke ! no wonder there are so
many issues at dealers when people take in their units for warranty .
I was working on lci electric steps for a customer a few weeks ago lci sent a new gear box and told me they pay .50 for install . i told them that's between him and there customer . i bill by the hr plus travel and don't do warranty .

And they were the power gear kwiki steps . very cheap gear boxes . in fact the same gear box used in ford Taurus electric windows .
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:05 PM   #4
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I thought so! In this case I did the diagnostic work, communicated with customer service at the factory and then had to start over with my dealer. They were helpful but I am still waiting and it has been almost a month. I bought a new motor from amazon and will put it in myself since I can't wait. then I will give the dealer the choice (1) do I put the old one back in and they can change it or (2) do I give them the old one and they can bill the vendor for the labor anyway.

I am interested in what they choose. I bet if I could find the tech who was going to do the work he would jump at a no labor fix but I really don't want to drive all that way for this charade.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:37 PM   #5
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You are right to keep the old part. The dealer must have it in order to be reimbursed by the factory. They may or may not ask for it back but if they do the dealer must produce it. Good luck, sorry for the trouble.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:07 PM   #6
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I thought so! In this case I did the diagnostic work, communicated with customer service at the factory and then had to start over with my dealer. They were helpful but I am still waiting and it has been almost a month. I bought a new motor from amazon and will put it in myself since I can't wait. then I will give the dealer the choice (1) do I put the old one back in and they can change it or (2) do I give them the old one and they can bill the vendor for the labor anyway.

I am interested in what they choose. I bet if I could find the tech who was going to do the work he would jump at a no labor fix but I really don't want to drive all that way for this charade.
Have you dealt with lci direct ? that's what i did and they shipped the new unit out in a day . still won't do their warranty work
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:52 AM   #7
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Have you dealt with lci direct ? that's what i did and they shipped the new unit out in a day . still won't do their warranty work
I dealt with them to begin with, but once it was clear that it was a warranty issue they refused to deal with me directly and forced me to go back to the dealer. Dumb...could have fixed it in an hour, now I have to fix it twice.

Was especially disappointed that after 18 months (no salt) one of the four 1/4-20's that holds the motor plate onto the base plate sheared off when removing it. In addition, all 3 10-32's holding the motor on to the plate sheared as well. Seems that is why they alway show the replacement motor with new screws.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:40 PM   #8
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Seems you can't get anyone in this industry to accept responsibility or do the same thing twice . i had no issue maybe because I'm a Mobile tech
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:00 PM   #9
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I dealt with them to begin with, but once it was clear that it was a warranty issue they refused to deal with me directly and forced me to go back to the dealer.
That is a typical LCI move.....its right out of the playbook. Its used every time when whoever your dealing with realizes you are intelligent enough in the mechanical department to call them out on their under engineered junk, or they realize you are trying to get a part free under their warranty.

Now.....if you were talking with them and trying to buy the same part from the overpriced LCI online store, they would be kissing your rear end while trying to get your credit card number.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:02 PM   #10
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The motor in the series 25 steps has a clutch but it does nothing to protect the gears. I inquired about another part number but Powergear said they couldn't comment about the replacement with the exception of recommending the same part number.

Basic BS, along with their assembly.
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