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What should I do?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Blaise, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Apologies in advance - this is a quite long-winded saga...

    I bought a used Daytona 675 from a Sydney dealer back on Feb 5th this year which came with 3 month/3000km warranty. All was fine until the 10th April when she refused to start after stopping for a 5 minute break after riding 1½ hours. Couldn't bump start the bike so I called NRMA roadside assistance. NRMA got the bike going and he measured a voltage @5000rpm across the battery of 12.48V. The synopsis was that the R/R wasn't putting out enough voltage to charge the battery. He warned me that the bike would probably not start again if I turned it off but I had to be somewhere so I thanked him and left for my destination.

    I arrived at my destination and shut down the bike expecting that she wouldn't start again without further assistance but surprisingly, I was able to start the bike normally several times. Fart forward to later that night...

    I started riding home and noticed once I was on the M4 that my low-beam wasn't working. Without much of an option, I switched to high-beam and continued home uneventfully until I neared Terry Hills on Mona Vale Road and everything went pear-shape. The high-beam went out and the instrument cluster faded out shortly followed by the bike cutting out and I coasted to a halt at the side of the road. I had noticed a sulphate smell a couple of times on the way home (and rightly or wrongly dismissed it) but now the sulphate smell was quite strong so I removed the seat and inspected the battery. The top was popped off the no-maintenance battery and it was devoid of any water. I called home and arranged to get her trailered from my location. After 45 minutes waiting in the pouring rain, the bike was heading home on the trailer.

    Next day I took the bike to Motorcycle Weaponry (as I can spit to it from my backyard) and described the problem/scenario and was told that it was most likely the R/R unit that had failed and over-volted the system. I left it for the day as they did some initial diagnostics but realized overnight that the bike had a warranty I should make use of. Next day I called the dealer and explained the problem and they asked I bring the bike to them (also explaining that they were very busy and it wouldn't be looked at until later in the week). I asked Motorcycle Weaponry to reassemble the bike and paid them a modest fee and took the bike to the dealer on the morning of the 12th April. I also took along the service receipt from Motorcycle Weaponry that detailed what they had done and their opinion of what the likely problem was which if I remember correctly, the dealer photocopied.

    I called them up Friday morning (15th) and they said they were going to look at it that morning and get back to me. They didn't so I called them up late in the afternoon and was informed that they still didn't know the problem and would continue diagnosing. I called back on Tuesday and they had decided that the ECU was fried and were in the process of getting a 2nd hand ECU to try and get it started. This went on for a number of days and they finally installed an ECU and got it started BUT stated that it wouldn't hold a tune. They managed to repeat this with another 2nd hand ECU but again, it would hold a tune. Easter rolled around and they decided they needed to order a "virgin" ECU but of course, no stock in Australia so it needed to come from Triumph UK. I was informed it was to take three weeks unassumingly (correctly) because it was being shipped by surface.

    Well, the ECU didn't take 3 weeks, it took 4 and it was only my continual calls to the dealer that they finally chased it up. I called again last Friday and was now told that R/R unit was faulty (duh?) and they'd ordered a new one from Melbourne. The mechanic stated that they weren't to know this until they got the bike fired up and could check the voltages (the R/R unit was pumping out 17.8V). I was informed that they'd call me back with an update/status. No call from them on Monday so I called them yesterday (Tuesday) to be informed (surprise surprise) that Triumph Australia don't have any R/R units in stock so it's coming from Triumph UK BUT this time via expedited shipping (air - 1 week). Now doing the maths, I've owned the bike for a total of 16 weeks and the dealer has had the bike now in the workshop for 8 weeks of that period. During the time the bike was in my possession I had the 20,000km major service (March 8th or 9th at a different dealer as the original dealer couldn't fit me in for 2 weeks) and the R/R was checked and showed it was feeding a healthy 13.8V to the system. I really don't believe that the original dealer is trying to get this bike back on the road in any rush and frankly, that may be my fault as I haven't pushed them to do so and remained very polite through the entire transaction.

    With the latest revelation, the earliest I can expect my bike back is sometime next week which blows it out to at least 9 weeks - 1 week longer than I've had use of my $9,000 bike! My main gripe is that the R/R failure is a known problem and Triumph have revised the unit to correct it. With that knowledge and the initial diagnosis by Motorcycle Weaponry, why did an official Triumph workshop wait until now to try and source a R/R unit? I don't want to know what will happen if they decide that the stator is cactus. Anyway, should I just wait until they finally fix it or get in touch with Consumer Affairs now and attempt to get a rocket put up the dealer? Have my actions/inactions been the cause of the dealer taking their time?

    Once again, apologies for the long winded post (and thank you if you had the fortitude to read this far)... thoughts on how I should proceed?
  2. Sounds like you're being put at the bottom of their priorities list but I doubt if any consumer representative action would expedite your situation being resolved. I was expecting you to say that they weren't going to cover the repairs under warranty in which case you should go nuts with 3rd party involvement.

    As a prospective future daytona buyer though, this story is pretty worrying...
  3. Why not drop into the dealership on their busiest sales day, and relate your troubles (in a loud voice) to the guy who sold you the bike? Tell the guy that you’re happy with the personnel involved, but the company system sucks. THAT will get you quicker results!
  4. Call Triumph Australia, tell them the story.

    Also, mention that you are on NetRider.

    Having been in the retail car business for 15 years, I can suggest that being 'nice' but 'firm' in your discussions usually works well. I'd tell Triumph that you're happy with the bike, you haven't bad-mouthed the brand or the dealer, but your patience is wearing thin. Also, make sure that you tell them exactly what you want to happen ( ie: compensation - free service/extended warranty ) to resolve the situation.

    In my experience, customers who go ballistic, make threats, go to the media or whatever, get put in the 'loony bin' and the whole relationship gets written off by the dealer or manufacturer. They reckon that the customer hates them and there's no point trying to make the customer happy so they don't bother.
  5. I'm waiting for a callback from Chris (National Manager) from Triumph Australia but I did speak with the parts coordinator who informed me he's waiting for approximately 40 R/R units from the UK (some by air, others by sea).

    Edit: Steve (National Parts Manager) for Triumph Australia called back and stated he had the old model R/R units and was organizing to get one shipped up to the dealer. The new revision R/R will remain on back order for me and I will be informed when it's available (so I can get the part swapped out for the new version by the dealer). The one week expected ETA that I was quoted by the dealer just isn't going to happen as Triumph Australia doesn't have an ETA on any of the relevant R/R units from the UK at this time. Anyway, the outcome is that the bike should be back on the road before the weekend barring any other unforeseen gremlins :) Stroker... you're a champ although I forgot to mention Netrider.
  6. try mediation with Triumph Australia as your dealer is useless...if Triumph Australia can't help you, get a 3rd party gov consumer dept involved and push for a refund.

    thats how i got Telstra to refund me 3 months of broadband bills, waive a disconnection fee, and provide a written apology for the bad service after I got the TIO involved.
  7. I was going to say polite but firm was the way to go, but Stroker beat me to it. Being assertive is not being aggressive.

    I will add though, that you need to make sure that they have covered all issues caused by this failure.
    Where did all the acid go from the battery? Does it require a strip and repaint? What about in the future?
    What other electrical damage was done? Both headlights went out. Has the wiring loom or instrument cluster been damaged by the overvoltage. (Maybe research this on Triumph/Daytona sites.) They need to replace all damaged parts, even if they haven't failed yet.
    I would have been asking for an equivalent loan bike by week four, with insurance coverage (mine or theirs).
    I would be asking for a warranty extension, and acknowledgement in writing that any faults caused by this failure are covered over the next year.
    Before you accept the bike, make sure the documents covering the above are in order, and inspect the bike thoroughly. Do not take it if you are in doubt. If they try to charge for anything, do not take the bike. Contact Triumph Australia and have them sort it out.

    By the way, you knew that the RR was failing/failed, you smelt sulphur, and the lights went out. You should have stopped riding at the initial failure. I would have thought most people who have been around bikes for a while know that a failed RR can lead to a destroyed battery, buggered Stator, and unknown electrical damage.

    When in doubt, make other transport arrangements. It will be cheaper.
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  9. You can't go back in time and get your 8 weeks back. What do you want from this point on;

    a) Assuming they do give the bike back fixed before the weekend?

    b) Assuming they don't?

    Have the answers to those questions in mind, but by all means have them suggest answers first, they may even give you more than you want.

    Talk to the manager, explain that you're not happy with the situation and you'd appreciate them giving some consideration as to how they can make up for the inconvenience. Look particularly at things with a high value differential (e.g. saves you a lot, costs them a little) like a labour credit for your next service/s...
  10. Thanks for the information Rod regarding what to look/ask for when picking up the bike. I dismissed the sulphate smell initially (twice) as I had the same car next to me both times I detected it and thought the other vehicle was having the problem. As far as the spilled acid, I doused the whole area in water (remember I said it was pouring). I looked at the bike the next day and couldn't see any damage that I could attribute to acid though BUT I haven't seen her for 8 weeks so who knows now.

    The initial failure showed low voltage which I didn't think would end up in an over-voltage situation. I have since learned (the hard way) that this is a common scenario when R/R's fail :(

    @finn - I can't believe your bike isn't back yet. Maybe you should've slid in sh!t, worked for Goz <duck>.
  11. Blaise,

    Firstly, apologies for my long reply.

    Sorry to hear of your ensuing ordeal mate ! Your situation brings back memories of a similar case I experienced with a former bike. After my bike was picked up after its 1,000km service (ie, brand new bike), I subsequently had oil piss out all over the right side fairing, right side of both front/rear tyres and all over my right leg/boot during an evening ride. When I came to a complete stop (only because the green arrow (to turn right) at a certain intersection turned red) - ONLY reason I am perhaps still alive/walking today, I was engulfed in smoke forcing me to promptly shut the bike down and roll it off the intersection into a nearby Mobil station.

    The bike was promptly picked up and delivered to the service centre (no need to mention who they are, though many will know EXACTLY who a certain Elizabeth St, Melbourne dealer is) and they proceeded to 'analyse' the issue, which erm..really was non-existant - had the mechanic working on my bike tightened up the oil sump/plug, I wouldn't have experienced this time consuming, stressful and immensely frustrating experience.

    All up around 9 weeks, with many phonecalls (late replies, if any at times) and Consumer Affairs was brought into the equation.
    When the bike was 'fixed', it was delivered (by transport van) to my garaged address. I parked it in the garage and started cleaning/polishing it, something I do to all my bikes on completion of a ride. To my amazement, I noticed :
    Previous oil marks in hidden places NOT cleaned (part of the arrangement/promise), right side fairing 'sticky' and greasy from previous oil explosion (hard to see unless up close) and the bike was generally in a filthy condition. But what shocked me the most was to see scratch marks on the right outer mirror (plastic casing) and decent scuff marks on the exhaust !!!
    Well, without digressing/expanding too much on my case, I demanded the bike to be picked up by them again, FIXED properly and returned ASAP, or I'd simply be taking them to court. I was very polite and assertive in the many frustrating moments/communication with them...but this was enough ! I was not to be treated the fool, something they must believe they can get away with, from time to time.

    End result ?
    ALL work completed, scratch marks repaired, bike returned sparkling new (exactly how a meticulously maintained 1,000km + bike should be) and ALL service fees (including their original 1000km service (~400 odd bucks !) returned via a cheque.

    Consumer Affairs were 100% supportive, and offered their plan of action and advice during the entire ordeal. In fact they were glad to be involved in my case as even they were disgusted by the level of 'service' provided.

    Firm, fair and assertive is the only way to go mate. Other avenues (Consumer Affairs) are available if you feel you haven't been treated fairly.

    I wish you all the best in resolving your bike issue swiftly and with no further accruing stress, frustration.

  12. Thanks Nickers, I hope the intervention of Triumph Australia (who were very prompt, professional and supportive) provides the outcome I'm after.

    I'm a bit of a pussy with confrontation though but my patience is wearing thin after 8 weeks. The mechanic had stated, "We'll have you back riding for the Easter weekend" which was revised later to "Oh well, at least you won't be losing your license with the double demerits holiday period" when it was obvious I wouldn't be riding by Easter.
  13. get a can of petrol, walk into the shop and pour the petrol over yourself and start flicking a zippo lighter, works for some people

    or or

    climb the Harbour Bridge with a big banner, also works for some

    or or

    Rent a massive tipper, fill it with dirt, drive on to the Harbour bridge, stop in the middle lane and dump all the dirt, get out and put a banner on it then drive off
    (actualy didnt work for that bloke lol)
  14. Spare a thought for those of us who start having these R/R problems after warranty has finished.
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  16. Aren't there lemon laws exactly for scenarios like this?
  17. Lemon laws don't cover you for stupidity. He kept riding it when he knew there was something wrong with it. He's lucky they honor the warranty at all and don't just tell him to **** off. The warranty does not cover willful destruction of your own shit, the same way most insurance policies don't either.

    You bought a Triumph, accept that it takes as long as it takes to get parts.

    They can follow whatever procedure they deem necessary to fix the bike. If something prevents it from running, then of course that is the first thing they fix. I bet you didn't walk in there and say "Hey by the way, you should probably start with the reg/rec, because I know that was faulty but I kept riding it anyway, so that's probably why it's ****ed."

    I understand that dealers/mechanics can be difficult at times, but you didn't exactly help the situation by riding the thing into the ground to start with.