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    • April 26, 2018 2:24 AM EDT
    • In the UK we have the "Sale of Goods Act 1979" that covers a whole range of consumer issues. One of these is "fit for purpose". The other thing about the ways retail sales are done in the UK is that the buck stops at the retailer not the manufacturer. While a maker may claim a one year only warranty and retailers may make bucks out of selling, dubious, "extended warranty" cover to the buyers, the law can rule somewhat differently. In some cases there have been rulings, that notwithstanding the makers claims otherwise or any extended warranty product accepted by the buyer, a product should be expected to have a reliable usable life beyond any stated warranty life. It's the retailers job to make good in these circumstances and the manufacturers to reimburse the retailer.

       

      How does this affect the situation here ? - An, allegedly, incorrect  formulation of the Zamak alloy used in the truck castings has lead to their fragility in use. As a result a situation has arisen where the product could be deemed "not fit for purpose" under the terms of the above act in the UK. In this case no implied limited warranty term can be enforced by the manufacturer or used by the retailer to avoid replacing or rectifying the faulty item.

       

      As Bachmann US, the manufacturer, would appear to have been aware of the problem, its nature and that it was an identifiable batch where it existed they should have informed their distributors worldwide and in turn the UK the retailers who had sold product from this batch about the issue so it could be dealt with effectively. Or they could hope nobody joined the dots and came knocking on their door. Is it any wonder that some Bachmann products, at least apparently in 1:20.3 scale, appear to be held in such low esteem in the secondary market - see prices achieved. Or am I being a bit harsh here ?

       

      Me, I'm the happy owner of 11 Bachmann Spectrum locos and a number of their cars and cabooses, AMS too. Other than the usual drive train niggles that afflict their products I have no real issues. They are great value, especially the ones bought 2nd hand  But then, I don't run my toys that often and for long periods. But this problem possibly points up a bigger problem that manufacturers have with their buyers, particularly outside their "home" markets and  given the possibly low margins that they rely on. Just a thought.

    • April 26, 2018 12:08 AM EDT

    • Bachmann's Lifetime Limited Warranty covers motorized units only. Under the warranty, Bachmann can decide whether to repair or replace an item at their discretion. Warranty valid in U.S. and Canada only.

      Items less than a year old are fully covered and will be serviced or replaced at no charge when accompanied with registration card and proof of purchase.

      For items more than one year old, there is a nominal service charge for repair or replacement (prices subject to change - effective 3-11-13):

      $25.00 -
      • All HO and N Scale standard non-DCC locos
      $35.00 -
      • All HO and N Scale standard DCC locos
      $45.00 -
      • All HO and N Scale Spectrum®
      $55.00 -
      • Williams, On30, and
        Standard Line large scale
      $75.00 -
      • Large scale Spectrum®


      All accessories, power packs and speed controllers, and Plasticville USA® items are covered for 90 days only.

    • April 25, 2018 8:40 PM EDT
    • Bachmann advertises that they have a "Limited lifetime warranty" on their products. Or at least they used to.

    • April 25, 2018 7:20 PM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:

      Yeah.  Lifetime warranty means something other than what you think it does.

      I paid for a”lifetime “ subscription to Sirius radio In 2009. It’s gone.

      Now I’m beginning to wonder if having a lifetime warranty means that if it fails they’ll come and kill me.

      Now you done and figured out their plan.  Better double-lock your doors now.

    • April 25, 2018 4:51 PM EDT
    • Yeah.  Lifetime warranty means something other than what you think it does.

      I paid for a”lifetime “ subscription to Sirius radio In 2009. It’s gone.

      Now I’m beginning to wonder if having a lifetime warranty means that if it fails they’ll come and kill me.

    • April 25, 2018 4:19 PM EDT
    • A very interesting discussion... I would submit that the LL Bean example is not germane nor the same as the Bachmann example.

      In the Bachmann case, the warranty period is clear - 90 days. The warranty policy is clear, you need a receipt. Now, "good" companies, when finding the product has some intrinsic defect, may extend the warranty period. That's a great thing, especially when the product fails way before "Reasonable" expectations (which may have nothing to do with the warranty).

       

      To be clear, NONE of us expect our rolling stock to fall apart at 91 days, they should last years. When bachmann found out there was an intrinsic defect, and this lead to an "unreasonably short life", they extended the warranty. Great.

       

      It would be NICE if the warranty requirements were relaxed, but this is up to Bachmann. They have to balance their costs vs. the number of upset customers that did not keep the receipt, for example.

       

       

      The LL Bean warranty is something else entirely. They gave a lifetime warranty. That means lifetime in plain english. It should not matter if it has had 15 owners, thrown away and recovered.

       

      But as stated by LL Bean, and I'm paraphrasing a bit... a lifetime warranty was NOT their intent, even though they stated it. Their intent was to basically assure that during the useful life (i.e. wear) of the product, the owner could be assured it would not become "Defective"...

       

      But LL Bean cut their own throat, replacing worn and old items which were really not defective... but they said "lifetime", so if these wore out, then they were now "defective" and LL Bean replaced them.

       

      The lifetime warranty, simply stated sounds GREAT, but it should have been against actual defects in manufacture, and stated as such. Now instead of correcting it still offering a lifetime warranty, they have stupidly pulled back and made a 1 year warranty. Knee jerk reaction to a problem they created for themselves over the years. Now they are no better than K mart or Walmart or Costco.

       

      Greg

    • April 25, 2018 3:55 PM EDT
    • Stanley Ames said:

      While you are a honorable person not everyone is.  We have a great retailer in the US (LLBean) who had to change their lifetime warranty after years of it being in place because more and more folks were abusing it.  Some apparently would purchase old items at a yard sell and then return them to LL Bean for replacement.

       

      I knew an individual who was doing the with Bachmann HO locomotives. He would buy basket cases and then send the back to Bachmann under their warranty. I don't know if he is still at it or not.

       

    • April 25, 2018 1:12 PM EDT
    • Stanley Ames said:
       

       

      While you are a honorable person not everyone is.  We have a great retailer in the US (LLBean) who had to change their lifetime warranty after years of it being in place because more and more folks were abusing it.  Some apparently would purchase old items at a yard sell and then return them to LL Bean for replacement.

       

       

       

      Stanley, as I already have paid out for replacement trucks a while back, Accucraft, I doubt I will be pursuing this anyway. Interests me though, finding out now, that this was a warranty issue all along. Or as we say in the UK under the retail sale of goods act - "Not fit for for purpose". Pity this didn't get out earlier over here - i.e. Bachmann US did not appear to advise Bachmann UK about a suspect batch so its, limited, roster of retail outlets could have alerted their faithful customers.

       

      As I said earlier I did sell on the intact truck, in good faith, to another person who had the same problem. So I got a bit of my money back. Problem is now that I may have, unknowingly sold on a faulty item to another with he same problem. Fingers crossed.

    • April 25, 2018 11:53 AM EDT
    • Max Winter said:

      Interesting David. Mine came from GRC/Andrew Steele too. Perhaps we can build a case if necessary, same batch, same UK shipping order, same retailer - high probability of faulty goods. Likewise no receipt kept and I binned the broken parts not realizing it was a warranty issue at the time. Just accepted it as one of those things. PM me if you think my experience might help you. The only proof I have now is the car on Accucraft trucks and its original box/packaging. Andrew didn't put branded price labels on his goods, unlike GRS, which is the only other place I bought Bachmann Spectrum cars from.

       

      Max

       

      While you are a honorable person not everyone is.  We have a great retailer in the US (LLBean) who had to change their lifetime warranty after years of it being in place because more and more folks were abusing it.  Some apparently would purchase old items at a yard sell and then return them to LL Bean for replacement.

       

      The published Bachmann warranty for rolling stock is 90 days.  In this case they are trying to help out customers if they can.  Unfortunately the cars can now be purchased on EBAY without trucks and I am confident some will try to get Bachmann to send them replacement trucks for the cars.

       

      When you do not have a receipt or the broken parts I suspect it is going to be understandably much more difficult to get replacements.  I would call the UK service office directly and discuss it with them.  Its been a few years since I was in contact with them and the folks I dealt with have likely retired but at the time their service was top notch.

       

      Stan

       

      PS  For those coming to TrainOps who have broken trucks.  Please bring the pieces with you.  I harvest  a couple of the parts off them.

    • April 25, 2018 5:04 AM EDT
    • Thanks Max, it is a shame that Andrew has ceased trading, a loss to the hobby as he was most helpful and it was a joy to visit him.

      I contacted Bachmann Uk via their service form last night and although I have not, like you , got the receipt but I included a photo of the boxcar sans truck and showing the debris that I recovered from the ballast and I await their reply.

      https://www.largescalecentral.com/filesharing/sh/file/8029/Z-jSDRRsCX

      Regards

      David

      PS I seem to have a load of trouble uploading pics, any suggestions?

       

    • April 24, 2018 4:29 PM EDT
    • david bunn said:

      Thanks again Stan I will do as suggested and contact Bachmann UK first and see where we go. A receipt is a no go unfortunately as I did not keep it after Garden railway Centres replaced the truck broken on delivery. As mentioned before the retailer has retired and ceased trading so getting a duplicate is probably not on. i will update as and when I get any further.

      Regards

      David

       

      Interesting David. Mine came from GRC/Andrew Steele too. Perhaps we can build a case if necessary, same batch, same UK shipping order, same retailer - high probability of faulty goods. Likewise no receipt kept and I binned the broken parts not realizing it was a warranty issue at the time. Just accepted it as one of those things. PM me if you think my experience might help you. The only proof I have now is the car on Accucraft trucks and its original box/packaging. Andrew didn't put branded price labels on his goods, unlike GRS, which is the only other place I bought Bachmann Spectrum cars from.

       

    • April 24, 2018 3:30 PM EDT
    • I emailed one of the receipts I could find (for 18 of them).  I was told that parts are in short supply but that they would send out six sets for the cars that I have that are broken.

    • April 24, 2018 2:29 PM EDT
    • Thanks again Stan I will do as suggested and contact Bachmann UK first and see where we go. A receipt is a no go unfortunately as I did not keep it after Garden railway Centres replaced the truck broken on delivery. As mentioned before the retailer has retired and ceased trading so getting a duplicate is probably not on. i will update as and when I get any further.

      Regards

      David

    • April 24, 2018 11:13 AM EDT
    • David

       

      I called Bachmann US today and talked to Laura.

       

      For warranty repair in the US you need to contact  service@bachmanntrains.com.  The parts folks sell items, the service folks deal with warranty and repair so you need to talk to the service folks if you do not wish to purchase parts.

       

      They do have some Trucks and stirrups for the effected Murphy Roof box cars in stock.  Normally the warranty is short for rolling stock but they are trying to help out their customers for these cars.

       

      You need a dated sales receipt.  They will try to work with you if you do not have one but that is their policy.  Part of the reason for this is because with prior issues they sent far more replacement items then the number of items that were effected.

       

      Being in the UK it is a tad more difficult. I would first contact service in the UK and explain the Bachmann US replacement policy for this product and ask that they contact the US if they have problems.  Please also note that the replacement trucks, trucks sold as a product and other trucks in the Sprectrum LS line are not effected by this problem.

       

      If they do not have the replacement parts then you can contact the US folks and they will try to work with you.

       

      I was informed that when they discovered the problem in the US that they replaced all the trucks for product in stock so not all cars in the effected run have bad trucks.   

       

      Hope that helps

       

      Stan

       

       

       

    • April 25, 2018 2:11 AM EDT
    • I understand the dilemma, you need to make a tool, that is a rod with a taper at one end, and tap and thread a hole in it, you chuck this up and then mount the wheel on it.

      Besides giving you a good mount to get to any part of the tread or flange, it will also true up the wheel a bit.

      I would suggest leaving the flange or totally removing it. With the long wheelbase, leaving it will work better in my estimation.

       

      Greg

    • April 24, 2018 11:17 PM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler had a thread on shaving down a wheel flange.  You might check with him.

    • April 24, 2018 9:01 PM EDT
    • Watching

    • April 24, 2018 7:08 PM EDT
    •  

      Greg, 

      Project has been placed on the backburner for the time being while I figure out an effective and efficient way to turn these on the lathe, the chuck is not being overly cooperative.  I will be sure to update the post when I've come to a working solution, 

       

      Thanks

      TJ Weber

       

    • April 24, 2018 2:39 PM EDT
    • Dear TJ, I sure would like to know if the "conversion" to effectively 2 axle trucks (4 wheel) with "center flanges" has worked. If it has, it would also be helpful to others as to what diameter you turned the wheels down to.

       

      Thanks, Greg

       

      TJ Weber said:

      Paul,

       

      Code 250 track is used inside, everything outside is code 332 on the mainlines.  Paul is correct in the similarity of methods, but unfortunately the large temperature swings make it impractical to glue down the track, and previous attempts have failed.  Was outdoors testing a few units, and found that the only practical solution for us was to remove the center wheel, removing it and in essence making a long 4 wheel truck resolved all the tracking issues.  My father and I are now planning to turn down the center wheel treads to a diameter where they are little more than aesthetic, this will solve our issue in a practical manor. 

      I appreciate everyone's input on the subject.  I agree that our trackwork is not perfect, but external conditions preclude us from being able to take all the advice given on how to improve it.  The six-axles have been an issue for many years, and now they should finally be able to take their proper place pulling tonnage on the Mojave Sub! 

       

      TJ Weber