Attention owners of Model D and Model E Indoor Rowers

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Attention owners of Model D and Model E Indoor Rowers

Postby c2bill » April 30th, 2007, 4:32 pm

Attention owners of Model D and Model E Indoor Rowers purchased between August 1, 2006 and April 19, 2007:

please visit this link for important information:

http://www.concept2.com/us/support/rowe ... atigue.asp


-bill patton
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Postby neilgunton » May 1st, 2007, 11:31 am

I don't want to sound like a dick, but my first reaction to this was "Eh, shouldn't this be a product recall rather than a DIY kit?". I mean, if I had bought my machine that recently and found out that there was a fundamental manufacturing flaw in it, then I would probably want the thing replaced rather than me having to patch it up myself.

But maybe that's just me.

I'm really glad, I (hopefully) dodged a bullet here - I ordered my machine just a couple of days ago.

/Neil
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Postby PaulS » May 1st, 2007, 12:13 pm

neilgunton wrote:I don't want to sound like a dick, but my first reaction to this was "Eh, shouldn't this be a product recall rather than a DIY kit?". I mean, if I had bought my machine that recently and found out that there was a fundamental manufacturing flaw in it, then I would probably want the thing replaced rather than me having to patch it up myself.

But maybe that's just me.

I'm really glad, I (hopefully) dodged a bullet here - I ordered my machine just a couple of days ago.

/Neil


Not sure on that. I've just gotten off the phone and ordered 2 kits for my E's (very easy ordering process), as long as it doesn't make for some funky looking appendages it likely won't be an issue. I inspected only one of the machines and there was no sign of the fatigue that has been mentioned, though these are both personal use machines so may not be subject to the rigors of health club use/abuse.
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Postby c2bill » May 1st, 2007, 1:30 pm

there have been a few questions here and on the UK forum about the reinforcing kit installation - we are preparing a PDF document that i'll post as soon as possible to provide more detail.

-bp
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Postby neilgunton » May 1st, 2007, 7:01 pm

The point isn't how easy or hard it is to install the kit. The point is that if someone has just purchased a new machine, and there is a fundamental structural flaw, then the machine should be replaced, period.

Also, as someone on the UK forum mentioned - what about how this will affect resale value? I certainly wouldn't want to buy one of these machines if I knew it had metal fatigue problems, kit or no kit.

Just about the only reason I can think of for Concept2 doing it this way is because of the cost in having all those units returned. But surely that is something they have to bear, it's a cost of doing business when you screw up. And don't businesses have insurance for this kind of event? As it is, they are just patching the problem with a bandaid (literally).

I showed the announcement page to a couple of other people, and they had the same reaction as me.

Again - I'm really not trying to be an asshole... this is just my honest reaction.

/Neil
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Postby rtmmtl » May 1st, 2007, 7:20 pm

neilgunton wrote:The point isn't how easy or hard it is to install the kit. The point is that if someone has just purchased a new machine, and there is a fundamental structural flaw, then the machine should be replaced, period.

Also, as someone on the UK forum mentioned - what about how this will affect resale value? I certainly wouldn't want to buy one of these machines if I knew it had metal fatigue problems, kit or no kit.

Just about the only reason I can think of for Concept2 doing it this way is because of the cost in having all those units returned. But surely that is something they have to bear, it's a cost of doing business when you screw up. And don't businesses have insurance for this kind of event? As it is, they are just patching the problem with a bandaid (literally).

I showed the announcement page to a couple of other people, and they had the same reaction as me.

Again - I'm really not trying to be an asshole... this is just my honest reaction.

/Neil


Ditto.
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Postby coggs » May 1st, 2007, 10:35 pm

I've got an older model C so not a problem for me - but I'd much rather get a free kit sent to me and spend 15 minutes doing the retrofit than to go through the hassle of shipping my entire erg back to C2 and being without it until a replacement arrived.

But that's just me.
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Postby ehagberg » May 2nd, 2007, 11:07 am

I don't think you need to look at the serial number at the moment, do you?

It looks like those manufacture dates correspond exactly with the redesigned Model D and the first model E's... so it's pretty easy to tell if you've got an affected machine if you didn't _just_ purchase it.
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Postby neilgunton » May 2nd, 2007, 11:37 am

I just called Concept2 to make sure that the Model D/PM4 I ordered over the past weekend (and haven't received yet) will be one which does not have the defect (and, additionally, doesn't simply have the patch installed). She assured me that it will not be one of those affected.

I also brought up the issue which I posted above, i.e. wouldn't someone who just purchased a machine in the last couple of months be annoyed to be told there is such a major defect which they have to repair themselves. She replied that they will in fact replace the machine (or at least the front end, which is where the problem actually lies) for anybody who has a problem and asks for this option. Apparently the company founders are preparing a statement. She was very friendly and I didn't get any feeling of evasiveness, which was extremely reassuring. Obviously all of this is extremely unofficial, just what I have been told over the phone.

So, I guess my questions have been answered. Their first reaction was to post a fix kit, and obviously they also plan to stand by their warranty if that's what the user wants. But if you don't want to be without the machine, then there's also the option to do it yourself without any significant downtime.

Finally, I mentioned to the lady that it would be better if they posted these clarifications on the forums sooner rather than later, since the internet moves at, well, internet speed and rumors can quickly get out of hand.

Hope this helps,

/Neil

p.s. I posted an update based on a subsequent phone call over on the UK forum:
http://www.concept2.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... 6&start=15
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Fix-kit

Postby baguaman » May 2nd, 2007, 6:16 pm

One would well assume that the company would issue letters(detailing
both the potential problems and the alternatives of correction that are
being offered) based upon their sales records of the dates given.

I am sure that a company with such fine reputation will undertake this
action in effort to resolve this issue.
new to rowing,and looking forward to the work.
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Web site

Postby c2bill » May 2nd, 2007, 7:18 pm

There are a lot of questions and some mis-information being posted on the forum concerning the fatigue issue. For the most accurate information please visit http://www.concept2.com/notice



We're directing inquiries to the website to make sure that all Concept2 customers (not only forum visitors) receive the most accurate information possible.

-bill patton
Last edited by c2bill on May 3rd, 2007, 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby johnlvs2run » May 2nd, 2007, 8:21 pm

neilgunton wrote:I don't want to sound like a dick, but my first reaction to this was "Eh, shouldn't this be a product recall rather than a DIY kit?". I mean, if I had bought my machine that recently and found out that there was a fundamental manufacturing flaw in it, then I would probably want the thing replaced rather than me having to patch it up myself.


I agree with you too. My model D/pm3 was manufactured 111606, which Concept2 was helpful in replacing with a front end manufactured 011607 due to a major shimmy in the first one. Both of these were made within the dates in question. Perhaps the metal fatigue was the reason for the shimmy in the first front end and, if so, the same thing could happen to this one (which has a relatively minor shimmy at this point).

Instead of providing a patch vs having a total recall, why not send replacement parts to take care of the problem. This would be a more complete fix then a patch, and much less expensive then replacing the entire front end of the erg.

If Concept2 shipped replacement foot stretchers (or whatever parts this entails) to me, I would gladly replace them myself. I would feel much better about having the faulty parts replaced, instead of just having a patch on them.
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Re: Web site

Postby PaulS » May 2nd, 2007, 8:36 pm

c2bill wrote:There are a lot of questions and some mis-information being posted on the forum concerning the fatigue issue. For the most accurate information please visit http://www.concept2.com/notice.

We're directing inquiries to the website to make sure that all Concept2 customers (not only forum visitors) receive the most accurate information possible.

-bill patton

Broken Link with the ending "."

Fatigue Information.
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Postby johnlvs2run » May 2nd, 2007, 8:48 pm

These are informative messages posted on the UK site, and in the absence of any details by Concept 2, so I am posting them here.

Citroen wrote:There appears to be a kit available to prevent the problem making your erg sag in the middle.

neilgunton wrote:Just an outline of what I can remember from the phone call.

1. The defect was a design issue, related to the changes they made in mid-2006 to the connecting mechanism between the front and rear ends in both the Model D and E's. The newer mechanism apparently makes it easier to take the machine apart for storage (they have a short video clip of this process on their website, under "Assembly", I believe). So as I understand it, this is not a bad batch of steel, or errors in the manufacturing process, so much as ironing out a glitch in a design update.

2. The defect is in the front end, that is the one with the fan.

3. The newer "fixed" versions (like the one I should be getting) apparently have a subtle design change which is not visible when you're looking at the machine as it is usually set up, but you could see the difference if you looked underneath (or inside, not sure of the details). You'd probably only be able to notice the difference if you had two machines side by side.

4. He said that the kit they are sending out should more than adequately compensate for the defect, and won't require any drilling.

5. He told me that they would only be replacing parts in "extreme circumstances", i.e. if there were actually cracks starting to show. This is a little different from what the lady told me before, so obviously there is a little confusion there as to the exact policy and circumstances under which you could actually get a full replacement. From what he was telling me, it looks like you might have a hard time getting a replacement if your machine is not showing any signs of fatigue. (That's just my current impression, given the phone call - the "official" stance, when it is elucidated, may be very different, who knows).

6. On the other hand, he said that he is very confident that the kit will reinforce the machine to the point where you will never experience the related fatigue problem. In other words, they feel it completely fixes the issue.

7. I raised the point about resale value, and he kind of prevaricated on this one. He acknowledged that it might be an issue, if someone chose to believe that this would be a problem down the line then they simply wouldn't buy the machine. I think their attitude to this is that they think they have solved the issue, and they don't really understand what all the continuing fuss is about.

8. I told him about the debate and uncertainty on the forums, in particular the UK one, and he said he wasn't surprised - the UK forum is apparently known for being more vocal. I can see his point - I raised this issue on the US forum, but the only people replying have actually been trying to play down the issue! Kind of weird. Never mind. Anyway, I said it would be great if they could go on the forums and just lay all the doubts to rest. He replied that there is some debate internally in Concept2 about participating in the forums, and they do occasionally go on there to post when the need arises. I don't really understand the hesitance, I mean so much more harm seems to come from saying nothing than simply going on here to answer questions. Maybe it's something to do with fears of legal liability... companies do seem to get a little weird when it comes to official spokespersons saying things on forums. Anyway, I think he got the point, but he didn't give any assurances one way or the other.

So anyway, in summary: It looks to me as if they are hoping that most people will take the kit and that this will all just fade away. I am not so sure... I know that on the one hand, I would be VERY unhappy if I had bought a machine recently that had this kind of defect in it, and the company didn't simply replace it. On the other hand, they are not Mega Corp that can just absorb such things without consequence, they are a fairly small company and I can certainly understand that a mass recall could have a significant impact on their finances. So if they really feel that the kit does the job, I can kind of understand their stance. Truthfully, without knowing ALL the details it's really all just conjecture. In any case, I hope this clears up some of the confusion...

Concept2 people - if you're reading this - please just come on these forums and fill people in. Transparency is so much better than tight lips. People can forgive a helluva lot if they simply feel that they have been given the whole story and everything's been explained openly, questions answered, etc. People here really shouldn't be having to get their info from someone like me.

Hope this helps,

/Neil


Neil, I agree with you 100 percent. Thank you for speaking up and bringing this to our attention. This issue has been an ongoing problem with the model D/pm3 that I got last November. I rowed with the erg having a heavy shimmy in the middle for months, then Concept2 replaced the front end. Now the shimmy is much less than it was but still there.

I had called C2 a few times before getting the front end replaced. I kept saying, "it feels like the erg is loose where it's connected in the middle", and "could it be a faulty connection in the middle?". No, it had to be something in the flywheel. Maybe they didn't know at that point. I called them several times between receiving the erg and having the part replaced a couple months later, because it sure seemed to me that it was something with the connection in the middle. I probably asked them about this at least a dozen times in my phone calls. Who knows, maybe when they got mine back is when they discovered the problem - that I had already mentioned to them.

Now, the replacement front end that I got from them also does have a shimmy, just not as bad (yet) as the first one. I figured, well this is just something that all of the newer ergs have and I'm not going to do any better, i.e. sometimes things get worse and not better. But now that Concept2 is admitting, though secondhandedly, that the issue is indeed in the connection between front and back, it appears my original feeling of where the shimmy was coming from was correct.

As a recent purchaser of a new Concept2 erg, and this is the third one I have purchased, I would definitely like this problem taken care of and not just a patch on it. This being said, if Concept2 can explain the details of how this patch will be a complete fix, vs having a manufactured correctly front end, then I am interested to hear about this. If the patch will be just as good then that might be quite acceptable. However I would like to know the details about this, and not be kept in the dark. Yeah sure I do trust Concept2, and they do have outstanding service, but I'd still like to know the details and know what is going on with the machine that I have purchased from them.
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Postby Bob S. » May 2nd, 2007, 9:43 pm

One curious aspect of this is that there was some discussion on the U.K. forum about Richard Cureton's ergometer sagging in the middle. I remember something about him getting one of the new ones, but I don't know if the video they were talking about showed the new one or the old one.

Having used a rock solid model B for many years, I was a bit alarmed to see how much spring there is in any of the Cs or Ds when the real heavyweights are on them. This has no direct connection with the current problem, since the Cs and earlier Ds have not shown any cracking.

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