Vectrix Warranty Voided

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Mik
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Vectrix Warranty Voided

I received an email with the following text from Vectrix Australia today:

Hi "Mr. Mik",

There is an old proverb that says “you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you”. I was in the process of removing a new gear box from a new Vectrix maxi that was to be installed in your bike this weekend as Xxxxx and I were planning to visit in order to effect the rework action to your bike.

I then received your e-mail and the subsequent posting on V is for Voltage web site and the graphic portrayal of the work carried out by yourself on your Vectrix scooter.

The directors after a meeting regarding your bike have been forced by your actions to Void your bikes warranty sighting that is has A). Had major work carried out without following correct procedures and safety precautions and B). Been worked on by personal that are not qualified as authorized “Vectrix Technical Service Personal”.

The end result of this and your last e-mail to Xxxxx demanding that your bike be replaced:-

Quote: “My suggestion is that you test a Vectrix, new or used, in the facility that Yyyyy is developing until you know it is performing as good as most Vectrixes and then replace my Vectrix again. And soon. I am running out of time and patience”

Is as follows:

A: Xxxxx will visit you as planned to effect the rework action as requested by Vectrix Corp.

B: Carry out other repairs needed to your Vectrix in order to maintain its safe operation. NOTE: THESE REPAIRS WILL BE AT YOUR EXPENCE FOR PARTS AND LABOR.

The plastic smells that you are experiencing are probably coming from you motor control board as a result from the bike being Worked on whilst laying on its side with the batteries still installed. i.e. Not Following the correct work procedures.

This has then cracked the seal on the terminals connecting the motor windings to the MC Card creating a current block and rapid heating of the terminals and consequently burning the PC Board creating the smell that you described. It is highly unlikely that the smell that you described is coming from the batteries as you had stated in your e-mail. Quote: “I fear that merely reworking the battery would now be insufficient because the fault has most likely caused some sort of damage to parts of the battery, hence the smell”.

For your information a new motor control unit is worth $2,200.00 + Gst and approximately $150.00 + Gst for labor.

Please let us know if you would like this work carried out when Xxxxx comes to QLD?

Regards.

Yyyyy

National Technical Manager

See the following threads for the lead-up to this current situation:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3272-vectrix-real-world-testing-2-noise-levels

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3446-vectrix-not-dead-yet-smelling-funny-and-grounded

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2977-open-letter-vectrix-corp

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports

Mr. Mik

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

A few salient points to get started on this new level in this tale:

“you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you”

Who feeds whom in a dealer - customer relationship?

Most of what Vectrix Australia has been feeding me was BS.

Xxxxx will visit you as planned to effect the rework action as requested by Vectrix Corp.

The recall was announced by Vectrix Corp 20 days ago!
And since then I was supposed to do the following:

1) Do not charge the bike without someone in attendance under any
circumstances, especially at night inside a garage or other structure, until the battery
pack is reworked.

2) If you notice heat or a burning odour do not ride the bike and do not
park the bike inside a garage or other structure. In such case, you should
contact Vectrix immediately on 03 9676 xxxx.

It takes 4.5hrs to charge a Vectrix.

11 days into the recall I was told likely dates for when the rework would be done,
but only after I asked about it by email. The announced dates passed without even a courtesy call or email to tell me that it was not going to happen on those dates.
This sort of thing has happened consistently throughout my interactions with Vectrix Australia; broken promises galore.

forced by your actions to Void your bikes warranty

Big deal! With each repair or replacement under the warranty things got worse, except for the broken tail light which I installed myself. (But it was not sent by overnight bag as promised and it arrived 3 days late).
The waiting time for spares, replacement bike and repairs has been excessive each time and the work was performed poorly (due to lack of time and no actual road testing).

The plastic smells that you are experiencing are probably coming from you motor control board as a result from the bike being Worked on whilst laying on its side with the batteries still installed. i.e. Not Following the correct work procedures.

Good luck to everyone who ever has their Vectrix fall over. It is not likely to land with an impact speed of zero on a soft carpet, like mine did for the gearbox repair.
So if this statement is true that means that the minimum price to fix a Vectrix that was on its side is more than $2500.-
It is of course much more likely that the excessive vibrations going through the entire scooter from the faulty gearbox have caused the issue.

This has then cracked the seal on the terminals connecting the motor windings to the MC Card creating a current block and rapid heating of the terminals and consequently burning the PC Board creating the smell that you described. It is highly unlikely that the smell that you described is coming from the batteries as you had stated in your e-mail.

An amazingly detailed diagnosis, just from my description of the smell as "sickly-sweet aroma" and "plastic smell".
But probably correct, because recently this sort of fault was found on at least one relatively new Vectrix during the battery rework.
I wonder how often they have smelled the burning smell from loose internal battery connections and the smell of a frying motor controller to be so sure about it.

As sometimes happens with Vectrix Australia the owner gets blamed for what is probably a bug in the production series, like it happened with the failing chargers and motor controller fuses, until it becomes obvious that it is a common fault that affects more and more Vectrixes.
(Added 2008-05-12: lavectrix was of course not blamed by Vectrix Australia for the failing of his break/rear light, because s/he lives in LA. But apparently the failed rear light was not repaired under warranty because s/he put a different front bulb in...not a very likely explanation, particularly when at least 2 other rear lights have failed in Australia alone).
Those owners who bought the Vectrix and actually use it a lot get blamed for faults that will simply appear later in Vectrixes that are used less.

For your information a new motor control unit is worth $2,200.00 + Gst and approximately $150.00 + Gst for labor.

Finally a quote on a spare part! Oh, what it takes to get that info out of Vectrix Australia!
I was told in a PM that Vectrix Australia have steadfastly ignored requests for quotes on parts which are likely going to be needed, for example after a typical light crash that leaves the scooter in a repairable state.

The costs are likely enormous, hence the high premiums required to insure a Vectrix in many places. (see http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3403-best-and-cheapest-insurance)

The saddest thing about it all is that things had started to turn around in Vectrix Australia since the arrival of the new Technical Manager; he is the only one with a clue about the technical aspects of the Vectrix as far as my experience with them shows, and he holds great promise to straighten things out.
But with no-one there to teach him it was all too little, too late in my case.

Prior to his arrival the technical advice given in response to obvious problems with the Vectrixes were sometimes showing sheer incompetence.

This was one of the main reasons for me posting the Open Letter to Vectrix http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2977-open-letter-vectrix-corp

I was hoping that Vectrix Corp would get the message and assist Vectrix Australia to get their act together. Maybe they did.

I still believe that the Vectrix is the best production electric motorbike available at the moment, and that many of the scooters perform superbly well, although summer in the northern hemisphere might hold some surprises.

But there are definitively lemons amongst the scooters and the distributors.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

jbird
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I am sorry but I believe Vectrix is really trying to stick it you with $2200 replacement cost of the motor control unit. The aggressive underlying tone in the letter leads me to believe this and should be very concerning to any future potential buyers. I seriously doubt that the part cost them that much money. This is a very eye-opening experience about how much replacement parts and labor will cost after the relatively short 24 month warranty period is over. I even shutter to think how much a replacement 125V 30AH NIMH pack will cost when it needs replacement. Because you have no longer have a warranty and there continue to be multiple problems with the bikes they are shipping, are you going to even bother getting it fixed?

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Lets get on to solving the problem, then...

In order to safely do any work on the electrical systems of the Vectrix the blue connector between the two batteries needs to be disconnected first.
DSC03211.jpg

I believe the internal working of the batteries look somewhat like this:

Photobucket

pic_from_ppt_1.jpg

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

    Click the images to see a larger view.

The disconnecting is easy - but reconnecting it will be a problem.

A cable with fitting connectors is needed to bridge the connector for about 30sec before reconnecting the connector properly.

Any ideas if this is some standard adapter, and what is in the cable used to temporarily bridge the batteries for re-assembly?

I assume it is a resistor that lets the battery voltages between the two battery parts equalize slowly to prevent sparking if there is a difference in voltage between the batteries.

Any input welcome, this is the first step to get this scooter going without the warranty...

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

andrew
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

The disconnecting is easy - but reconnecting it will be a problem.

A cable with fitting connectors is needed to bridge the connector for about 30sec before reconnecting the connector properly.

Any ideas if this is some standard adapter, and what is in the cable used to temporarily bridge the batteries for re-assembly?

I assume it is a resistor that lets the battery voltages between the two battery parts equalize slowly to prevent sparking if there is a difference in voltage between the batteries.

The two batteries are connected in series according to the diagram you drew. Connecting the circuit would then complete the circuit to the input to the controller, which might cause a spark when charging any capacitors. The resistor may be to pre-charge the capacitors at a low current to prevent a surge of current and a big spark damaging the connectors.

I would directly connect one of the sides of the wires, and use a ~250 ohm >5 watt power resistor to connect the other. In the diagram you drew:

    Click the image to get a larger view.

This would be directly connecting the two reds, and using a resistor between the blacks. After connecting, wait the 30 seconds, then remove the resistor and make the permanent connection.

About the warranty void issue, this is a dumb move by Vectrix. Necessary in principle, but if I was with Vectrix, I wouldn't have done that because now you are going to expose all of the dirty little secrets on the bike. You'll also be in a much better position to keep it running, and I would probably have done the same.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

NickF23
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hey Mr Mik

It might be advisable to follow proper procedures when working on any electrics 125 volts DC is way more than most people hear have on their bikes.

Here's a good starting point http://www.mpoweruk.com/shock.htm

NickF23
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Just looking at that controller, can someone explain where the power transistors are, where are the fets?

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

The two batteries are connected in series according to the diagram you drew. Connecting the circuit would then complete the circuit to the input to the controller, which might cause a spark when charging any capacitors. The resistor may be to pre-charge the capacitors at a low current to prevent a surge of current and a big spark damaging the connectors.

Thanks, Andrew, I think thats correct.
But of course I do think so, for I made up the diagram of the internal battery connections. If that diagram is fundamentally wrong, then the conclusions will be wrong.
I don't think they are wrong, though.

What I know is that once the blue connector is disconnected, the battery terminals can be unscrewed safely.

I also know that if you short the male blue connector on battery 1 to itself, then you get a battery with about half the voltage; I asked that question during the repairs for the second blown main fuse to check if I "got it" and it was confirmed.

Re: capacitors:

I once got an error message "CAPhOt" on the left instrument display, I guess it means capacitor hot.

Would the capacitors sit on the controller board and can anyone identify them from the higher resolution pic in the above post? Click on it for a higher resolution, save on you PC, zoom in further.

That might help to choose the right resistor for the bridging cable.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

It might be advisable to follow proper procedures when working on any electrics 125 volts DC is way more than most people hear have on their bikes.

Here's a good starting point http://www.mpoweruk.com/shock.htm

Thank you, that would have been my next question....

I would not take this one on if I did not know that there is an enthusiastic and capable crowd out there ready to help not let the Vectrix go the way of the EV1.

These Vehicles are owned, not leased.

They should be very repairable and reliable after some initial steep learning curves have been tackled successfully.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Would the capacitors sit on the controller board and can anyone identify them from the higher resolution pic in the above post? Click on it for a higher resolution, save on you PC, zoom in further.

No, interestingly. They and the FETs should be very easily identifiable; they should be some of the biggest things on the board. I see none. I've never seen a controller like that, actually. Can you look at the other side?

But, I'd wager on a 1kΩ 5W resistor. Even very large caps don't take that much energy to charge.

Also: That seems like some serious crap Vectrix is pulling on you. And that much for a controller seems really steep, even for something of the Vectrix's power level (which is OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAND! :P).

The author of this post isn't responsible for any injury, disability or dismemberment, death, financial loss, illness, addiction, hereditary disease, or any other undesirable consequence or general misfortune resulting from use of the "information" contai

PJD
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Agreed, an odd looking controller, All I see are a lot of IC's, a couple possible SMD transistors of some sort and lots of SMD passives including little capacitors. But none of the expected rows of MOSFETS on a big heat sink and but alum. electrolytic filter capacitors.

And, some very odd gadgets:

1. What are the round silver things that look like button cells?

2. What are the rectangular white things with the holes?

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

And, some very odd gadgets:

1. What are the round silver things that look like button cells?

2. What are the rectangular white things with the holes?

The things that look like button cells probably are button cells. They'll keep the more volitile memory intact; the chips that log data and settings and such need a little bit of power to store their data.

The rectangular white things are just molex connnectors.

Honestly, though, is there another side to this thing? Because frankly it looks more like the on-board computer than the controller.

The author of this post isn't responsible for any injury, disability or dismemberment, death, financial loss, illness, addiction, hereditary disease, or any other undesirable consequence or general misfortune resulting from use of the "information" contai

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Here is what I faxed and emailed to Vectrix Australia today:

Vectrix Australia
Melbourne
Fx: 03 9676xxxx

Hi Xxxxx,

I suggest that Vectrix Australia urgently act on the recall announced by Vectrix Corp and perform the battery rework as soon as possible.

A smell coming out of the battery compartment almost three weeks after a battery recall due to potential fire danger in the battery is a very clear scenario until proven otherwise.

I disagree with your announcement to void the warranty on my Vectrix.

Unless the Vectrix has a faulty design or was assembled incorrectly, the gentle laying onto the side cannot cause the breaking of a mayor electrical connection.

Even if falling over, for example due to the faulty design of the side stand or a minor accident, the Vectrix should not suffer any internal damage to electrical systems.

Otherwise that would certainly be reason for another urgent recall.

If there really is a loose connection of a cable to the motor controller, than this was most likely caused by the strong vibrations from the faulty gearbox, which was present from the start and was not addressed by Vectrix Australia despite repeated requests.

There can also be no doubt that the ill-fitting right front fairing, the scratched, wobbly and crocked windscreen and the large scratch on the side panel were present on the day of delivery of this replacement Vectrix.
The battery display has also been severely out of sync with the actual charge state of the battery since day one; this again got worse rather than repaired when the main fuse was replaced and the Vectrix was left declared fixed; “trust me” you said, without any road testing or observation of correct completion of the charging process.

The side stand broke many weeks ago, also long before anything that could be reasonably interpreted as a warranty condition violation.

You have clearly not fulfilled your obligations under the warranty conditions so far.

Should you actually find that the battery is not the cause of the smell and if you continue to refuse to fix the other problems under warranty, then I would find myself unable to pay you for the repairs.

Due to the fact that my Vectrixes have been un-roadworthy for about half the time of the six month that I have owned them I have had much higher costs than I had anticipated and I cannot justify further large spending to keep this lemon running.

I would also find it inappropriate to replace a functioning motor controller board that has a loose connection, into a scooter with a faulty gear box that will rattle the next board to pieces as well.

Sincerely,

“Mr. Mik”

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Vectrix Austrlia want "Defaming Evidence" removed from V forum

Now Vectrix Australia are asking lawyers to get me to remove "defaming evidence" [sic] from VisforVoltage!
How much better does it get?
Their use of proverbs and oxymorons is just superb!

I received another email today, this time from another person within Vectrix Australia, I'll call him Zzzz to keep private details out.

Could I please have some comments from the moderators as to what would be possible if I or Vectrix Australias lawyers requested to remove some or all of my posts relating to Vectrix? Not that I believe that any of it is defamatory....

Could I have all my contributions removed if Vectrix Australia finally manage to provide me with a well working Vectrix for the AU$16000.- loan which I am paying off?? Not that I believe they would offer that....

.
.

And as one more cautionary note to Vectrix Australia and their lawyers, who will read this if they do their job properly:

I have done my best to avoid making any untrue statements throughout my postings on V.
And I did my best to avoid any statements which I cannot back up with evidence.
And I have backed up the evidence.
Of course I have made an honest mistake here and there that I am not aware of, this is unavoidable due to my human nature and the sheer volume I have posted over the last 6 months.

Diverting any of Vectrix Australias funds to lawyers - trying to allege that I committed a tort- will only cost you a lot of money but otherwise get you nowhere.

And please be careful with what you write or somehow make public, because unlike libel or slander, truth is not a defense for invasion of privacy.
I fear I detect some unpleasant undertones in you email in this direction, my sincere apologies if this was unintended.

You might also want to read http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2724-ethical-and-legal-aspects-public-online-product-reviews for a more in-depth discussion of the subject.
.
.
.

Here is the text of the email I received, as usual with Mr. Mik's reports, it is anonymised:

Mr Mik

I have been following your emails with great interest over the past several months and found them very interesting.

You have made it very clear your Vectrix has problems, how it got these problems is another story and our technical manager is working very hard to get on top of them.

I write to discuss with you your disrespect to our company which is not only trying to launch a brand but also supply people who actually have financial problems with high fuel prices, parking costs etc a cheaper and cleaner means of transport.

To my understanding your warranty has been void. Once the rework has been completed on your bike you will be on your own.

I am very disappointed to follow and read your forums on our bikes. If the vehicle does not reach your standards I suggest in the future you research these technologies better before buying. Like you said yourself you have done everything our material says you can do. Except open the bike up and continually defame not only the company but also representatives within it.

I have also sent a copy of this email to Xxxxxxxx lawers who will be acting on our behalf to have you remove all defaming evidence that is on VisforVoltage. They have already been through it and found several things. (they will contact you in the near future).

If you would like to discuss this please feel free to ring me in the mean time I understand your bike will be fixed and you will be invoiced accordingly.

Please go ahead and post this on VisforVoltage I am sure it will give your followers a better understanding of who you are and what is going on.

sincerely

Zzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzz

Vectrix Australia

(03)9676zzzzz

041753zzzzz

Zzzzz [at] vectrix.com.au

This email speaks for itself. Read it carefully, it is a beauty.

A few points in reply:

A): I have no "followers" here or anywhere. The people here on V are doers and leaders, mostly. If you find one of my alleged followers, tell me so I can loose him/her.

B): "My" forums are not about "your" bikes, they are about my Vectrix and my replacement Vectrix. Remember? The finance company gave you AU$16000.- and I am paying it off. And that is what I have called them, "My Vectrix", consistently, until there was unfortunately too much evidence from other Vectrix riders reports that made it clear that my Vectrix is in some respects quite typical.

C): I am one of the people suffering from high fuel prices and financial problems, but only since I made the decision to buy a Vectrix from you.
My two consecutive Vectrixes have been unroadworthy for about 50% of the time I had them, that's 3 out of 6 months, due to faults that seem to be common with Vectrixes, based on the multiple reports of these failures from other Vectrix riders.
And the lengthy time in unroadworthy states was partially due to the delays caused by and the inability of Vectrix Australia to diagnose and fix the problems in a timely fashion.

D) It is not that the Vectrixes you sold me do not meet my standards.
Vehicles that fail suddenly in the midst of traffic do not meet the standards of any reasonable person.

E) If the vehicles you sell and advertise do not meet standards, I suggest that you research before you buy dozens of them next time!
I did my research. I asked the appropriate questions. I kept the answers.

F) You are only dreaming of billing me ever again.
Remember, again, it's my Vectrix, and unless I ask you to perform any work not covered by the warranty you are not allowed to perform the work or bill me for it.
In fact, I might have to get the necessary work done by someone else and bill you for it if you continue to refuse to perform work covered under the warranty.
All the faults of my Vectrix were pre-existing to what you allege caused the warranty void you are proclaiming.

More details provided to the moderators.

Mr. Mik

Oh, let me throw in some proverb just to blend in:

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A HOLE?

STOP DIGGING!

.

But even in a hole....

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hello Zzzzzz,

thank you for asking me to post your email at VisforVoltage.

I have replied to it in some detail there, too.

You may read my reply at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3462-vectrix-warranty-voided#comment-19455 or alternatively in this email below, but the formatting is much better on the V forums and it will be easier for you to read.

Sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

NickF23
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

That's pretty unbeleivable, do they specifiy exactly what they claim is defamatory? I'm quite shocked that this, apart from being a bit silly, it's also a huge own goal from a public relations viewpoint, you just don't do things like that.

chas_stevenson
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Mik,

The Moderators can remove the post from V is for Voltage however every site on the World Wide Web is archived which is beyond our control. This means even if we remove the post they can still be seen by others using archive look-ups.

After reading all of their messages and the items you have posted it is my opinion they don't have a leg to stand on. I hope you get your bike fixed, in my opinion they are unhappy with you because you spoke out about your problems so now they don't want to honor their agreement. To bad there is not some way you could get you money back. I know if I spent that much for a vehicle and it caused me the problems yours has I would want to drive it through their show-room and wreck as many new ones as possible then claim it was the fault of their faulty vehicle.

Well I have said enough with one last message for Vectrix - "If you can not fix one of your vehicles to the satisfaction of one customer you need to get out of the business."

Grandpa Chas S.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

After reading all of their messages and the items you have posted it is my opinion they don't have a leg to stand on. I hope you get your bike fixed, in my opinion they are unhappy with you because you spoke out about your problems so now they don't want to honor their agreement. To bad there is not some way you could get you money back.

Thanks, Chas!

Actually, there is always a way, if there is no other way!

It would involve sending off the following letter, which I almost sent a few times during the frustrating course of events over the last 1/2 year.

The only reason they did not receive the letter yesterday was their faulty fax machine!
After repeated attempts to fax it I sought advice and discussed strategy, then decided to hang onto the letter once again.

I did not send this letter of demand on previous occasions because my aim during this episode has always been to get a well working EV, and to not do unnecessary damage to the fledgling industry, whilst documenting a hopefully great alternative to ICE vehicles.

Unfortunately the course of events forced me to write a different kind of story than I was hoping for.

It would of course be a very poor outcome for everyone involved if the end of this lengthy tale on V is a refund of the purchase price.

The other reason why I did not yet demand my money back was that I am not sure if they even have the money, if they were ordered to refund it by the State Office of Fair Trading.
I have no insight into their financial situation whatsoever, other than that sales have been disappointing.

I wish them no harm, but I also wish no harm to myself, and I will not let them get away with this nonsense and quietly pay off the AU$16000.- over the next three years.

Here is what I will probably send later today from a fax machine that prints a confirmation report:

To: Vectrix Australia Pty Ltd
164 Rouse St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207,
c/o XxxxxXxxxx
Fx:03 9676 9155

From: “Mr. Mik”

Dear Xxxxx,,

I am sending this formal letter of demand in order to request a full refund of the purchase price of the Vectrix Maxi Scooter which I bought of you.
(see Trade practices Act 1974, s 75A, Rescission of contracts)

Unfortunately the first scooter and the replacement scooter have repeatedly demonstrated that they are not fit for their purpose.

Both scooters have demonstrated that they are unable to cover the return trip to one of my work places.
I gave you a detailed and accurate description of my commuting route to that work place and I asked for your advice regarding the suitability of the Vectrix scooter for that purpose before entering into the sales contract with you.

You advised me that: Quote: “The route you have described appears very doable on a Vectrix”.

See Section 72(2) of the Trade Practices Act:
“ Where a corporation supplies (otherwise than by way of sale by auction) goods to a consumer in the course of a business and the consumer, expressly or by implication, makes known to the corporation or to the person by whom any antecedent negotiations are conducted any particular purpose for which the goods are being acquired, there is an implied condition that the goods supplied under the contract for the supply of the goods are reasonably fit for that purpose, whether or not that is a purpose for which such goods are commonly supplied, except where the circumstances show that the consumer does not rely, or that it is unreasonable for him or her to rely, on the skill or judgment of the corporation or of that person.”

Please advise me ASAP if you agree to refund the purchase price, otherwise I will have to refer the matter to the State Office of Fair Trading.

Yours sincerely,

“Mr. Mik”

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Buzby
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

The problem here is you are attempting to blame the manufacturer for a variety of unmet claims and/or omissions. You would have had full recourse to 'not fit for purpose' claims after your second replacement, but evidenced by your own DIY on the product (which is your right) any warranty claim would evaporate due to the likely possibility of the unauthorised tinkering causing further damage to the machine.

I know of no manufacturer or retailer to will arrange to repair ot replace any electrical item that the user has clearly disassembled - this fact is well covered in law and customer disputes invariably fail. The fact Vectrix have not told you that you are 'on your own' shows great patience on their part and a willingness to resolve the issue. Trying to pursue them to get your money back may be cheaper for them in the long run, but I don;t see why they should.

Your posts have been interesting and informative, but only because I would never dream of stripping down a bike less than a year old to find a fault that was not my responsibility to do so. This debacle has impressed me that Vectrix Australia have actually done far more than I would reasonably expect them to to resolve these issues, and the fact they STILL are doing so makes them a shining example of customer care. It's a shame you don't see it the same way.

- Raymond

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi,

I signed and faxed the above Letter of Demand for Refund of Purchase Price to Vectrix Australia today.

Buzby, you got just about all the key points wrong. You might notice this if you read the posts above.

I have not disassembled any electrical item on my replacement Vectrix.
I have reconnected the cables to the left break light switch which had become loose on the day my side stand broke. This was under telephone instruction by Vectrix.

All that was done to my replacement Vectrix by someone other than Vectrix staff was a repair to the mechanical gear box. This gear box was defective from the first day and was causing severe vibrations which in my opinion are the likely cause of at least some of my Vectrixes other problems.

The pictures of the electronics board and battery were taken during the replacement of the motor controller fuse by Vectrix staff.
I posted some of them earlier, just after the fuse was repaired.

Of course all verifiable, even by just looking it up on V.

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I emailed Xxxxx and Yyyyy at Vectrix Australia the following today:

Hi Xxxxx and Yyyyy,

please let me know if and when you will be coming to perform any work on my Vectrix.

We need to negotiate beforehand which work you would be able to perform, because I will not pay you for any costs you might want to claim for repairs.
I do not give you permission to perform any work on my Vectrix that you intend to invoice me for.

If you are still planing to come here on Saturday, May 10th, then you need to let me know about this in the next few hours and start negotiations about which work you are prepared to perform without any further cost to myself.

I trust you have by now received my Letter of Demand for Refund of the Purchase Price.

It is a matter of urgency that you inform me of your intentions in this mater.

If you do not reply then I will have to assume that you are unwilling or unable to refund the purchase price, and because this would likely lead to further delays, whilst the State Office of Fair Trading investigates the matter, I would have to instruct someone else to bring my Vectrix into a roadworthy state and I reserve the right to invoice you for the additional costs.

Sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Honestly, though, is there another side to this thing? Because frankly it looks more like the on-board computer than the controller.

I have never seen the other side of the board, but was told that the three red cables disappearing through the hole at the lower edge of the photo are connected to the three silver screw-like things in the right bottom corner of the board.

And that is, I believe, where laying of the bike on its side allegedly causes smoldering. Very implausible IMO.

The plastic smells that you are experiencing are probably coming from you motor control board as a result from the bike being Worked on whilst laying on its side with the batteries still installed. i.e. Not Following the correct work procedures.

This has then cracked the seal on the terminals connecting the motor windings to the MC Card creating a current block and rapid heating of the terminals and consequently burning the PC Board creating the smell that you described.

Photobucket

I was told the board is quite thickly packed with chunky electronic bits and pieces on the other side.

Just to clarify a potential misunderstanding here:

My Vectrix is still in one piece.
When I smelled the smell coming out of the battery cooling exhaust in front of the rear wheel, which also collects air that has circulated around the MC board, I parked my Vectrix and left it ever since.
The photos were taken a while ago during the fuse replacement by the Vectrix tech and some of them were previously posted at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2977-open-letter-vectrix-corp#comment-17845 and following posts.

I might have to take it all apart and check if it is burnt anywhere in the future.

At this stage I have not done anything to the electronic parts of my Vectrix, only taken photos whilst the tech had it apart.

If I have no other choice then I will take it apart and learn how to diagnose and repair it.

I would then be able to take detailed photos of the blue connector and the electronics etc.

The battery was 3/4 full when the smell appeared and should hold sufficient charge for some time to enable booting up of the bike.

If I am really "on my own" (ha ha) with the bike, then it might be prudent to get the right CanView software and adapter first, before taking anything apart, in order to document all current software settings before removing anything.
It will be easier to find optimal settings if the originals are known for use as a starting point.

My Vectrix would still run at the moment if I turned it on, it just smells funny.
Charging might also be dangerous

Taking stuff apart might turn into a nightmare if the software settings got lost somehow (due to taking out a button cell etc.)

I would much rather avoid dismantling until after backing up the software settings which it has at the moment.

I'll need to get a connector like this: http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2775-vectrix-technical-resources#comment-17850

There might also be legal advantages from maintaining the status quo, which is that the electronics have not been touched except by Vectrix staff, so far.

Can anyone tell me how to get and use a CanBus adapter and software, and how to find and document/backup all software settings before taking stuff apart?

I have read the safety tips and it should be very unlikely to get hurt if wearing rubber gloves and using rubber coated tools.

I guess wikipedia is all that is needed these days to find info on all the MOSFETS and other alien creatures you are talking about...I'll get onto that, soon.

Thank you, everyone, for your great input so far.

Mr. Mik

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There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I received an email from Vectrix Australia today, which I cannot reproduce here in order to protect the privacy of the writers.
Nothing serious or secretive here, I will explain later. It is not due to any wrongdoing by anyone involved. More details provided to the moderators.

The purchase price refund is not mentioned directly, but I cannot interpret the content in any other way.

He/she basically tells me that the work cannot be done tomorrow, on Saturday, and offers Sunday or Monday instead.

Here is my reply:

Hello Xxxxx,

thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately Sunday or Monday are not suitable for me.

You suggest that a third party investigates the claim, therefore I will have to notify the QLD State Office of Fair Trading.

Please advise me if you happen to change your mind and agree to refund the purchase price.

Sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

My reply to the next email I just received:

Hi xxxx,

I have already made other plans for Saturday by now, we'll better wait until after the Dept. of Fair Trading has made a decision.

Sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

Excuse me if I am getting shorter and shorter with the explanations, but it is taking up too much of my time overall.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

duca
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I can see Mik's POW and probably I wouldn't behave much differently if these mishaps would happen to me.
That said, I also must see the points made by Buizby (sp of nickname correct?).
I don't think any other major company had followed you as long as Vectrix did, Mik, not to speak of little companies who simply would have dropped you since the start.
Imagine you had claimed to have opened the engine of some other motorbike... In the period of warranty you can barely open the oil cap to look for level, provided there is no gauge to make this unnecessary. Try tell to Yamaha or Suzuki or Piaggio you have opened up the transmission of a new maxiscooter... OTOH I think the dealer should show understanding for this, since you are not next door to them and it is understandable you felt compelled to do so in order to use your scooter.
Taking in account the distances involved I can't fail to see their effort to service you.
If there is a fault from Vectrix is to not have taken seriously the issue with the transmission. If I'd been you I had asked Vectrix for a written statement that you could safely drive despite the noise and vibrations until their technician came by, or otherwise give a refund for the downtime of the scooter or send a courtesy scooter, there were more options available before starting calling names.
OTOH unfortunately all of you are starting becoming personal, which is understandable from the customer, not from the Company however.

I still hope you'll find room for a suitable sattlement between you two.

Good luck down under

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Here is my reply to the next email received:

Sorry Xxxxx,

but when you told me that you could not come on Saturday (and the reason for it), I made commitments and promises to other people.

I need to keep these promises. It appeared certain to me from your email that you would not be able to come here on Saturday.

I have also thought about your suggestion to get the State Office of Fair trading involved. Because Vectrix Australia claims that gently laying the Vectrix on it's side, a claim with little verisimilitude in my opinion, it would be prudent to have an independent observer present during the investigation into the cause of the smell, to determine the veracity of your claim.

If your claim is actually true, then the State Office of Fair Trading can decide if they need to refer the matter to the ACCC for further action.

The problem of the repeated motor controller fuse failures -and the risk that this exposes Vectrix riders to- will of course be an integral part of the State Office of Fair Trading investigation and might also need to be referred to the ACCC. This problem cannot be left out of the investigation because it caused about half of the excessive down time of my Vectrixes.

As I have pointed out before, here is what the ACCC says on their website:

"If it appears to the minister that certain goods create an imminent risk of death, serious illness or severe injury, an emergency order can immediately be made, without a conference, for a ban or a product recall, disclosure of defect and disposal, repair, replacement or refund of price."

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/788555/fromItemId/788579

Whilst I assessed the risk to myself as acceptable, after some research, and my obligations to warn of danger fulfilled by posting the Open Letter To Vectrix, it is of course uncertain if the State Office of Fair Trading and the ACCC have the same risk tolerance, and if their Duty of Care will force them to go further than I had to go.

Sincerely,

"Mr. Mik"

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

By now it is obvious that the current situation holds high levels of risk for all involved.

I have thought of a possible amicable solution to the situation and suggest the following:

A) Vectrix Australia refund the purchase price of AU$16.000 minus their cost for the damage they claim I caused. 2200,- + 220.- GST + 150.- labor is the usual price, according to their recent email. Because vendors usually incur around 50% less cost than what the consumer pays, I would suggest we half that amount and subtract it from the purchase price. The refund would therefore be 16000-1285= AU$14715.-

I might also receive a refund of stamp duty which we can subtract from the refund amount. I will carry the risk of never receiving that money.
14715.- - 320 = AU$14395.-

B) I would ask the V moderators to remove the entire "Vectrix Warranty Void Thread", and if Vectrix have a particular, reasonable issue with some other parts of Mr. Mik's reports, then that as well.

C) We would both avoid all involvement by third parties and promise to let the issue rest; to go our own merry ways and leave each other alone.

D) I would stop posting on V as Mr. Mik, to avoid being asked questions etc. that might be posted.
But I would sign up on V under a different name and largely stay out of Vectrix discussions. I would continue to be involved in the effort to get EV's and other solutions to our problems on planet earth going.

E) Vectrix would pick up the bike after the refund has been received.

F) If Vectrix Corp. becomes unable to provide service to customers, due to insolvency or other circumstances, I might resume to post comments and advice in order to help owners to keep these beautiful bikes running as much as I can.

.
I believe this approach might be as close to a win-win situation as we will get, but I am open to further suggestions on how to improve it.

To be emailed to Vectrix Australia shortly.

Mr. Mik

Added: I have emailed it to Xxxx, Yyyy and Zzzzz of Vectrix Australia with the following intro:

Hi,

I have a suggestion for a solution that might save us all a lot of trouble.
I posted it at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3462-vectrix-warranty-voided#comment-19553 , the details are below.

Please discuss this as a matter of urgency and let me know how you want to proceed by Monday, May 12th, 2008, 1000am EAST.

Otherwise I will have to escalate the matter to the State Office of Fair trading.

Here is the suggestion: (Full text as above included)

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

I received a very quick reply from Zzzzz, he has probably not discussed it with anyone first:

Mr "Mik"

You will not be receiving a refund of any kind until our lawyers have sorted out VisforVoltage and the fair traders have fully assessed your situation.

Your bike will be reworked and looked at by xxxxx.
Until then I will ask you to drop all correspondance with us.

Once xxxxx has assessed your vectrix we will decide the next step.

Kind Regards

My reply (with cc to Xxxx and Yyyyy):

Well, I've tried, have it your way, then.

But do not enter my property without clearly expressed invitation. You would be trespassing.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

The Vectrix warranty booklet handed out in Australia states:

"This Warranty will be void if any work or service is performed by any person other than a VAP on the following parts of the Bike: batteries, air plenum, motor controller, encoder, Interface Control Module (ICM),throttle, dashboard, CANbus, software, motor, gearbox, wiring harness, battery charger or on any other electrical or mechanical part."

(Previously posted at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2707-how-best-break-vectrix-anyone039s-guess#comment-13899 )
.
.
.
Now, what can you do under this warranty?

Change or repair a tire?

Repair damage to fairing panels after a minor bungle?

Replace a light bulb in the headlight?

Pump up the tires? You be the judge!

.
Next set of questions:

Once you have done something that "Voids the warranty":

Is the warranty always void in regards to all parts of the scooter? Forever after?

Is the warranty void also in regards to repairs that were originally covered under warranty, and that were needed and requested by the customer since before the warranty violation?
Even if the Vendor had agreed to perform the warranted repairs prior to the warranty violation?
Even if they claimed that they were actually in the process of fixing the problem?
.
.

It seems to me that under warranty conditions like these all that the vendor has to do (to get rid of all obligations) is to delay repairs until the buyer is forced to fix something him/herself, and then the Vendor is in the clear because the warranty is void.
..

I'd like an opinion from bannedagainxx on this next question
(unless his yyyy disagrees with it, but of course there will be a way, anyway):

Would connecting a CanBus cable to the connector in the glove compartment and recording (with pen and paper, if needed) the settings without changing them and without performing "any work or service" breach the above warranty conditions?

I personally do not think so, but it might of course depend on all sorts of complex legal terms and on who has jurisdiction. But because the Vectrix has the same software throughout the world (apart from maybe differences for different voltage supplies for charging) it should be possible to find just one country, state or county somewhere where it is legal to do so without voiding the warranty.

The settings could then be distributed publicly or in private messages, even by spoken word if copyrights prevented it from being published.
Unless of course they are somehow password protected or encrypted.

This would be an important safeguard against monopoly situations causing trouble after the warranty expires.

There could be many situations where a skilled, local electrician could repair components for little cost, but only if the correct settings for the various programs can be restored afterwards.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

sgmdudley
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Mr. Mik.
I am really impressed with the meticulous care you used in the disassembly of the gearbox, the details and photographs and the time consuming measurements you made that brought to light the poor tolerances on the three planetary gears which resulted in the noise issue. Ideally a installer should be able to go to the "Planatery Gearbox Bin" and pick up 3 gears that are identical and install them without pause and have a good working gearbox. Perhaps Vectrix is annoyed that you found them out and identified the poor manufacturing process.
.
We really need good Elec Vehicles, and I thought the Vectrix was the top of the line for two wheeled vehicles. It is sad that this machine has had so many problems. I have any read a few reports that are positive. Perhaps the owners of good working Vectrixs do not have a reason to check in @ Visforvltage to find out how to fix their machines.
.
Best wishes Mik, I hope something works out for you.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix Warranty Voided

Hi Robert
Your right . My Vectrix work great . No noise . I hope Mik get taken care of to his satifaction.

Herb

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