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ST / KW Coilover Buyer Beware

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Old 03-07-2019, 09:31 AM
TheBigChill
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ST / KW Coilover Buyer Beware

Well, on my way to work this morning I went to take a turn at maybe 10mph or less, and hit a rough patch while doing so. I was met with a snapping noise, and then a loud *clunk* while passing over any rough payment. I immediately turned around and went home (missing work..), jacked the car up and found that the driver side rear coilover had a broken shaft. It literally sheared off right at the shoulder where the threaded portion passes through the top-hat. I must say, never in my 20 years of motoring and wrenching have I seen a failure like this on a properly installed and young part (4k miles). Photos attached.

I called KW and spoke to one of their CS Reps (who turned out to be the CS Manager..) explained to me their "warranty process". After filling out a long form that requests loads and loads of technical details, KW asks that you send in the defective unit, they'll review the failed part, then...get this..."rebuild it over the next 2-3 weeks and send it back to you". I said surely you can't be serious, explaining that it would be far more reasonable to sell me a new unit on-the-spot and later refund me the money once my defective part was assessed. You would've thought I was speaking Greek, considering how the guy just kept silent and would then repeat his bullsh*t, intentionally obtuse responses. The conversation was no longer productive, so I called ECS tuning, the vendor that sold them to me. Chris at ECS agreed that this was ridiculous of KW, and began making calls to see if ECS could foot the bill for a replacement unit and try to recoup from KW on their own time. There's still no resolution, but I can say for a fact that KW / ST lost a customer today. A failure mode like this is completely unacceptable, and should warrant apologies and the utmost cooperation from the manufacturer. Instead I was met with indifference and arrogance, and this was from their CS Manager.

If you plan on purchasing a KW or ST product, I'd urge you to reconsider based on not only my experience, but also the other enthusiasts who have had similar experiences with their warranty process (Google it).






 

Last edited by TheBigChill; 03-07-2019 at 01:31 PM.
  #2  
Old 03-07-2019, 10:54 AM
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Wow. Good on you for putting the screws to them. In my mind, they should have offered to replace both rear coilover assemblies (that's what shops strongly suggest when you have to replace one shock or strut) right away. I can see why they want to have the busted unit back to conduct an evaluation of the failure but their approach is quite unreasonable.

Hope you can reolve this in your favour super quick. And thanks for sharing.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:24 AM
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JAYSUS!!!


Completely unacceptable.

I'm shaking my head here in disbelief.

I had planned on getting a set of the ST XTA's at some point, but such an egregious failure gives me hard pause for deep thought.
Geez.

I'm almost afraid to google KW/ST for fear of seeing many other similar examples of poor quality --- up until now I've sort of held them in high regard even though I prefer monotube dampers.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:43 PM
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Can a Mod move this to the General MINI talk, if that makes more sense?

I'm still working with ECS to see if they'll be able to help, but I am so unbelievably pissed at KW right now. What complete joke they are.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldboy Speedwell View Post

JAYSUS!!!


Completely unacceptable.

I'm shaking my head here in disbelief.

I had planned on getting a set of the ST XTA's at some point, but such an egregious failure gives me hard pause for deep thought.
Geez.

I'm almost afraid to google KW/ST for fear of seeing many other similar examples of poor quality --- up until now I've sort of held them in high regard even though I prefer monotube dampers.
Honestly, I think you'll find that failures like this are fairly rare. What I would be more concerned about is KW's laughable warranty process and terrible customer service.
 

Last edited by TheBigChill; 03-07-2019 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:15 PM
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PM you back, we are on it and will help things get straighten out.
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:33 PM
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I had something similar to this happen, but on a set of Megan racing coilovers. Hit a small bump at about 15 mph while slowing down to turn, something I've never seen happen.
 
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:57 PM
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How did Megan handle it, out of curiosity?
 
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Old 03-09-2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBigChill View Post
How did Megan handle it, out of curiosity?
I actually didn't pursue them, cut my losses and bought koni yellows / tein s spec springs. They didn't ride very well from day one, and could do without them
 
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:17 PM
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This info could be relevant across the different Generations and models, so at the request of the OP the thread was moved to General MINI Talk.

I hope you get your problem taken care of soon. I agree that KW CS could, and should have taken care of it when you talked to them.
 
  #11  
Old 03-09-2019, 06:08 PM
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That is seriously deficient customer service. I guess they expect you to have a spare car to use for the next 3 weeks.
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dmath View Post
That is seriously deficient customer service. I guess they expect you to have a spare car to use for the next 3 weeks.
KW lays their warranty process out quite clearly on the site as well as in the documents that come with the suspension. When I took my stock suspension off, it went into the box the KWs came in so that I'd still have a back up if need be. I think it is kind of absurd to expect KW to send out a replacement without actually being able to first verify that the suspension was defective.
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by scotty_r56s View Post
KW lays their warranty process out quite clearly on the site as well as in the documents that come with the suspension. When I took my stock suspension off, it went into the box the KWs came in so that I'd still have a back up if need be. I think it is kind of absurd to expect KW to send out a replacement without actually being able to first verify that the suspension was defective.
I'm not sure if anyone suggested that KW simply send him a replacement but I certainly didn't. The OP suggested that he would like to purchase a replacement with the price refunded after KW evaluated the shock he returned. That strikes me as an eminently reasonable request.
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by scotty_r56s View Post
KW lays their warranty process out quite clearly on the site as well as in the documents that come with the suspension. When I took my stock suspension off, it went into the box the KWs came in so that I'd still have a back up if need be. I think it is kind of absurd to expect KW to send out a replacement without actually being able to first verify that the suspension was defective.
Your entitled to that opinion, but this is far from industry standard. Additionally, I don't think you're understanding how a Warranty / RMA process typically works.
Example: I call with a complaint of a broken part, they say "OK, send it back with XYZ information, but in the meantime we'll sell you a new unit, and upon assessing your defective one, we'll refund the cost of your replacement you just bought". That's how that works. Outside of just the ridiculous process, they were unapologetic and arrogant.
 
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