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Old Nov 18th, 2011, 9:04 am   #1 (permalink)
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Class Action: How Many Truly Impacted? (Seek Informed Replies Only)

Class Action: How Many Truly Impacted? (Seek Informed Replies Only)

I have no right to ask to limit chit chat here, but I would ask that knowledgeable professionals post. Dealers, and those involved in the case or knowledgeable of the real issue.

Like many of you I have read the notice (and some other documents). Being in the legal field myself, I can attest that the real issues and dangers get lost in the process and the CLASS then is not truly informed. This may be overstated against Ducati, and whether the consumer or Ducati ultimately pay for the overstatement remains unknown.

Whether you are a dealer or otherwise knowledgeable, these are the key questions I have and I would think others would want to know:
  1. Is this a real safety risk? If so, how many (%) are likely effected?
  2. Is this limited to those that have used Ethanol and is the risk proportionate with the amount?
  3. Can the common rider self-inspect or do we need someone to review?
  4. Please distinguing cosmetic vs. mechanical damage.
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Old Nov 18th, 2011, 9:39 am   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not qualified (as you would have responders to this post) but many of the answers you seek are in this document

The answer to question 4 is clearly spelled out for each bike.

Personally, as an owner I protest this settlement, it benefits only the lawyers.
I'd rather see Ducati win this case than pay $850,000 to the law firm for nothing more than limiting how they can help us.
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Old Nov 18th, 2011, 12:50 pm   #3 (permalink)
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The responses to your questions can be model line specific. For example, on the GT1000. The tank swelling is both a cosmetic issue and a mechanical one with resulting safety concerns. When the tanks swells it moves away from the rubber mounts holding the front of the tank to the frame. This can and often does leave the tank attacked only at the rear. The tank can flip up and off the bike. The deforming can also cause the seal at the fuel pump to fail or causes issue with the gas fill cap area. Most all of the GT1000 had this issue. It's very easy to inspect visually and by simply grabbing the tank and checking for excessive play. The ethanol issue is well know and not limited to the bike or auto industry. The boating community has had some extensive issues with gas tanks as well. I have seen several technical papers on the chemistry of the issue, which points to ethanol as the primary contributor. I had a tank replaced on a GT, and was then lucky to find a source of ethanol free gas. Avoiding ethanol appears to eliminate the swelling issue.
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Old Nov 18th, 2011, 7:39 pm   #4 (permalink)
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Both replies above have merit and are helpful! Most all of us have read (or have opportunity to read) the Notice from the Court including the model specific issues regarding tank size swelling, cosmetic, and which bikes have covers, etc.

I think it is most important that we know what the real percentage of effected bikes, as this gauges how important it is to inspect - keeping in mind the inspection requires removal of covers/tanks/hoses, etc. on some bikes for non-visible defects. The Court document from my reading is not clear if the burden to inspect is on Ducati (them compensating the Dealers), or not.

I am going to re-read the document, but if I knew the odds were high, or if the odds were low but combined with a real danger, I would think the Court should go ahead and make it clear that Ducati will, through the Dealer network, hold the burden to inspect for latent (not noticeable to the average consumer) defects -- not just repair/replace "if."

Despite this, my gut feeling is this has been overplayed and most unfortunate, but I don't know the severity of the problem, or if Ducati could have headed this off with a voluntary recall or other lower-cost action. If it was truly a hazard, DOT would have pushed or Ducati would have already done a voluntary recall. From how I read this, the overall effect is something LESS than a recall. It is a "we will pay, if you find your own defect."
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Old Nov 18th, 2011, 9:06 pm   #5 (permalink)
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Note that you CAN opt out of the settlement if you'd rather have the option of suing Ducati yourself.
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Old Nov 18th, 2011, 9:21 pm   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynbulldog View Post
I'm not qualified (as you would have responders to this post) but many of the answers you seek are in this document



Personally, as an owner I protest this settlement, it benefits only the lawyers.
I'd rather see Ducati win this case than pay $850,000 to the law firm for nothing more than limiting how they can help us.
I agree 110% - I will opt out and pay for my own shit before the lawyers get theirs- BUT - Ducati had better notice the loyalty .... who am I kidding....
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Old Nov 19th, 2011, 12:29 am   #7 (permalink)
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OKCDUC, not to question your motives but you don't appear to be a duc member who has been around this site very long. The issue is very real and effected thousands of Ducati's. Some are living with the half-ass resolution of a shim kit.

You comment that if this were a "real" hazard our government would be on top of it. I can't figure out if your some how connected to Ducati, a government agency or have some other motive...but really, seriously, you need to check all the issues that were filed and realize like voter turnout your looking at maybe 50% of the true volume. This is a very real issue effecting many model lines. On the GT1000 it may be more apparent because it's so easy to see the tank deforming without the need to remove body work or any other time consuming inspection...it's very visibile with a quick glance under the tank.

Bottom line. Ducati acted very poorly to a known issue. I sold my GT in part due to not having the time to ride it, when I do ride I go for my superbike. But I will never own a Ducati with a plastic gas tank again, and they lost creditability with me and many more loyal owners with the lack of accountability to a serious issue.
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Old Nov 21st, 2011, 11:05 pm   #8 (permalink)
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DMCTRUBY, I regret you targeted your comments at me in a public forum - questioning my knowledge of this issue based on my start date on this forum. Particularly when my post is asking for answers to important questions that impact so many ...

I am a licensed attorney and avid Ducati rider. My length of time on THIS forum is rather short, but I am on a few others and have been for years. My personal opinion is rather insignificant - there is too much unanswered for me to have a solid opinion anyway. There are now well over 10 threads on this topic and our merely talking about it is disjointed. My posts are empathetic to those who hate lawyers and the fees being paid within the Class Action, but I also realize we have to deal with the issue, regardless of how we "think" Ducati handled it and regardless of how we think the lawyers are being overpaid.

1. Irrespective of no mandatory recall or voluntary recall, we need to know if this is a safety hazard. The Class Action Settlement and the proposed warranty service does not come close to the effect of a Recall. If this is a serious safety issue, it needs to be pressed forward...requiring inspection at Ducati's expense, and appropriate repair/replacement...just like a recall.

2. The % of effective bikes also becomes important, as well as whether the damage is related to the proportion of Ethanol use. This is where some Forum Members disagree - we have different perceptions because we are "assuming" how bad or insignificant this issue is. We need real information!

3. Related to this is another important issue. Is Ducati (through the Dealer network) acknowledging the obligation to Inspect? It would be most unfortunate if this was approved leaving the Class Members with the burden to still prove a case (argue with a Dealer) in order to get a warranty claim processed.

These are the important questions (at least to me).

Ethanol Harmful?
Oddly enough I started a poll regarding Ethanol use just days before the Class Settlement notices were received by most. At that time, initial responses largely favored Ethanol posing no serious threats or minimal threats. Since the notices, responses have shifted to a more concerned stance. However, as I checked the poll, over 70% still show this to be moderate or less harm. I think we need answers - not just speculation.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 2:15 am   #9 (permalink)
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I think it's important to point out that by and large the typical response from most dealers is that they are unaware of the issues. Whether that is a feigned response or not is open to question, but it seems strange that the problem is so well-known in the online community yet unknown among the dealers. Certainly acknowledging any problem with the bikes can only hurt their sales... I'll just leave it at that...
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Old Nov 22nd, 2011, 6:43 am   #10 (permalink)
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In all due respect, having members answer a poll as to how they "feel" the affect of ethanol may have on their bike is worthless. That is not science. The results are not facts.

While you may have just recently become aware of the situation around the time of the settlement mass mailing, this situation has been going on for many years.

Ducati had been biding its time, hoping this would all go away. But firms like the one who handled the class suit exist just for this purpose. That is what they do. Sort of like a manufacturer defect ambulance chaser of sorts.

The clock is ticking. Read the boards. Read the complaint. Mail the parties your position before the December deadline.

It's simple at this point:
1) Ask to be excluded
2) Comment (agree) or Object to the settlement
3) Do nothing.

It cannot be any simpler at this point.
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