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That was all that was in the email... not sure what he was saying in the last sentence. So of the 400 people who were on his email list, only a few objected to the settlement. That's fuckin lame. I know I objected and Flynbulldog did... wonder how many people "meant" to object but just couldn't find the time.... maybe people here objected who were not on his list... in that case, thanks for the effort.
I objected, but I admit I "free formed" it, not using a "pattern" or form letter.
There is a significant impact to the affected vehicles fair market value, and the effect is immediate for current owners, but each successive owner is going to have more and more trouble as these tanks deform over the years. The subsequent owner, who may be lusting after a Ducati now, may not know about this issue until they've already bought the bike and they'll be out of the coverage period. Unless you know to "search for" Ducati fuel tank how would you know, if you weren't already an owner?

I understand what Ducati is doing and why. I think. They're a business and their purpose is to make money so they naturally want the least cost option the court will approve. Obviously that is at odds with what the customer thinks is satisfactory in a lot of cases, but as you can see from the response numbers the overwhelming majority are willing to accept the tank failure and pay for it out of their own pocket so in the end this is a P/R win for Ducati even if the court makes the settlement much more consumer friendly.


I do a lot of coordination for responses to congress, the Code of federal regulations & Information collections, among other things and I can tell you from multiple first hand experiences that people love to sit around on internet forums, & email lists and b!tch about how bad things are and how much something sucks, but 95-97% of them won't have time to do what you're asking. It's like herding cats.

Seriously, if you break more than 3-5 % ROI from an email distribution, you are doing quite well. The most I've seen was 18% on a CFR comment period. The best advice I can offer for something like this is - Get people talking and keep them talking about the issue. It's the 2nd part where most efforts fizzle. You should start by reaching out to your core constituency, as with this forum post, but you have to keep the momentum going. Not to be non-constructively critical but probably the next thing I can think of is Ducati clubs & owners groups; contact them and ask them to use their contact lists to also object. It helps to have pre-formed letters / comments that people can copy / paste because as you can see here - we are lazy. Another option that may have possibly helped would've been some kind of online petition, or perhaps a F/B or Google plus page.

Form letter submissions or the legal equivalent of a "+1" forum post do carry weight, but more weight is given to a directly responsive, personal account.
You did good work here and helped us all. I personally thank you.

Fingers crossed for a more customer & consumer friendly court settlement, or a continuance.
 

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I was happy to send my letters in when I received the settlement documents and talked to as many people off the forum as possible. Unfortunately I tend to agree with flynbulldog that if you couldn't take a few minutes to get even a form letter in, you shouldn't complain when we get screwed.
Too bad.
 

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Well at least there were some that did something here or at least there were more people complaining about this crap settlement even if they didn't do anything. The other .org forum had a bunch of people living in a fantasy world think this settlement was "a good thing."

For the record, I took it one step further. I didn't just object, I opted out of this sham settlement altogether. I wanted no part of it from the beginning and knew that per the terms of the objection criteria that that avenue was going to lead to nothing. I sent my letter along with some verbage saying this settlement is a joke and excused myself from it. Someone on the .org site asked if I was going to sue Ducati on my own. I may or may not. At least I have options which I won't have if I stayed in the settlement even if I objected. Someone posted a link to the lady who is filing a small claims action against Honda on her own because the crooked lawyers who set up the class action was also not doing anything for the affected consumers; except getting rich off the misery of others.

In the interim, I had my shortened, replacement fuel tank Caswell coated. As far as I'm concerned, I have the only best solution to this problem short of replacing the tank with an aluminum. The class action settlement provides no relief for the money I've spent to have it done.

As far as Ducati, they could have done much more. They chose to give us all the middle finger. Even if it was a business/money decision to not do more, they could have met us in the middle some where. I would have paid the price difference between a plastic and aluminum tank as well as the cost to have it painted had it been an option. Ducati won't allow you to use the credit towards purchasing the aluminum tank. Again, they gave us the middle finger.
 

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I don't think Ducati gave anyone the finger. The problem with the current situation is that they have to warranty what they sell and replace and while many of us would love a c/f tank or the like, it won't meet some arcane & little known DOT regulation, guaranteed. I'm not sure how many metal tanks they have available besides the 1198SP tank, which ought to work on any current SBK model but I'm betting it's a darn sight more expensive than the plastic tank ; expensive for Ducati that is.

Even if the settlement goes through as it is it will cover a lot of riders who may at least be able to get a marginal tank replaced and it's better than nothing which is what everyone had before.

As I said, I think the current settlement is way off balance in Ducati's favor but under current law the settlement would make riders whole, with a warranty, albeit a very limited warranty considering it's part of the fuel delivery system, which I believe ties it to the emissions in most circumstances... This is really where things get confusing.

With any luck I'll be able to ride tomorrow - unsightly tank blisters & all. If I go fast enough, nobody will even notice. ;)
 

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:( Rode my 848 to work today, came out to go home and saw that the tank was going bad. That is both bikes that have had problems now. Hopefully the caswell coating will hold up on the Paul Smart. An SP aluminum tank may be required, maybe financed by selling the replacement tank...
 

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Discussion Starter #68
I confess I still don't get this from a Big Picture perspective:

Ducati spends lotsa money and effort to make and market motorbikes, a non-essential, discretionary product for probably 90+ % of us owners, in a competitive marketplace where we have plenty of new (and bargain-priced used) options.... and they spend @ $800k in legal fees intentionally denying us the product we paid for !?!

And the problem is not fixed!

In December 1989, Lexus initiated a VOLUNTARY recall of all 8,000 LS 400s sold to date, based upon TWO customer complaints over defective wiring and an overheated brake light. In a sweeping 20-day operation which replaced the parts on all affected vehicles, Lexus sent technicians to pick up, repair, and return cars to customers free of charge, and also flew in personnel and rented garage space for owners in remote locations. This response was lauded in media publications and helped establish the marque's early reputation for customer service. Some owners even got their cars washed and gas tanks filled.

That's the right way to treat owners, and strategically use a quality issue to ENHANCE the brand.

At Ducati, there must be a brand manager(s) and/or a quality manager(s) that either don't understand their responsibilities, or are getting over-ruled from above. This is called "Customer Contempt", the antithesis of "The Customer Is Always Right".

Hope for a discerning judge, because the legal representatives on BOTH sides of this issue failed here, IMO.
 

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maybe we should contact as many media outlets as possible and let the whole world know what ducati is doing. maybe this will change their minds. cause this story is only known among the Ducati people (and some of their friends). I'm sure Duc will do something if this gets viral.

just my 2cents......
 

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I got my new "product improved" fuel tank 01/13. Not sure what the settlement status is but they approved my tank swap in December.

Keep in mind that Ducati didn't make this part, it was sourced from a supplier so although they are on the hook for it, they probably aren't at fault for it. At least morally. I don't know how many were denied replacement under the case by case model, but once this suit hit them they had little choice but to protect themselves financially. I would guess that Ducati is passing along the cost to them to the supplier of the tanks themselves, or 'back charging'. I would.

That's probably why there's no "replacement tank" option on the table, Duc can go to the supplier and get their 'product improved' part far cheaper than sourcing a whole new part.
 

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Unfortunately the court approved the pathetic settlement, the lawyers got their money, and we the Ducati owners are left to hold the bag with defective tanks being replaced with smaller defective tanks and only for 18 months from now, after that Ducati could care less about your issues with your tank...thanks a lot Ducati!!! I will never buy another one of their bikes, they have proven that they consider you a customer for only 18 months at a time....bye bye to the brand for me....maybe they think that you just dispose of a bike after a few years and therefore you wont be needing a gas tank that will last for years? What about resale value?

http://www.girardgibbs.com/ducati-order-granting-final-settlement-approval.pdf
 

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The outcome does not surprise me but the rebuttals/arguments to the objections, did.

Shameful. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Go back to the first post... my letter... and look at the attached picture of the tank expansion I experienced. 1 pic = 1000 words.

This pic was provided to the Court, the Plaintiffs, and the Defense - but its not addressed in the settlement - although Ducati's ridiculous claim of deformation of "a few millimeters" was repeated.

Really?

Really.

Alot of the more mundane comments were specifically addressed.... paying lawyers commensurate with The US President (thus generating a lower fee), motorcycle balance being thrown off when the proposed brackets are used, the years it would take to design an adequate replacement metal tank (You design guys at Ducati still using compasses and an abacus over there? Funny, the aftermarket can bring model-specific accessories to market within weeks / months of a new motorcycle offering). Gimme a break!

As I feared, the judge seems to have been looking for reasons to approve a weak settlement. He authors a nice justification, but misses the point.

I've had over a dozen motorcycles since the late 70's; the GT is my first, and now last, Ducati. Addio!

Up to now, I refrained from mentioning the other serious problem I've experienced, which has made the bike turn off with out warning while in traffic. I had to fix that one myself too, after the Duc / dealer song-n-dance.

Simply stunning to me how short the vision is at Ducati.
"won the battle; lost the war"
 
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