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HELP !!! - Need Advice Before I Go Ballistic

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I’ll try to keep this short. All my life I’ve wanted a Ducati. I’ve saved for a couple of years to get one and on Saturday, I picked my baby up. Brand new, 0 mile 2005 999 Biposto. I took delivery on Saturday from a dealer in the Washington DC area. My girlfriend drove me to the dealer and I rode the bike home.

On the way home, I noticed that the temp indicator seemed to be reading rather high. It was a cold day and the meter was reading 245 - 257 degrees the whole trip. Having never had a bike with a digital temp readout, I made a mental note to look in the manual when I got home. Got home with no problems and sat down by the fireplace to read the manual.

HOLY CRAP !!! The only reason the temp meter didn’t read higher is that it doesn’t go any higher. I had ridden a brand new bike overheating all the way for a 50 mile trip home. I immediately ran out to the bike and pulled the right side fairing. You all know what is coming next………..radiator and coolant tank are bone dry. The dealer prep guys didn’t put any coolant in the bike.

By the time I figured this out, the dealer was closed and they don’t open up until tomorrow AM. I really need some advise from the members on this board on how to handle this situation. While this is my first Ducati, it is not my first motorcycle, and I know what has happened has the potential to cause long term maintenance issues with the bike.

My thoughts on how this chould be taken care of by the dealer include: ( in the order I’d like to see them happen)

1 Replace the bike with another 0 mile 2005 or 2006 999 biposto
2 Take back the bike and give me my money back
3 Warranty the bike forever with a zero deductable to me.
4 Give me a bunch of crap, tell me everything is OK, and make me go to Ducati Corporate.

I’d like to get a new bike. What do you all think is reasonable given the situation.

Thanks for your help
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WOW, what a sad, sad story. That sucks big time.
IMHO - your best bet is hope you didn't do any damage. It's a good thing the temps were cool.
I feel for you, I'm pissed just reading about it. Who's the dealer? Make sure they are notified, as is Ducati N.A.. If the dealer gives you a hard time, get a lawyer. Good luck!
 

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Have you checked your oil level? Maybe they forgot that also!
 

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talk to the dealer... see what they will do about it. If I were you I would want another bike, engines never run the same after being over heated. If the dealer doesnt seem to want to work with you go buy the biggest gun you can find and go back and persuade them. If that doent work then when you get out of jail.... fire bomb thier show room
 

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sugarloaf11 said:
I’ll try to keep this short. All my life I’ve wanted a Ducati. I’ve saved for a couple of years to get one and on Saturday, I picked my baby up. Brand new, 0 mile 2005 999 Biposto. I took delivery on Saturday from a dealer in the Washington DC area. My girlfriend drove me to the dealer and I rode the bike home.

On the way home, I noticed that the temp indicator seemed to be reading rather high. It was a cold day and the meter was reading 245 - 257 degrees the whole trip. Having never had a bike with a digital temp readout, I made a mental note to look in the manual when I got home. Got home with no problems and sat down by the fireplace to read the manual.

HOLY CRAP !!! The only reason the temp meter didn’t read higher is that it doesn’t go any higher. I had ridden a brand new bike overheating all the way for a 50 mile trip home. I immediately ran out to the bike and pulled the right side fairing. You all know what is coming next………..radiator and coolant tank are bone dry. The dealer prep guys didn’t put any coolant in the bike.

By the time I figured this out, the dealer was closed and they don’t open up until tomorrow AM. I really need some advise from the members on this board on how to handle this situation. While this is my first Ducati, it is not my first motorcycle, and I know what has happened has the potential to cause long term maintenance issues with the bike.

My thoughts on how this chould be taken care of by the dealer include: ( in the order I’d like to see them happen)

1 Replace the bike with another 0 mile 2005 or 2006 999 biposto
2 Take back the bike and give me my money back
3 Warranty the bike forever with a zero deductable to me.
4 Give me a bunch of crap, tell me everything is OK, and make me go to Ducati Corporate.

I’d like to get a new bike. What do you all think is reasonable given the situation.

Thanks for your help
1. Has the dealer admitted there was no coolant? Assuming not [per your facts], better make sure you document the condition of the bike as you found it. Take lots of pics in bright light. Also have witnesses see what you found. Just have them observe things.

Also, do they have a website or fax machine? If so, immediately send them a dispatch documenting the event. The sooner you do this, the less likely they can accuse you of negligence [unlikely on your facts that they could, but wonders never cease on the creativity of people trying to get out of a jam.]

I say this because it is against human nature to admit wrongdoing, especially in the vehicle industry. The minimum wage prep guy is not going to admit it and he probably just checked off that coolant was put into the tank, so he is not about to admit he lied or goofed up.

Equally, the dealer is not going to admit anything that might cost them money to make right.

Once in awhile you might have someone admit fault and do everything to make you whole, but that is the exception.

2. You next have to prepare for the dealer saying that no damage was done to the bike as the "air cooling" prevented the bike from being damaged. He may say bring it in for an inspection and then simply say "no harm" done. I doubt if he finds trouble he is going to tell you about it. He will simply "glue things back together," so to speak, and not tell you about it.

I am not qualified or knowledgeable to know what damage was caused by running the bike without coolant, at the distance you did. Others may know about this. For all I know, if it was not a hot day, maybe no damage occurred. The cooling system, for all I know, is to deal with hot days or sitting at stop lights for long periods of time.

3. The good thing is that the bike is warranted for two years, so if there is trouble, it's covered. But I'd make sure that I know 100% for sure the bike is not damaged, e.g., nothing warped, seals intact, etc.

4. I am not familiar with the laws in your state. But there are implied warranty laws, etc. that may permit you to return the vehicle. Here in California there was a new law passed that permits one to return a vehicle for any reason within 3 days of purchase. Lots of hoops and requirements to take advantage of the law, but maybe there is something similar in your area.

5. In terms of an exchange for another bike or money back, that is asking the dealer to take a big hit on the sale, so he is not going to want to do that unless the law is on your side. So, first do a Google search on the law in your state in regards to vehicle purchases, returns, warranty, etc.

Arm yourself with knowledge of your rights before being tough with them, assuming you will have to get tough.

6. I know what you mean in terms of the simplest solution being to trade the bike for another untainted unit. Unfortunately, I suspect the law is not on your side in this regard, as it was a sale, etc. So this has all transformed into a warranty claim on your bike.

My suspicion is that the bike is OK, but let others comment on that.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU PUT COOLANT IN THE BIKE, NOT UNTIL YOU DOCUMENT THAT THE TANK WAS EMPTY. If you do fill it, that leaves you open to the dealer saying the tank was filled. Take a picture of the empty tank with today's newspaper in the shot, so to document when the pic was taken [albeit under your facts, probably don't need to worry about timing of pic issues].

Lastly, sorry for your loss, so to speak. Nothing is worse than getting a new whatever, only to have the joy obliterated by some dumb ass seller.
 

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Hey

If you had put where you are located in your profile information, I was going to look up the warranty laws in your state.

I used to charge $375 an hour for my brilliant analyis and you were gonna get it for free. But, since I don't know where you are located, I'm off the hook.

Off to the pub for me.:eek:

Maybe I'll PM you. But then maybe not :p
 

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This will all be covered under warranty. Of course Ducati NA is not exactly known for their expedient warranty repair/coverage. I can also assure you, there IS coolant or fluid of some sort in thier, just not enough. For the temp sender to have a reading, it was in contact with fluid. I suspect the cooling system was filled but not bled which once the bike was ridden and thermostat opened, the little bit of coolant installed was sucked from overfill resevoir and sits in engine.

I do believe you will have a tough time returning bike, demanding a refund in that any damage is covered under the bike warranty and it's not a recurring problem...yet. Solution: Call dealer and RATIONALLY discuss your problem, exactly how it happened. Note if any fluid was found under bike once parked overnight due to a possible hose leak, etc. Then request they come pickup bike, at their expense, and perform a cylinder leak down test and compression test. This would indicate a cylinder head gasket failure which would likely also include warping of cylinder head/barrel surafces. If the latter is discovered, I would firmly insist on NEW, not resurfaced, but new cylinders, heads and pistons. I would also have valves checked for warped stems or burned faces. In event all such items need replacement, I would attempt to negotiate a deal for a free loaner of their demo bike or if very low miles on said demo, a straight swap. The dealer recieves credit from Ducati NA for demo bikes and would likely be willing to swap bikes, using your damaged bike as demo unit once new engine parts arrive. At the very least i would insist on a guarantee that your bike be repaired within a 3-4 week period. Failure to perform such would mandate a full refund of all monies or a full replacement of bike for new bike of same color, model, year, etc. Always make dealer responsible to perform, and to do so in a timely manner. Whether it was their fault or not, your experience is very unfortunate and its their responsiblity to rectify the situation in a timely manner. Best of luck to you.
 

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Be realstic and be calm, professional, and rational...you will get a much more cooperative response. As mentioned already...DO NOT put water in the bike. INSIST the dealer come to your house and get the bike to take back to the shop for inspection. I would say that part is non-negotiable, along with all the documentation. Keep everything in writing even if it's notes on a piece of paper. Note every conversation and the results. Off the cuff, I would say you're OK and hopefully it's a respectable dealer who will take care of you. Good luck!!
 

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I was under the impression that the newer dashes had idiot lights and gizmos that tell you if something is wrong. No? Maybe you were still in range before real damage happens?

Surely if they have a little wrench that pops up for maintenance, they MUST have something for overheating.
 

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Did you notice the temperature flashing and the amber EOBD light turn on? Both of these warning signs, at least on my 2005 Dark, kick in when the coolant temp exceeds 125C/257F. Granted, the flashing wouldn't have caught my eye, but the amber EOBD light would have got me curious.

Just out of curiosity where did you buy your Duc from? I bought my Duc early this Fall in VA. I have experienced some truly shady practices, both in terms of sales and service, with the local Duc dealers. As others have suggested and from personal experience having to deal with a VA dealer who messed up my swing arm - call the dealer. When you call be calm, polite and ask to speak to the owner / service manager - go right to the top. Good luck.
 

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was it Coleman Power Sports?....Battley's?...or some other dealer?....Coleman's can be spotty...moreso from the Woodbridge store than the Falls Church one....Battley's has at times periods of reasonability depending on whom you talk to...I know a few names of folks at either of those stores for you to talk to either way!
 

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If it is true that it was bone dry of coolant when you got home, this is what I would do:

After documenting what I found (pictures, witness, etc) ... I would give them a call and calmly tell them to get that bike out of my property, because that would be the last time it would be there.

Then I would give them a chance to replace it with another brand new bike.

If they are not able to do that, then I would tell them that they are not in performance with the contract, and therefore I am no longer bound to it. I will demand any downpayment I gave them. If they have a problem, I'm ready to go to stop-pay the check, or charge-back any charge to my credit card, and am ready to go to court if they expect me to perform on the sales contract.

There is no way I would save money for years only to take home a bike with unmeasurable heat damage because of someone's last minute oversight . I'll fight tooth and nail for it.
 

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If you're here in VA, I believe you can return the bike.

There's a time limit on this process, and I'm not sure what that is, so I'd move quickly. I'd make them take the bike back and give you a new one or your money back in full. If they won't do that, I'd have the nastiest attorney that you can find on their butt ASAP! There is no way I'd spend the money you have to keep a bike that's been ridden 50 miles with no coolant...there's no telling what damage has been done that will show up down the road. That's the main problem with buying/owning a Duck here in VA, the dealers are all highly questionable at best. You've got to keep your hand on your wallet at all times during any transaction, get everything in writing, and you're still going to get screwed in spite of it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I want to thank everyone here for their advice !!!! The bike was purchased at Coleman PowerSports in Falls Church VA. They are closed on Mondays so this morning at 10:00 am will be my first run at them. I sent them an email documenting the situation last night, and followed up with a fax this morning.

You know, the funny thing is, that I have intentionally not dealt with Coleman for the past 20 years after some poor service work performed on a honda I had about 20 years ago. They offered a great price on the 999, and I thought "what the hell, I'm sure they are better now". Now I know better.

Thanks again for all your help !!!!! I'll keep you posted on how I come out on this.
 

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sugarloaf11 said:
I want to thank everyone here for their advice !!!! The bike was purchased at Coleman PowerSports in Falls Church VA. They are closed on Mondays so this morning at 10:00 am will be my first run at them. I sent them an email documenting the situation last night, and followed up with a fax this morning.

You know, the funny thing is, that I have intentionally not dealt with Coleman for the past 20 years after some poor service work performed on a honda I had about 20 years ago. They offered a great price on the 999, and I thought "what the hell, I'm sure they are better now". Now I know better.

Thanks again for all your help !!!!! I'll keep you posted on how I come out on this.
I purchased an 04 749 from a local dealership that did not have a good rep. also. The bike was for the right price though. I never touched the bike until I brough it to BCM in Laconia, N.H. in April of 05. I wanted them to go through the whole bike before I did anything.
 

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sugarloaf11 said:
I want to thank everyone here for their advice !!!! The bike was purchased at Coleman PowerSports in Falls Church VA. They are closed on Mondays so this morning at 10:00 am will be my first run at them. I sent them an email documenting the situation last night, and followed up with a fax this morning.

You know, the funny thing is, that I have intentionally not dealt with Coleman for the past 20 years after some poor service work performed on a honda I had about 20 years ago. They offered a great price on the 999, and I thought "what the hell, I'm sure they are better now". Now I know better.

Thanks again for all your help !!!!! I'll keep you posted on how I come out on this.
Talk to Matt Ross....though he is not a technician...he knows Ducati's and is a salesman and has some pull around that particular location when it comes to these types of issues...maybe he can help negotiate some way around it all.....but Coleman's in general has been a little spotty on PDI and set-up quality control....I saw an S2R that still had the protective tape on the swingarm get delivered...go fig....that is no where near as big a deal...but if they give you any problems...defintely get yourself an angry jewish lawyer!
 

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also...because you Emailed them means nothing other than a time stamp...unless you directed it at a certain person who does check thier Email religiously....it could sit there for who knows how long.....I'd be on the phone with em like NOW!
 
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