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M8 shutter fault - get Leica to repair it for free

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Daniel of course you are entitled to report your personal experience and pursue whatever options you choose to have your camera fixed. In my opinion you can not make any reliable judgements regarding the prevalence of a problem based on your impressions from reading some forum posts.

 

If your camera has developed a fault outside of the 2 year warranty period and you opt to pay for the required repairs then all of your camera's functions will be checked and adjusted as needed plus you will obtain an additional years warranty on the entire camera.

 

Personally I do not support any legal action that is likely to be costly both to yourself and Leica.

 

In the spirit of objective reporting, my personal experience is that I have never had an issue with any of my Leica cameras (M3,6,7,8,9) nor lenses nor do I consider that the M8 is " riddled with little bugs which are quite irritating".

 

My experience with customer service (an M8 upgrade) was that the express service fee was waived for an M8 upgrade and I was provided with next business day service not to mention a free loan camera. Then additional services were also provided for free being the perfect focus calibration of two of my lenses plus what should have been out of warranty work to perform additional servicing on one of them (excessive looseness caused by my wrong operation). Then both were returned by express courier service back to me internationally at no charge.

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Guest PhotoWebb.co.uk

Geoff

 

Thanks for your response. Of course, I am hoping that I do not have to take legal action against Leica in order to get my camera repaired.

 

I am taking legal advice to ascertain whether I have any legal grounds to expect Leica to repair my camera free of charge even though it is not in the warranty period. I would assume that if I am advised that I do have legal grounds that when I put this to Leica they will simply give me what I want - a working camera.

 

I will keep you up to date as things progress.

 

Kind regards

 

Daniel

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Geoff

 

Thanks for your response. Of course, I am hoping that I do not have to take legal action against Leica in order to get my camera repaired.

 

I am taking legal advice to ascertain whether I have any legal grounds to expect Leica to repair my camera free of charge even though it is not in the warranty period. I would assume that if I am advised that I do have legal grounds that when I put this to Leica they will simply give me what I want - a working camera.

 

I will keep you up to date as things progress.

 

Kind regards

 

Daniel

 

You do realise that by taking this route you are more likely to polarise the situation. You have the name of a contact in Leica. Why don't you pick up the phone and call them. Have a positive and polite conversation before you start rattling legal sabres?

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Why don't you pick up the phone and call them. Have a positive and polite conversation before you start rattling legal sabres?

 

While I am on the OP's side with this issue... if the OP hasn't done this step, I would try...but I believe he has.

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In the spirit of objective reporting, my personal experience is that I have never had an issue with any of my Leica cameras (M3,6,7,8,9) nor lenses nor do I consider that the M8 is " riddled with little bugs which are quite irritating".

 

In the spirit of objective reporting, as you call it, Geoff: it took me 4 M8 bodies and 18 months of firmware updates to get just one M8 that worked as described in the manual - and then the shutter failed and had to be replaced.

 

I must admit that there have been experiences that I found slightly more amusing than this one, and the thought of asking for legal advice did cross my mind once or twice, although I didn't do it in the end.

 

However, I will never, repeat: never, buy a new Leica product again unless I have found sufficient evidence in a forum like this that the worst design flaws, firmware glitches and mechanical failures have been ironed out over a period of at least one year.

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Guest tvleeskr

Just to put things in perspective: Canon does not provide a decent customer service (=you can't call them), one is simply referred to a contracted general repair service by e-mail. The repair turn-around time is 6 to 12 weeks. Repaired items are not thoroughly tested, in this case resulting in the item to be returned for the same error within days after receipt. And yes, another 6 weeks went by. Repairs are warranted for 3 to 6 months only. Canon will replace an item only if returned three times for the same error. No replacement kit during the repair period.

I would suggest the Leica service is excellent compared to Canon.

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You are completely right, in my point of view. It seems all of these shutter faults are happening way before the rated shutter activation number is being reached, which is 1 hundred thousand.

 

To me this is clearly a fault in the shutter mechanics that will show up sooner or later in most M8's and M9's, as they use the same shutter. Although since some M8's, M8.2's and M9's have the slower shutter, 1/4000 instead of 1/8000, the problem could of been corrected.

 

That doesn't mean that original M8 owner with the original shutter should have to pay to have this problem corrected.

 

 

I am currently taking legal advice on the situation which has happened to my M8 whereby I am experiencing the dreaded 'Attention - Shutter Fault' error message.

 

Given that many, many users have experienced this problem I think that there is sufficient grounds for proving that this is in fact a defect of the design and/or manufacture of the camera and should therefore be remedied by Leica even if it is outwith the warranty period.

 

I will be starting an article on my website www.TravelPhotoMag.com - Online Travel Photography Magazine; Equipment Reviews, Destination Guides, Technique Guides, Photographs, Images, Cameras, Lenses which will detail the steps that I am going to follow together with the outcome so that other Leica users who have either in the past or are now having this problem can have some way of recourse.

 

Frankly, I think that it is unacceptable for Leica to expect us to pay for these repairs on what is an extremely expensive piece of equipment.

 

Please register your interest in this thread here and PM me your e-mail address if you would like to be kept up to date with progress. It may also be worthwhile to bring together as many people who have experienced this problem so that we can prove this is in fact a recurring problem - in case Leica decide to contest this fact.

 

Thanks in advance for your support.

 

Daniel

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Only Leica knows the total number of this problem, but there was a time last year when there were so many reports of this problem on this forum I was tempted to just shoot thousands of "blanks" until my shutter failed before my warranty ran out. Of course that's a silly thought but it's also silly not to make good on a known problem. My warranty has long since expired and no problems (knock on my head). . .

 

Ken

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With the approach of contacting Leica by email only, Leica had no chance to assess the reason for the problem and consequently sent an offer as the warranty period had passed. If Leica would blindly accept all claims by email this would be like giving a life time warranty without charge which is far from normal business practice.

 

Many experienced that Leica is often very accommodating and does not stick on warranty periods - I experienced it myself when I once serviced my M7 and Leica exchanged the perfectly working DX reader to the latest version without even asking for it. This is the basis of my comments.

 

Sent the camera to Leica CS to look at it. You might already have missed the chance of getting the camera repaired at no cost .

 

 

Regards

Steve

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Daniel,

I had the same problem, my repair was $400. I was very upset, but I don't believe you/we have much of a legal case. There is a warranty on the camera and if it met that warranty, I don't see what you have to stand on. Shutters fail. They have for a long time. I was very mad, but my m8 takes such good pictures, I can't force myself to sell it.

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Daniel,

I had the same problem, my repair was $400. I was very upset, but I don't believe you/we have much of a legal case. There is a warranty on the camera and if it met that warranty, I don't see what you have to stand on. Shutters fail. They have for a long time. I was very mad, but my m8 takes such good pictures, I can't force myself to sell it.

 

Yes shutter do fail but not in the numbers we are seeing with the M8 1/8000 shutter with the limited number of cameras built. It's not like 500,000 or more cameras where produced.

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Guest BigSplash

Daniel I sure hope that you do NOT go the legal route as it is likely to be expensive and has a low chance of success I suspect. I suggest that you should write to the Leica CEO or Stefan Daniels and explain your case ..I would not accept a two line response from someone in customers service who perhaps does not have the authority to do the correct thing.

 

I do believe that Leica top management should be concerned by a fault of this type for a camera of such high value, especially when the fault has been known for such a long time. I would expect Leica executives to be very concerned by the quality of their product, and after sales which I want to believe is a major differentiator.

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Warrenty is not all that. Products have an economic lifecycle. What's important is that the product behaves conform what you can expect of it (normal use). For example the economic lifecycle of a washingmachine is 6 years (instead of the two years warrenty). Many people don't know that you have the right to let it repaired for free after the warrenty period, within its economic lifecycle.

 

Leica will resist heavily against legal actions of this kind though. Other M8-owners, who paid for such a repair in the past, or will have same issues in the future will also claim the repaircosts and that would be a very expensive situation for Leica.

 

 

Cheers,

 

Lourens L.

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Guest BigSplash
just got the info that u can buy an additional warranty period from leica.

Leica Camera AG - Noch mehr Sicherheit

 

This looks like a real winner 250€uros (ie 10% of original price) for one year of cover excluding rain, dust, drop damage and it is only valid up to July 2010 for amateurs. Basically it seems to cover out of warranty defects.

Those that use the camera a lot (ie professionals) are not covered. It seems that it does not cover postage from Leica EU dealer to Germany.

 

I have a UK passport cover so do not need to use it anyway, but is this really a good deal? Probably yes given the cost of repairs at Leica.

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Guest PhotoWebb.co.uk

We'll see how things go. I am fully prepared to take legal action if I have to in order to get this issue resolved. This evening I found the original Leica brochure that I read over and over before I eventually saved up enough money for an M8 - here's an excerpt:

 

"Not many things last a lifetime. A Leica M often lasts longer

 

Anyone taking photographs is normally at the heart of life. In the heat or cold, in the rain or dust. The M needs to be durable, reliable and robust under all conceivable conditions. The question of durability is always a top priority in the development of a new M model. This is why only premium materials are used for its body : brass for the top and base plate and a high-strength magnesium alloy for the chassis. The digital technology components are also carefully selected to with- stand years of use. Sophisticated production techniques and painstaking assembly guarantee decades of reliable operation, allowing photog- raphers to enjoy their Leica M for as long as possible. For a lifetime in fact, often even by the next generation."

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Guest BigSplash
We'll see how things go. I am fully prepared to take legal action if I have to in order to get this issue resolved. This evening I found the original Leica brochure that I read over and over before I eventually saved up enough money for an M8 - here's an excerpt:

 

"Not many things last a lifetime. A Leica M often lasts longer

 

Anyone taking photographs is normally at the heart of life. In the heat or cold, in the rain or dust. The M needs to be durable, reliable and robust under all conceivable conditions. The question of durability is always a top priority in the development of a new M model. This is why only premium materials are used for its body : brass for the top and base plate and a high-strength magnesium alloy for the chassis. The digital technology components are also carefully selected to with- stand years of use. Sophisticated production techniques and painstaking assembly guarantee decades of reliable operation, allowing photog- raphers to enjoy their Leica M for as long as possible. For a lifetime in fact, often even by the next generation."

 

I guess you can also add Steven Lee's comments at the time that a Leica M8 will never be obsolete as they will bring out firmware upgardes for free .....Hmm the last one was June 2009 yet the camera has a shutter lockup fault since 3 years that has not been as yet fixed by firmware.

 

I still think that you should phone these guys (CEO or Stefan) and remind him of the above before taking any action. Please do let us know how you get on.

 

Anyhow currently OEM batteries are in short supply ....but then that is another issue!

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Guest PhotoWebb.co.uk

Cheers guys. I am hoping that once I have all of the facts - including my legal rights - I will be able to approach Leica for a satisfactory and amicable solution. I love the kit - I just want it to last!

Edited by PhotoWebb.co.uk

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Guest BigSplash

If there is a design or manuf. flaw in the 1/8000 shutter it would be good to hear about it.

Leica suggested that they went for the slower speed shutter on M8.2 and this is the same one used in M9 because it was less noisy. I have played with both and the M9 is in my view more silky in its operation but I would not say that it is noticeably much quieter to a level that would prompt a complete design shift. I have often wondered why they actually downgraded the specification of M8.2 in terms of shutter speed....could there be another reason, perhaps due to reliability?

 

I am as mentioned before very happy with my M8 and have shot just under 2000 images since last June. However if the shutter is likely to fail due to a design flaw at some point in the next year or two then that would be upsetting.

 

If you are able to get some feedback on how many M8 camera shutters have been replaced etc. If what you have is common to others then I would be interested to hear, and frankly I would like to believe that Leica would wish to have a recall / upgrade program and do the right thing. This is what car companies do (eg.Toyota / Peugeot currently).

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Guest PhotoWebb.co.uk

Well I guess we will hopefully find out. Although I would expect Leica to be very cautious about releasing this information due to the potentially costly exercise of replacing all of these potentially faulty shutters.

 

As you say though, many other companies have had to do this - Microsoft are another example with their original Xbox 360.

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