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Guest jvansmit

Leica Q warranty invalidated due to 'impact damage'

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Guest jvansmit

The focus tab catch on my Q doesn't fully engage when moving from manual back to auto focus so the camera has gone to Germany for repair.

 

Leica customer care insist that the warranty is invalidated because of 'impact damage', and want to charge me just over $1,500 for the repair,  i.e. a complete new lens assembly.

 

I've scratched the camera bottom plate and hood badly after stumbling along some concrete rubble in Phnom Penh in July on a photo project....see photos. Leica insist that 'each impact damage excludes the warranty'. The camera was working perfectly after the damage occurred, and the focus tab issue only arose in December. 

 

 Is this the usual Leica warranty stance when a camera has scratches or dents? It seems harsh to me, and means I'll probably have to junk the camera.

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Going purely on what you have told and showed us the Q took quite a beating (scratched the camera bottom plate and hood badly).

 

Given this I don't seeing any issue with Leica charging you due to "impact damage".

 

As for the focus working them failing 5 moths later this certainly "could" be attributed to the original fall.

 

As for the $1500 repair bill, if it were mine I would pay and chalk it up to experience.

 

Why would you junk a $4200 USD camera for a $1500 repair? Repair it and sell it and you would more than cover the repair cost.

 

I feel for you but a fall is a fall. Happens to the best of us.

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Your insurance should pay up on this report. Anyway, you can discuss this with Leica and document the time lapse  between the damage and the failure. I once had exactly the same discussion for a D-Lux and they relented.

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Sadly I cannot deduce if your fall and corresponding troubles are actually connected.. The internal damage requires repair...

I would play nicey nicey with Leica or claim on your House Insurance if you are so covered.. Or as previously adviced pay up...

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I am sympathetic regarding that horrible feeling when you stumble or trip and your camera is accidentally damaged. I have dropped and damaged my M (Typ 240) and the Summilux M 50 ASPH.

 

You don't say explicitly in your post but the marks that you have shown were from your camera striking something hard when you stumbled?  To be candid the first image appears to show a significant impact.  Much worse actually than my camera which was thrown a couple of metres when I fell down a couple of steps. Mine landed on the extended lens hood though and the body got only two pinpoint nearly invisible marks on one edge. Ther lens though needed to be rebuilt and the camera rangefinder system recalibrated.

 

If you believe that the focus tab problem is not related to the impact you may explain that to Leica Camera and see if they agree that is is a manufacturing fault and not due to the impact. In that instance you could ask that part of the repair be under warranty. However other damage from an impact would not be covered by the warranty and Leica Camera would not of course repair only part of the camera and return it to you still unserviceable. Unless they extend some kind of goodwill consideration to you, in my opinion they are not liable but the camera is certainly worth repairing of course.

 

I do hope that you have personal insurance to cover this incident.
 

Edited by hoppyman

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From the impact damage shown it appears the camera must have got a considerable knock and if all else is working on the camera in some way goes to show that the camera is pretty solid. I suppose if it is only an issue of the focus tab not locking into place then you could live with it and ask for the camera back unrepaired. I imagine that if you can prove that the original damage occurred back in July you might be able to push the point the the focus-tab issue maybe down to just general failure but even so you can't be certain either way and may have to accept the fact that this could be down to the fall. I presume that the cost includes replacement of the base plate and the lens hood?

My own experience with Leica repair when there has been a question of if something is down to damage or just failure they have usually been very good and it often worthwhile contacting them directly and putting your case clearly but firmly and don't give up.

I have found that they are usually quite flexible especially compared to some other makers.

Edited by viramati

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From the impact damage shown it appears the camera must have got a considerable knock

 

I'm not sure too many conclusions can be drawn from the photographs shown. These kind of macro shots always exaggerate the ugliness of any imperfection. 

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Guest jvansmit

Many thanks for the considered replies 

 

To clarify, the bottom plate damage was from scraping against broken concrete....it wasn't a hard impact in the sense of a striking blow.  I think the hood dent was from when I rolled over after the stumble. There's no issue with the auto-focus. The issue is solely the mechanical catch on the lens tab which locks the focus into auto mode, and I find it hard to believe that an internal mechanical lock could be damaged when there's no external damage to the lens assembly. I switch between auto and manual focus a lot so suspect there may be a wear issue....though very well might be wrong! 

 

I've already had three exchanges of emails with Leica, and they won't relent. My thinking is that they should determine if the issue is a direct result of impact damage before making a decision on the warranty. 

 

I'll probably wait a few days until my emotions cool down. I bought a 24mm Elmar for my M246 just before Christmas, and that needs to go back too as it won't focus on infinity (my other lenses are fine) so I'm not very happy with Leica at the moment.

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I think I'd be inclined to get the camera back and use it as it is - I know it's not ideal but $1500 to repair a catch seems a bit steep even for Leica!

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To the OP, does the camera still switch between MF and AF? Is there any resistance when switching over?

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Or give it to me if you're going to junk it, and I'll pay for the repairs... Heck, I'll even pay for a round trip for you from HK to Amsterdam (coach, a few stopovers). 

 

In all seriousness, Leica CS should at least show more consideration, even if they come to the same conclusion after having carried out what they see is due diligence.

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I don't know the particulars, but sometimes your credit card company - if you purchased that way - may have a damage warranty for a short period of time on newly acquired purchases.  It is something you might look into.

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Guest jvansmit

To the OP, does the camera still switch between MF and AF? Is there any resistance when switching over?

 

 

Yes, it can still be switched in either direction but the lock doesn't always engage when going from manual to AF. This means that the slightest nudge to the focus tab will result in a photo taken at >infinity.

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I agree $1500 sounds very expensive for what appears to be just a sticking button. Personally unless this includes a full refurbishment/replacement of all the damaged parts I would probably just take the camera back and use it as is. When shooting using the EVF and holding the camera to your eye it is easy just to keep your finger on the tab with it pushed against the AF stop. Also I wonder if some dirt or something may have got into the tab locking button. last thought maybe you could ask for an estimate just to repair the button and leave the rest as is

Edited by viramati

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I got ~$10,000 of camera insurance for around $100 a year. Totally worth it, and they cover everything. I think it's a bit naive to walk around with $4k worth of gear and no insurance policy.

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in the us most homeowners policies will not cover accidental damage-- they will cover theft (subject to whatever deductible is on the policy).  You might be able (depending on the carrier) to obtain add'l coverage (at an add'l cost) for accidental damage. (eg:  it is not available at any cost on my homeowners policy)

 

an inland marine policy (dont get me started on insurance terminology) will usually cover physical damage such as what  happened to OP.  That is a separate policy and add'l premium.

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I got ~$10,000 of camera insurance for around $100 a year. Totally worth it, and they cover everything. I think it's a bit naive to walk around with $4k worth of gear and no insurance policy.

 

My last premium was £350 to cover full replacement up to £9k (accident or theft), for kit being taken anywhere in the world except the USA. There are no insurance bargains in the UK.   I don't understand how everything can be covered for $100.  Do you take the equipment overseas?  If the declared sum insured is less than the true value of the goods insured, any settlement will be reduced accordingly.    

Edited by lucerne

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Some owners rely on home insurance packaged with their bank accounts, but fail to read the small print and understand the limits of that type of policy.  I use dedicated camera insurers.

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I call bullshit on Leica.

.

Edited by pico

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