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Freightliner and Newmar NO finger pointing


Bill&Anneli
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We had a traumatic drive last week.... came to find out that the air valve control arm was ZIP TIED (!?!?!?!?) instead of bolted on as it should be. The zip tie broke, so the air control valve arm was just hanging there.

Because we were not fully aired up we a lot of things happened -  water leak, coolant leaking to the chassi control board which is now damaged, internal "house" damage (cracked tile) etc etc. Needless to say, nobody thinks its their responsibility...(We have an extended warranty thru Wholesale warranties, still waiting to find out what, if anything they will pay for.)

 We have a 2019 Newmar Ventana, 3717 on a Freightliner Chassi, cummings engine.

My question is, does anyone know how the chassi is delivered to the manufacturer - ie is this air valve control arm zip tied at FL, so the manufacturer (NM) can bolt it down after they add their components to the system ?

How would one go about finding out ?

what other mechanical issues (that we can't see) should we be worried about (driveability, safety) etc? we are scared to take this thing on the road now....

Any suggestions of where to turn is appreciated, thanks !

Edited by Bill&Anneli
update on events
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Attaching the air springs air control valve is something the chassis mfgr, must do, IMO. Otherwise, how would they get the chassis to Newmar??? Quality control at the Freightliner factory was MIA that day. If it is a rear ride height  control, have the driveshaft and both yokes inspected for damage from the incorrect angle.

Newmar might need to reset ride height, but I doubt they would remove the bolts and use a zip-tie instead.

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9 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Attaching the air springs air control valve is something the chassis mfgr, must do, IMO. Otherwise, how would they get the chassis to Newmar??? Quality control at the Freightliner factory was MIA that day. If it is a rear ride height  control, have the driveshaft and both yokes inspected for damage from the incorrect angle.

Newmar might need to reset ride height, but I doubt they would remove the bolts and use a zip-tie instead.

The chassis are delivered to Newmar in stacks of a half dozen or so at a time on a double drop trailer. They're only driven around the yards a few hundred feet, or so. It would be easy for someone to reattach the ride height valve with a zip tie to move around the yard, but then the likelihood of forgetting all about it is off the charts high. It may be time to consider a lawsuit. Jay

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14 hours ago, Bill&Anneli said:

How would one go about finding out ?

I would start by contacting Freightliner. While it may not be easy, I would also avoid doing so in anger and rather approach them asking for their help. I know that many suggest starting with lawyers and such, but my experience has been that aggressive people seldom have much success, while customers in need usually do if there is anything that the company can do to help. To me, a lawyer is a person of last resort.   I 

EDIT: I might add that I spend 32 years in customer service with a major manufacturing company and it was their policy to go well beyond the normal warranty if it would salvage the tie for a previously happy customer. We were often told that it usually cost us less to keep a present customer happy than it did to acquire a new customer to replace an unhappy one. 

Edited by Kirk W
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20 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

I would start by contacting Freightliner. While it may not be easy, I would also avoid doing so in anger and rather approach them asking for their help. I know that many suggest starting with lawyers and such, but my experience has been that aggressive people seldom have much success, while customers in need usually do if there is anything that the company can do to help. To me, a lawyer is a person of last resort. 

X2!

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Can you tell us what do you mean by zip tied..  I have seen manufactures zip tie the rubber end to attach to the leveling rod.
Attached is a picture of one using hose clamp, but I have seen them attached with zip ties as well.

https://www.raneystruckparts.com/volvo-air-suspension-leveling-rod-3934525/?sku=82222&msclkid=4e1d9fbe0f7e196ee8adc0f348202ed4&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=(ROI) Shopping - General&utm_term=4579191054665439&utm_content=Big Rigs

Edited by dennisvr
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Thanks for all your replies. So far we are jumping thru the hoops with Freightliner, providing photos etc. I will say one thing, their customer service representative is very professional, knowledgeable about her product and knows her own processes very well; and she follows up with phone calls and replies to e-mails within the time frames she commits to.

And yes, searched iRV2, can't really find anything similar, from what we understand this is not a common occurrence. There is a lot of info out there regarding how to repair (mostly on trucks). On our coach everything is pretty much encased and protected from the elements so we can't really access or see much of this stuff by even laying under the coach with a flash light.

And sorry Dennisvr, I can't really provide any more detail. All I know is the arm was not bolted on as it should be (the Freightliner technician did not take photos, just went ahead and attached the arm with a bolt). Freightliner told us the air control arm is bolted on at Freightliner before shipping to the manufacturer.

We also plan to discuss the issue with Newmar, as there should also be some responsibility there. Newmar supposedly does their own safety/inspection when the chassi is delivered to them, AND, more importantly, BEFORE the coach leaves their factory....  the right people at Newmar are not as easy to get in touch with as Freightliner, so we hope to talk to Newmar tomorrow.

We'll see where this mess ends, I will keep you posted, please keep us in your prayers.

Thank you !

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As an update, Newmar lives up to their reputation, and stands behind their brand. Today we spoke with the Customer service manager at Newmar, and he stated that they have what they call "seamless service". Meaning, Newmar works out issues directly with Freightliner, leaving us, the customer out of the middle.

We are a few months out of warranty with Newmar, but still under warranty with Freightliner.

Newmar has approved the entire claim today. We ofcourse don't know how Newmar and Freightliner work that out on their end, which is the whole point of seamless service. We are very grateful that Newmar is treating us the way we were told they would when we purchased their brand.

Newmar has proven to us that they are standing behind their product.

 

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  • 2 years later...

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