Announcement bilstein not warrantying 5100 struts - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Announcement bilstein not warrantying 5100 struts

As everyone here knows, the WK & XK Share the same platform and all of the suspension components are interchangeable.

I like many other users have purchased Bilstein Struts part number 24-225793 and lifted my jeep with it.

I purchased my struts in October of 2013 and used them with NO ISSUES until about 2 months ago. It started with a snap ring failure and my front strut bottomed out with the entire weight of the vehicle on my front passenger corner.

I called Bilstein east coast and they sent me a new snap ring replacement no questions asked, i installed it in the vehicle and had no apparent problems for about another month.

I believe the date was July 25th when i started changing out every bushing on my front end after hearing a lot of suspension noise and just general suspension chatter. My vehicle did have 130k on it after all.

That's when everything went down hill, because my strut bottomed out it broke the top seal cap and snap ring containing all of the guts to my strut.

pic



At this point i contacted Freddy Gonzalez of bilsteins warranty department, he originally he accused me of "jumping my truck" and "serious off-roading"

The only type of off road i have on my jeep is mess around on flat farm type land and sometimes it gets muddy on the dirt trails, my transfer case has been screwed up ever since the Chrysler recall i had done in feb. so i haven't taken it ANYWHERE since then.

There are people on this forum who can vouch for me that my Tcase is in fact broken and needs a rebuild.


Here is the Bilstein tech's reply

Quote:
Robert,

So I had about 4 different associates from different departments(R&D, Off-road, Tech, Off-road Sales) who are pretty knowledgeable on these types of issues take a look at the pictures you provided.

They all came back to me with just about the same conclusion, they stated that this unit was bottomed out.

As you can see from the pictures you provided the Black upper seal cap has a huge hole on it from the upper mount part of the shock slamming down on this unit.

The internal snap ring is dislodged due to the shock bottoming out and the shock over extending.

As I mentioned in our conversation earlier I ran this part number in our database and it is showing 0 failures and no warranty claims have been submitted under this part number.

One other thing when I spoke to you over the phone you stated that you do not do any Off-Roading with this vehicle but our Technicians noticed quite a few of dirt/mud caked onto your shock along with most of the vehicle.

As of now this is something that would not be covered under warranty sir.

Thank you for your time and I apologies for the inconvenience.


So this is the part where i got frustrated, because i had already had a snap ring failure and new snap rings mailed to me so it definitely should have been in his database. I believe he was lying to me about that.

this was my next reply to him

Quote:
I understand you guys are trying to prevent bad parts from coming back and are going to stonewall the hell out of me about this.


You mention the strut was bottomed out, yes it was because your piece of crap 14g snap ring BROKE INTO TWO PIECES DURING NORMAL DRIVING CONDITIONS.


The mud that's on that truck is from the land i use it on, I don't rock crawl or go through mud pits. I have a muddy path I take with some friends on occasion.

I will be pursuing this with upper management and possibly the nhsta as I have video proof from my dash cam when the snap ring initially gave out on THE HIGHWAY.
His reply:

Quote:
don’t mind fighting for you Robert I can try to push more through other departments. I’m just telling you what the experts with more years of experience told me. If you want to send me a copy of your receipt I can bring this up with our Quality Control manager so he can open up a claim. I definitely understand your frustration, if this would have happened to me under the conditions you are stating I would be furious. Again I apologies for the inconvenience, trust me If I had one of these shocks in stock I would send you a replacement and call it a day.


Now this is the part that infuriates me the most, i called them every other day for 2 weeks straight until the biggest bitch on the planet got back to me.

]Lisa Ciacci
Warranty Administrator

Quality Control Department

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America

14102 Stowe Drive

Poway, CA 92064

Phone:
+1 858 386-5951

Phone:+1 800 370-9522
Fax:
+1 858 386-5945
E-Mail:
[email protected]



She asked me for a copy of my invoice, pictures and a few other things. I emailed everything to her immediately.

I got a hold of her a few hours later after she had time to "review my information"

They were going to deny my claim because "bilstein does not offer a shock for that application"

After a lot of arguments, with me finally getting her to admit that the WK & XK share the same chassis, and me sending her 11 screen shots of the strut being marketed as fitting the jeep commander she left me with this

Quote:
Not one of the online companies you forwarded over are direct Bilstein Distributors. If you notice on the “Direct” distributors I am sending over, they do not list that shock for your application.


And that was the end of it they will not answer my phone calls or emails anymore, i have been blacklisted

I cannot believe they won't even warranty this out of good faith.

Last edited by robftw; 08-19-2014 at 03:06 PM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-20-2014, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robftw View Post
As everyone here knows, the WK & XK Share the same platform and all of the suspension components are interchangeable.
Ummm NO, precisely because they have different platform designations, they are by definition NOT the same platform. Granted the XK platform was based on the WK platform and has a tremendous amount of components and design in common, but by definition it is a different platform.

I do NOT know if all of WK and XK suspension components are interchangeable. Yes, they do use the same control arms and steering knuckles, etc. BUT, do they have the same part number for springs and shocks/struts? Honestly, I do NOT know, but I "suspect" there are different part numbers for springs and shocks/struts because the vehicles are different enough in weight and wheelbase, likely requiring different spring rates and damping rates, BUT I could be wrong the two platforms may be so close that the same spring and damping rates are used.

So, if WK's and XK's have different part numbers for springs and shocks, then you have to admit Blisten has an arguement that the shock/strut you're using is NOT for your vehicle, even if it physically fits (which, like Blisten said, your argument is with less than reputable resellers that are selling a strut NOT intended for your vehicle simply because it will physically fit).

Of course, if WK's and XK's have the same part numbers for springs and shocks, Blisten's argument is pretty weak, they are hiding behind a loophole, because if the manufacturer of the vehicle uses the same springs and struts/shocks, then they are close enough in characteristics the parts are interchangeable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robftw View Post
I like many other users have purchased Bilstein Struts part number 24-225793 and lifted my jeep with it.
Your wording is a bit vague? Are you saying you installed a lift kit in your Jeep? Is the blisten strut advertised as having additional travel for lifted vehicles?

Whether it is true or NOT for the Commander, often lifting a vehicle creates problems for shocks/struts and they are prone to early failures or accellerated wear. So having a lift kit on a vehicle that uses struts/shocks intended for a vehicle with stock ride height, would fairly void your warranty on a strut.

The OEM designs the vehicle suspension to have "bump stops" that the suspension hits when it bottoms out to absorb that impact without damage, thus preventing a strut hitting its bottom with the full force/weight of the vehicle behind it which will damage it. Some cheap lift kits will change the suspension travel and allow the suspension to bottom out on the strut and NOT the bump stop. Good lift kits will have some sort of spacer to extend the bump stop, thus repositioning it so the suspension still bottoms out on the bump stop and NOT the strut.

Sorry, I know its frustrating, and I don't know all the details. And some of those details can make a huge difference, maybe Blisten is dead wrong, maybe they have a point. Yes, they would have a more loyal customer base if they would honor the warranty simply because the strut failed too early and they can't find any obvious evidence of abusive enough to cause early failure. Like I said, if you've lifted your Jeep, just like all the people that lower their vehicles, blown struts/shocks are part of the territory, you can expect shock manufacturers to deny warranty for lifting or lowering a vehicle.


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Last edited by Mongo; 08-21-2014 at 12:44 PM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2014, 01:51 PM
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I just visited Blisten's website, they list the same 4600 series strut for both the WK and XK, but they only list the 5100 series strut for the WK (and the 5100 series states its for a of 1-2").

So I don't know, why does the same part number 4600 work in both the WK & XK, but the 5100 is NOT listed for the XK? You'd think they would have explained that in your conversation when denying the warranty.


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