I thought I would step in after just getting off the phone with Katie at Lionel. Yes they will give you and RMA to send the units in. Katie told me that they will just change the sounds (whatever that means). They do nothing mechanically to the drivers to the best of her knowledge. Part of me does not want to go through the hassle, but the other part of me will regret no action after a couple of years. Well my Challenger will be going to Concord to keep my ALCOs company.
The plus side is that Lionel stepped up to the plate on my 2 issues. They even cover the shipping. This is not a hassle free hobby .