The Dreaded Zinc Pest strikes again!

Perhaps Zinc Pest is actually a benefit sort of like planned obsolescence for other products. We get new trains, the manufacturer makes them, and the importer gets his cut.

Automobiles cost a lot more and we don’t expect them to last for 50 years.

 

Bill Webb

 

Old Hokie 70

You're assuming that they care enough to do anything about it. 

Or that the American companies who import their goods are going to pressure them to clean up their act.  This situation will not change until the American importers get some serious push back from us, the consumers.

 

Agree. Push back from the consumer is required. That's why I said something to MTH at the fall York meet. I was told they were confident the issue would not repeat. But absent any actual testing or certification of the product or the melt before it gets to us the consumer, I will remain skeptical. And unfortunately for us, in many cases, it takes 5 years or more (well past the warranty period) for the issue to become apparent. So we get left holding a bag of unusable, albeit expensive, junk.

 

Chris

LVHR

chug posted:

With this topic back in play, I wish to add an update to my original post. Fortunately, I was able to obtain replacements for the damaged underbody detail casting on my Lionel passenger cars from Lionel. At $10 apiece it did not break the bank and I did buy extras. It is becoming increasing difficult to obtain replacement parts for modern generation trains and I was lucky to find these parts still available.

Now if Mike Wolf would just re-introduce the P5a Boxcab and run off some spare body shells.......

Eric Hofberg

While $10 per part may not break the bank, from an ethical standpoint, I think that it is unconscionable for Lionel to charge you for the part. Zinc pest is the definition of a manufacturer's defect. It is an insidious one at that, since as we know, it can take longer to manifest if the items are stored in ideal conditions. Once a batch has been identified as having the defect, the company should be recalling the entire batch, regardless of whether or not the warranty has expired. That the industry as a whole has not stepped it up and eliminated this problem shows a lack of respect for their customers.

If MTH has stepped up their quality control and worked with their manufacturers to eliminate their problem, good for them. But they still should be recalling all defective products, regardless of age. If they already have, bravo!

@MATT GNO27 I agree with your sentiment, but a recall is about product safety.  It would also be burdensome for Lionel to figure out who actually bought their products, because unlike cars, trains are not required to maintain any kind of ownership or registration.

I do agree that for the sake of their reputation and customer goodwill, they should agree to replace items ruined by zinc pest if good spares are available and not also affected.  But given today's smaller production runs, I think we have to accept the risk that our trains may crumble and a replacement part may not be available.   Hopefully things like 3D printing, CNC milling, etc., will allow specialty suppliers to make replacement parts affordably.

Train "collecting" became a thing in the 1950s with early Standard Gauge.  Eventually several 3rd party folks such as MEW, Henning, etc. made wheels and parts to replace the crumbling 1920s originals.  A lot of those trains are still running!  So there is hope...

 

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

For these expensive "high end" frames the solution is simple. If the importers just changed over to aluminum castings they wont deteriorate. Even impure aluminum while not as strong as that made from ingots will last.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

On the advice of someone here, I packed up my brand new Atlas roller bearing trucks that had zinc rot and shipped them back to Atlas. I never heard a thing. So if they won't replace those, I wouldn't expect any recalls.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Ted S posted:

@MATT GNO27 I agree with your sentiment, but a recall is about product safety.  It would also be burdensome for Lionel to figure out who actually bought their products, because unlike cars, trains are not required to maintain any kind of ownership or registration.

 

 I had thought about addressing this. It is my understanding that recalls aren't always on safety grounds, however, the ones that are, do not expire, regardless of ownership.

While there obviously aren't safety issues with crumbing cars, zinc pest will destroy the product or critical parts. I don't expect the Lionel, MTH, Atlas, etc., to track down every purchaser of a defective product. They should notify all dealers and licensed technicians, so that anyone who brings in a defective item can be given a replacement part or entire piece, as needed, and publicize the recall to the best of their ability, within reason.

Ted S posted:

I do agree that for the sake of their reputation and customer goodwill, they should agree to replace items ruined by zinc pest if good spares are available and not also affected.  But given today's smaller production runs, I think we have to accept the risk that our trains may crumble and a replacement part may not be available.   Hopefully things like 3D printing, CNC milling, etc., will allow specialty suppliers to make replacement parts affordably.

To me it is unacceptable that our trains may crumble. It is my understanding that with proper quality control, it is possible to eliminate this problem. Model/toy trains, in general have never been inexpensive, they are a high-end product. When we spend fifty to hundreds of dollars on a car and hundreds to thousands of dollars on a locomotive, it is entirely reasonable to expect that they should last for decades, when well-cared for. Shrugging it off as an accepted risk is, in my view, wasteful consumerism.

Matt_GNo27 posted:
Ted S posted:

@MATT GNO27 I agree with your sentiment, but a recall is about product safety.  It would also be burdensome for Lionel to figure out who actually bought their products, because unlike cars, trains are not required to maintain any kind of ownership or registration.

 

 I had thought about addressing this. It is my understanding that recalls aren't always on safety grounds, however, the ones that are, do not expire, regardless of ownership.

While there obviously aren't safety issues with crumbing cars, zinc pest will destroy the product or critical parts. I don't expect the Lionel, MTH, Atlas, etc., to track down every purchaser of a defective product. They should notify all dealers and licensed technicians, so that anyone who brings in a defective item can be given a replacement part or entire piece, as needed, and publicize the recall to the best of their ability, within reason.

Ted S posted:

I do agree that for the sake of their reputation and customer goodwill, they should agree to replace items ruined by zinc pest if good spares are available and not also affected.  But given today's smaller production runs, I think we have to accept the risk that our trains may crumble and a replacement part may not be available.   Hopefully things like 3D printing, CNC milling, etc., will allow specialty suppliers to make replacement parts affordably.

To me it is unacceptable that our trains may crumble. It is my understanding that with proper quality control, it is possible to eliminate this problem. Model/toy trains, in general have never been inexpensive, they are a high-end product. When we spend fifty to hundreds of dollars on a car and hundreds to thousands of dollars on a locomotive, it is entirely reasonable to expect that they should last for decades, when well-cared for. Shrugging it off as an accepted risk is, in my view, wasteful consumerism.

Actually there is. electrical shorts causing fires.

I seem to remember something with the K-Line heavyweight cars recalled due to shorting.

BobbyD posted:
Matt_GNo27 posted:
Ted S posted:

@MATT GNO27 I agree with your sentiment, but a recall is about product safety.  It would also be burdensome for Lionel to figure out who actually bought their products, because unlike cars, trains are not required to maintain any kind of ownership or registration.

 I had thought about addressing this. It is my understanding that recalls aren't always on safety grounds, however, the ones that are, do not expire, regardless of ownership.

While there obviously aren't safety issues with crumbing cars, zinc pest will destroy the product or critical parts. I don't expect the Lionel, MTH, Atlas, etc., to track down every purchaser of a defective product. They should notify all dealers and licensed technicians, so that anyone who brings in a defective item can be given a replacement part or entire piece, as needed, and publicize the recall to the best of their ability, within reason.

Actually there is. electrical shorts causing fires.

I seem to remember something with the K-Line heavyweight cars recalled due to shorting.

DSCN7070

All you had to do was ask and Chapel Hill sent as many washers as you requested along with the directions shown.  Not difficult to do - remove the floor, remove the truck (taking care not to lose the C-clip), place the washer in position, replace the truck and replace the floor.  I requested enough washers for the cars owned by our module group members and shared them.  John in Lansing, ILL

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BobbyD posted:
Matt_GNo27 posted:
Ted S posted:

@MATT GNO27 I agree with your sentiment, but a recall is about product safety.  It would also be burdensome for Lionel to figure out who actually bought their products, because unlike cars, trains are not required to maintain any kind of ownership or registration.

 

 I had thought about addressing this. It is my understanding that recalls aren't always on safety grounds, however, the ones that are, do not expire, regardless of ownership.

While there obviously aren't safety issues with crumbing cars, zinc pest will destroy the product or critical parts. I don't expect the Lionel, MTH, Atlas, etc., to track down every purchaser of a defective product. They should notify all dealers and licensed technicians, so that anyone who brings in a defective item can be given a replacement part or entire piece, as needed, and publicize the recall to the best of their ability, within reason.

Ted S posted:

I do agree that for the sake of their reputation and customer goodwill, they should agree to replace items ruined by zinc pest if good spares are available and not also affected.  But given today's smaller production runs, I think we have to accept the risk that our trains may crumble and a replacement part may not be available.   Hopefully things like 3D printing, CNC milling, etc., will allow specialty suppliers to make replacement parts affordably.

To me it is unacceptable that our trains may crumble. It is my understanding that with proper quality control, it is possible to eliminate this problem. Model/toy trains, in general have never been inexpensive, they are a high-end product. When we spend fifty to hundreds of dollars on a car and hundreds to thousands of dollars on a locomotive, it is entirely reasonable to expect that they should last for decades, when well-cared for. Shrugging it off as an accepted risk is, in my view, wasteful consumerism.

Actually there is. electrical shorts causing fires.

I seem to remember something with the K-Line heavyweight cars recalled due to shorting.

I had one of those early K-Line heavyweight cars catch fire, but I shut the power off before it melted the car.  However, I had no idea they were ever recalled.  The dealer I bought them from, it was a NYC coach, was present at my house when it happened, and he never told me they were recalled and I didn't get a notice.  I will take them apart and check them out if I run them again.

Miles W. Rich posted:

I had one of those early K-Line heavyweight cars catch fire, but I shut the power off before it melted the car.  However, I had no idea they were ever recalled.  The dealer I bought them from, it was a NYC coach, was present at my house when it happened, and he never told me they were recalled and I didn't get a notice.  I will take them apart and check them out if I run them again.

Miles, What year did this occur?  You would have not received a personal notice as there isn't a way to track a toy.The factory recall was about 1994 for cars manufactured a few years before then.  The notice was in the hobby magazines as well as some newspapers.  Many hobby stores posted flyers or had them available.  The manufacturer did not take it lightly.   John in Lansing, ILL

 

I have had a lot of zinc pest show up in my older trains, but I have never have a zinc penny pest.

I heard of wooden nickels, and plugged coins and slugs.

I just super glue the mess back together the best I can and look for spares.

Someday soon I hope to be able to make my own parts with 3D printing, but the two printers I have now are not up to the task.

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