Beware the Specialized "Warranty"

chriscv

New Member
I purchased 2020 Levo in July of this year which is already failing and two months in, Specialized refuses to honor their warranty. The worst issue at this time is with the disc brake system which has completely failed and has needed to be disabled to even move the bike.

The dealer whom I purchased this from is getting push back from the brake manufacturer and when I contacted Specialized, their response has been "not our problem, we don't make the brakes" I've included the entire email thread below that details the issue and their response but as COVID means phones are no longer answered and they have stopped responding to my emails, am not sure where I can to turn for help?

-----Original Message---

I am writing to express my disappointment in the Levo 29er I picked up at Woodinville Cycle on June 3 of this year. One month in I started having issues with a grinding noise and high frequency vibration on the front wheel and 2 weeks ago, took it back to the place of purchase for warranty repair. The technician looked at it and said he would need to order new parts from SRAM and would take a week and a half to get.

In the meantime I have needed to remove the front brake pads in order to continue riding the bicycle at all. I purchased this bicycle two months ago for a series of summer rides and honestly don't feel it is fair to expect that I go without while it is waiting on parts or being repaired so needed to do this to even allow the wheel to turn. The shop where I purchased said that they would expedite the parts but was not offered a loaner.

As it stands I am now riding the bike with no front brakes and as of yesterday, the high frequency vibration and noise returned and happens on every ride after approximately 20 minutes. Once the bike is left to rest it goes away only to return later. I have looked at the brakes and there is zero contact between the cylinders and the pad leading me to believe it may be another issue. The fact that it happens after extended riding makes me suspect that something is warming up and expanding, possibly the axle, but I don't have the time to troubleshoot.

Having heard nothing in 2 weeks, I called Woodinville Bike today for an updated status on the parts. I was told that the tech is arguing with SRAM as they said they would not honor the warranty as it doesn't cover this. They don't know when they will work this out but hopefully 'soon'

First off, this is a brand new bicycle and if it comes down to it, I am covered under my credit card warranty if needed as well as other consumer protection laws. Second, I was under the impression that the warranty that I received with my purchase is through Specialized, not individually by every third party supplier who makes parts? I apologize for my frustration but every time I need to take this from my home in Seattle to the shop where I purchased it in Woodinville takes at least 1.5 hours out of my day and yet I'm left with a broken bicycle that I am being told will not be repaired.

Additionally, the motor on the bike has been increasing in noise since I purchased it and each time I've taken it in to try and have the wheel issue repaired I have been told they will look at it the next time but then the next time doesn't come.

Please let me know if there's anyone at Specialized who can help. Thank you in advance.

---Specialized Response---

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear that you are having issues with your bike. The motor is covered under warranty with Specialized, and on the 2020 model Levos there is a known issue with the belt. For that reason we actually extended the warranty from 2 years, to 4 years on the motor. I believe that we have replacement motors in-stock, so the bike shop should be able to submit a warranty claim to their warranty representative to get that fixed. As for the brakes, because they are manufactured by SRAM, and not Specialized, we do not keep their parts in-stock or warranty their parts. They have their own warranty policy for their own equipment failure. It sounds to me like the brake pads are most likely glazed over, or contaminated. Glazed brake pads are very common on e-bikes because of the excess weight of the bike. If the brake pads are just glazed, they can be sanded and resurfaced, then burned in on the rotor to prevent glazing again. If the brake pads are contaminated (with oil, lube, grease, road grime, chemicals, soap, etc) it can also cause this sound to happen. Often times it means that replacing the brake pads, resurfacing the rotor, and burning them in will solve the problem. I hope that SRAM or the shop can get your brake pad situation sorted out. If you contact your shop, they can submit a warranty claim for that motor (it only takes about 10 minutes). Hope this helps!

Ride on!

Taylor | Specialized USA Rider Care

---my response---
Thank you for your email but brake pads are unfortunately not the issue. I have removed the brake pads entirely as they kept getting tighter and stopping the bike mid ride. This worked for a week or so but now the noise and vibration has returned.

While I understand your working with different vendors to manufacture and even support the components of your bikes , SRAMs refusal to stand by their contribution, a mere two months after the purchase date is unacceptable by any standards. I was hoping that someone from specialized would be willing to stand up for their product and for me but apparently I was mistaken

--Specialized Response--
Nothing............

--My Response--
I sent an email earlier today regarding issues I'm having with a 2 month old Levo and the response I received was almost as if my original message wasn't even read.

In it, I explained in detail how I have needed to remove the brake pads completely from my bike to prevent them from stopping the vehicle mid ride. I followed up by explaining that even with the brake pads now removed, the noise and vibration has returned yet nothing is touching the disk. The response I received was that the issue is most likely glazing and that cleaning the brakepads will be a simple fix?

I also find it unacceptable that Specialized is unwilling to stand behind their bicycle package and help me with one of their vendors, SRAM, who refuses to replace the component that Woodinville Bike, an 'official Specialized dealer' has said has failed. According to the Woodinville Bike, whom I purchased this from, SRAM is saying that it is not covered and that they will need to continue fighting but it may be a while.

How can this even be? I didn't purchase an SRAM brake package that happened to have a Specialized bike attached just as I didn't buy a 'Visteon Automotive Cockpit' that happened to have a Honda hooked up to it. If the electronics fail in my car, Honda will figure out how to make it right. They would never tell me to take it up with Visteon, but in this case I'm being told it's out of your hands?

I'm including my original conversation below if anyone at Specialized is interested in looking into this further for me otherwise I will unfortunately need to look into my other options.

To sum my experience up I'm really quite shocked. I've always gone with Canondale in the past but while researching this bike I read a number of claims that Specialized stood behind their product. This was one of the deciding factors in my purchase but apparently I was wrong.

Chris

--Specialized Response--
Crickets............................
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Chris, welcome to EBR. ;)

Sorry to hear about the poor customer service from Specialized.

I would recommend escalating this issue to a senior manager at Specialized.

See if you LBS can go to bat for you and push their corporate contacts to resolve the problem.
 

chriscv

New Member
Thanks so much. I've been trying to get contact info beyond the email address I've been sending to but no luck even getting a response. Thought I'd try my luck on the forums :)
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Specialized washing their hands concerning your brake problem because they didn't manufacture the brakes is ludicrous.

Personally, I'd try and return the bike for a full refund (I doubt it's possible, but I'd try anyways). It looks like you've got a lemon on your hands.
 

Bill R

Member
Same From Trek when crank arm fell apart in first 50 miles they said "talk to Raceface / Fox Factory they made the crank" RaceFace aka Fox Factory never responded to warranty claim ended up putting on Shimano Deore crank. Fox Factory is a Do Not Buy ever for me now.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
Wow. This is the exact reason of an initial posting I had done some time ago and got lambasted by 'others' here for expressing my opinions.

Re: "and their response but as COVID means phones are no longer answered and they have stopped responding to my emails"
Correct, no phones answered? This gives me a warm, fuzzy, I really and secure in making my purchasing decision feeling of assuredness.

Re: "I am covered under my credit card warranty if needed as well as other consumer protection laws"
I wish you luck and PLEASE DO ADVISE US IF SUCCESSFUL via this process, as I was informed that, "if the bike has a motor, there is no, warranty of guarantee of coverages from VISA, MC, AMEX, Discover, etc.
This makes on really, really think long and hard as to how to make an inital purchase for an e-bike, IF there ever is a similare issue of sorts that needs the backing of the financier.

Re: "the warranty that I received with my purchase is through Specialized"
Absolutely correct.
Sounds like to me, that you have a fantastic lawsuit, triple damages + costs....good luck

So in summary, although I am a very happy Turbo Vado 5.0 owner with next to zero issues of any type, my "look down the road" attitude is the normalcy of any consumers expectations for any product, pre-sales, after-sales, etc. It really makes one wonder what the hell is going on.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
This was the start of my Stromer angst. I had a brake issue and both the local shop and Stromer sent me to Magura until they realized it was a Stromer only lever and no one had one until I called Stromer and raised a fit. They sent one but I was down for longer then I should have been...so much for premium bike.
 

DanInStPete

Active Member
Personally, I would get a new motor under warranty, buy new brakes, and eat the cost. To me it wouldn’t be worth the hassle and stress. If you bought a Levo it shouldn’t hurt much.

I have a Vado and really wanted a Levo. However, if you spend a little time reading up, especially in the “other” (emtb) forum, you’ll see that more people than not have a lot of problems with them.
 

GuruUno

Well-Known Member
RE: "To me it wouldn’t be worth the hassle and stress"
Not really sure what that means.
Money, time, hassle, inconvenience, etc., time and stress, unless you have limitless funds.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I explained in detail how I have needed to remove the brake pads completely from my bike to prevent them from stopping the vehicle mid ride. I followed up by explaining that even with the brake pads now removed, the noise and vibration has returned yet nothing is touching the disk.

I do not understand this. How can you have noise and vibration from the front brake if there are no pads and you are not using it?
 

terb

New Member
Specialized doesn't make the motor either, Brose makes the motor but Specialized will warranty it? and not the brakes.....Sorry to say and sad to report but your first mistake was buying a bike from Specialized with a Brose motor and your second mistake was buying a bike with Sram brakes!!
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
Specialized doesn't make the motor either, Brose makes the motor but Specialized will warranty it? and not the brakes.....Sorry to say and sad to report but your first mistake was buying a bike from Specialized with a Brose motor and your second mistake was buying a bike with Sram brakes!!
I don’t think this was a particularly helpful post.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
@rich c

This thread is an example that’s it’s not just Internet D2C bikes that experience issues.

@OP: Sorry to hear about your problem and hope Specialized resolves it. Good luck.
 

jim6b

Active Member
Is this a brake problem or an owner insisting its a warranty problem.

If that latter, don't think brake pads should be a warranty item any more than a flat tire is.
 

MikeDD

Active Member
I have a turbo levo and great service from my lbs. Your shop should be able to diagnose the brake problem. Have you questioned the training of the tech? I would take the bike to another Specialized dealer.
 

kayakdave

New Member
I recently purchased a Turbo Levo Comp. To transport the brand new bike home I took the front wheel off. During my drive home the wheel which was not secured fell over and the brake rotor hit the pedal and got bent. I noticed it when I got home but the damage was my fault so only me to blame. I attempted to straighten the rotor with a crescent wrench which looked successful but then the front wheel made a grinding noise and had a high frequency vibration just like your bike. I told my LBS what happened and they replaced the rotor free and problem solved. Apparently the rotor cost the LBS $9.00 and they put the new one on in minutes. Now I am very careful when taking the wheel off. Rotors are cheap on Amazon so have you considered purchasing a new one and installing it yourself to see what happens?
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I recently purchased a Turbo Levo Comp. To transport the brand new bike home I took the front wheel off. During my drive home the wheel which was not secured fell over and the brake rotor hit the pedal and got bent. I noticed it when I got home but the damage was my fault so only me to blame. I attempted to straighten the rotor with a crescent wrench which looked successful but then the front wheel made a grinding noise and had a high frequency vibration just like your bike. I told my LBS what happened and they replaced the rotor free and problem solved. Apparently the rotor cost the LBS $9.00 and they put the new one on in minutes. Now I am very careful when taking the wheel off. Rotors are cheap on Amazon so have you considered purchasing a new one and installing it yourself to see what happens?

Good suggestion... you may want to also consider upgrading to rotors with an aluminum center. ;)
They are more resistant to bending and help to dissipate high heat from sustained downhill braking.