“Nothing works like a Deere,” says John Deere’s slogan. And for years, the rigorous tests of Consumer Reports and the brand repair surveys have systematically confirmed it in the case of the company’s lawn tractors, which have been the best in Rats and performance reviews of CR and in Our annual reliability surveys. That is why we have been surprised by the three recent withdrawals from John Deere 8850 tractor announced by the Commission on Safety of Products of the Consumer in just three days.
Withdrawals affect seven models of John Deere lawn tractors and more than 55,000 machines in total, and include faults in the tractor brakes and the braking system of the blades, as well as the break of the motor fan, which does That he overheat and can catch fire. Deere-related withdrawals were based on the information that Deere communicated to the CPSC on its own and occurred only a few days after the oldest factory of the company celebrated its centenary.
After we reported on the retired, Consumer Reports interviewed representatives of John Deere to better understand what went wrong and to ask the questions that the owners and consumers could do. We also talk with Kawasaki, which manufactures the motor involved in broken fans. What we found suggests that Deere is taking some intelligent measures to address the problems and prevent them from repeating. But our research also indicates that the engine-fan problem could affect other teams of some trademarks.
“Something in the mixture went wrong,” is like Greg Weekes, a product marketing manager of the John Deere group, described what went wrong with the refrigeration fan composed on the Kawasaki FS541V engines used in the X300, X300R and X304 tractors. Select series of Deere. Kawasaki had modified his engines to comply with the latest restrictions of the Environmental Protection Agency on the emissions of the engines, Weekes said. He confirmed that the fan design had not been modified, but the problem settled in a faulty batch of a supplier fans.
From about 36,500 turf tractors sold across the country at the John Deere dealers between September 2010 and July 2011, the removal notice of the market reported 163 faults, including 83 incidents of fusion of engines or engine fires and an injury Mild by burn. Repair is free: John Deere said that the technicians of his dealers can make the repair at the owner’s facilities or pay the tractor transport to the dealership if necessary.
Kawasaki sells the same engine to other outdoor equipment manufacturers, such as Exmark and Bob-Cat, two trademarks. Although there have been no other withdrawals related to this engine, Kawasaki has issued a service bulletin to its distributors in which they are instructed to replace the whole, charged to the company, when a unit is taken to the workshop for any reason. Our advice for lawn professionals: accept the free offer of Kawasaki.
Faults on brakes and blades
Two of the John Deere withdrawals occurred after alarmed personnel detected fallen bolts in both the assembly and warehouse area, where the tractors hoped to be sent. This, once Deere contacted the CPSC, resulted in two withdrawals. One of the withdrawals was approximately 15,500 lawn tractors John Deere Model D100, D110 (photo), D120 and D130 sold across the deere distributors, Home Depot and Lowe’s from December 2010 until September 2011. The Hardware Used to hold the blade assemblies and brakes of the mowers broke. A similar recall, in which the hardware used to secure the brake assembly to the transmission broke, resulted in the recall of 5,200 D100 units sold nationwide – except California – at John Deere, Home Depot and Dealerships. Lowe’s from October 2010 to September 2011. About 1,920 D100 models are included in both recalls.
According to John Deere, the loose bolts had come loose due to hydrogen embrittlement, a manufacturing defect that can occur during the baking process when bolts and other fasteners are galvanized to resist corrosion. After the process, the metal fasteners became brittle and broke when tightened. The problem is especially difficult to detect, Deere says, as breaks can occur up to 48 hours after assembly. The company has told us that it is moving to a more expensive manufacturing process for its fasteners to avoid further hydrogen embrittlement.
Consumer Reports has tested and recommended three of the recalled John Deere models: the X300, the X304, and the D110 (a CR Best Buy). We bought our test models before problems arose and we did not find any such problems during our tests. The three recall notices list the serial numbers of the included models. John Deere is sending letters to all registered owners. You can also call the company at 800-537-8233 or visit www.johndeere.com for more information. Free repair applies no matter where you bought your tractor, including Home Depot or Lowe’s, where Deere has posted recall notices.
Given the well-defined nature of the issues and Deere’s proactive approach, Consumer Reports will continue to recommend these models. We will also continue to test new models and monitor both the manufacturer’s and our brand’s repair history.