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Re: Is this normal and acceptable in Xebras?

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  • Norm
    It is just my opinion, but I wouldn t give Zap a pass and just say, Oh, it is the Chinese workmanship . Yes, we all know that there are issues with seams
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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      It is just my opinion, but I wouldn't give Zap a pass and just
      say, "Oh, it is the Chinese workmanship". Yes, we all know that
      there are issues with seams that leak, the stupidity of welding cabs
      directly to frames, etc. I can give them a pass (to a point) on
      things that we can fix like the suspension and the speedometer and
      tires and weatherstripping and stuff. Even those things should be
      fixed by now though. They have known for long enough that these
      problems are there. There has to be a hard limit, and for me it
      would be where something is structurally wrong with the vehicle -
      especially something noticeably wrong - and it can't be fixed by mere
      mortals. Yes, you could put it in the shop and hack out the rear
      deck with a Sawzall and fiberglass it in right, but this has to be
      going too far!!! How is Zap going to figure out that they have gone
      too far if we just keep rolling over to give them access to another
      orifice. I think we have to start making Zap accountable for more of
      this stuff as time goes on. They have had lots of time now to get
      someone on-site in China and do some quality control. They are going
      to have a lot of competition coming to the market over the next
      several months or years, and if Zap is given a pass all the way down
      the line (by us) then they will not be able to compete when the new
      stuff comes along. Of course we will be left holding that bag when
      they go broke and our resale value is ZERO. If this was me I would
      make them fix it or replace it.

      ..
      Norm
      http://www.wacparts.com

      PS - I don't want to be in the aftermarket parts business supporting
      Zap's screwups. I would rather be driving a vehicle where the
      manufacturer and the importer both at least pretend to care and make
      progress. The 2007 vehicles have all the same screwups the 2006
      vehicles had only shuffled around a little, and nobody is making Zap
      take any responsibility or improve their products - or even stock
      important spare parts for the ones they are selling.


      --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, Don <xebra_don@...> wrote:
      >
      > My new Xebra was delivered yesterday. All in all, I am satisfied,
      most
      > of the cosmetic defects I can ignore, and I will upgrade the
      > suspension. But there is one thing that bugs me. The shelf behind
      the
      > rear seat is glassed in noticeably crooked. It slopes down to the
      > right. The flaw stands out as you look at the car from the rear.
      The
      > back wall behind the rear seat is also mounted such that one side
      is
      > noticeably more forward than the other. The degree of error of
      both is
      > at least 1.5 inches. The center break light is also mounted such
      that
      > it points a bit to the left, but I can reposition that if I want to.
      >
      > Do other Xebras have such abnormalities? Should I just live with
      it?
      >
      > One of the things that bothers me is that as an employee of
      Cal/EPA, and
      > the first one in that state agency to own a Xebra, a large number
      of
      > environmental bureaucrats are going to inspect this vehicle. I
      would
      > hate for this Xebra to leave a negative impression. Much of the
      reason
      > I bought a Xebra is to promote and encourage the adoption of
      electric
      > vehicles, and because of my work, this car will be an ambassador of
      > Xebras. The manufacturers of every electric and alternative fuel
      > vehicle regularly come to Cal/EPA to show off their wares. But my
      Xebra
      > will be in the parking lot every day for everyone in the agency to
      > inspect. I could probably return the vehicle today if I wanted.
      > Should I? Or should I just say to people that it is what it is?
      >
      > ~Don
      > Sacramento, CA
      >
    • Kent Forschmiedt
      I m with Norm on this one. I bought my Xebra so I could wrench on it, and I expected a lot of deficiencies as compared to a US consumer grade vehicle, but
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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        I'm with Norm on this one. I bought my Xebra so I could wrench on it,
        and I expected a lot of deficiencies as compared to a US consumer
        grade vehicle, but there are limits. Much of the quality of materials
        and workmanship is below basic usability.

        For example, the fiberglass on one of my doors has split
        (delaminated), exposing the interior of the door to the fall rains. Do
        I take the car to Green Car and wait for them to figure out how to get
        ZAP to cover that with the warranty? Sounds painful... I think I'll
        just go pick up a fiberglass patch kit, dry it out with a heat gun and
        fix it myself.

        If it is a kit car, then so be it, sell it for a kit car price. Don't
        sell me unusable garbage in that kit package, though, just leave those
        parts out and let the user buy them separately.

        - kent

        --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <normw@...> wrote:
        >
        > It is just my opinion, but I wouldn't give Zap a pass and just
        > say, "Oh, it is the Chinese workmanship". Yes, we all know that
        > ...
        > I think we have to start making Zap accountable for more of
        > this stuff as time goes on.
        >
        > --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, Don <xebra_don@> wrote:
        > > Do other Xebras have such abnormalities? Should I just live with
        > it?
      • gotinc
        Norm, I 100% completely agree with you! -Joseph
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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          Norm,

          I 100% completely agree with you!

          -Joseph


          --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <normw@...> wrote:
          >
          > It is just my opinion, but I wouldn't give Zap a pass and just
          > say, "Oh, it is the Chinese workmanship". Yes, we all know that
          > there are issues with seams that leak, the stupidity of welding cabs
          > directly to frames, etc. I can give them a pass (to a point) on
          > things that we can fix like the suspension and the speedometer and
          > tires and weatherstripping and stuff. Even those things should be
          > fixed by now though. They have known for long enough that these
          > problems are there. There has to be a hard limit, and for me it
          > would be where something is structurally wrong with the vehicle -
          > especially something noticeably wrong - and it can't be fixed by mere
          > mortals. Yes, you could put it in the shop and hack out the rear
          > deck with a Sawzall and fiberglass it in right, but this has to be
          > going too far!!! How is Zap going to figure out that they have gone
          > too far if we just keep rolling over to give them access to another
          > orifice. I think we have to start making Zap accountable for more of
          > this stuff as time goes on. They have had lots of time now to get
          > someone on-site in China and do some quality control. They are going
          > to have a lot of competition coming to the market over the next
          > several months or years, and if Zap is given a pass all the way down
          > the line (by us) then they will not be able to compete when the new
          > stuff comes along. Of course we will be left holding that bag when
          > they go broke and our resale value is ZERO. If this was me I would
          > make them fix it or replace it.
          >
          > ..
          > Norm
          > http://www.wacparts.com
          >
          > PS - I don't want to be in the aftermarket parts business supporting
          > Zap's screwups. I would rather be driving a vehicle where the
          > manufacturer and the importer both at least pretend to care and make
          > progress. The 2007 vehicles have all the same screwups the 2006
          > vehicles had only shuffled around a little, and nobody is making Zap
          > take any responsibility or improve their products - or even stock
          > important spare parts for the ones they are selling.
          >
          >
          > --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, Don <xebra_don@> wrote:
          > >
          > > My new Xebra was delivered yesterday. All in all, I am satisfied,
          > most
          > > of the cosmetic defects I can ignore, and I will upgrade the
          > > suspension. But there is one thing that bugs me. The shelf behind
          > the
          > > rear seat is glassed in noticeably crooked. It slopes down to the
          > > right. The flaw stands out as you look at the car from the rear.
          > The
          > > back wall behind the rear seat is also mounted such that one side
          > is
          > > noticeably more forward than the other. The degree of error of
          > both is
          > > at least 1.5 inches. The center break light is also mounted such
          > that
          > > it points a bit to the left, but I can reposition that if I want to.
          > >
          > > Do other Xebras have such abnormalities? Should I just live with
          > it?
          > >
          > > One of the things that bothers me is that as an employee of
          > Cal/EPA, and
          > > the first one in that state agency to own a Xebra, a large number
          > of
          > > environmental bureaucrats are going to inspect this vehicle. I
          > would
          > > hate for this Xebra to leave a negative impression. Much of the
          > reason
          > > I bought a Xebra is to promote and encourage the adoption of
          > electric
          > > vehicles, and because of my work, this car will be an ambassador of
          > > Xebras. The manufacturers of every electric and alternative fuel
          > > vehicle regularly come to Cal/EPA to show off their wares. But my
          > Xebra
          > > will be in the parking lot every day for everyone in the agency to
          > > inspect. I could probably return the vehicle today if I wanted.
          > > Should I? Or should I just say to people that it is what it is?
          > >
          > > ~Don
          > > Sacramento, CA
          > >
          >
        • dgpretzel
          I agree whole heartedly. I really don t like to have to respond to the many, many inquires by giving them the whole spiel, only to have to add multiple caveats
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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            I agree whole heartedly.

            I really don't like to have to respond to the many, many inquires by
            giving them the whole spiel, only to have to add multiple caveats
            about the quality & workmanship, and to emphasize the criticality of
            using a knowledgeable, motivated, and interested dealer. I wish I
            could just give an unqualified endorsement.

            At the end of the day, although both the manufacturer and the
            importer are to blame, I fault ZAP more than the manufacturer.

            It's sort of like a long past employer told my wife when complaining
            about certain working conditions (this was a teaching position at a
            university): "It's your fault-- you continue to accept employment
            under these conditions." We realized the employer was mostly
            correct, and within months WE changed the conditions. (New employer,
            higher salary.)

            DG


            --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, "Norm" <normw@...> wrote:
            >
            > It is just my opinion, but I wouldn't give Zap a pass and just
            > say, "Oh, it is the Chinese workmanship". Yes, we all know that
            > there are issues with seams that leak, the stupidity of welding
            cabs
            > directly to frames, etc. I can give them a pass (to a point) on
            > things that we can fix like the suspension and the speedometer and
            > tires and weatherstripping and stuff. Even those things should be
            > fixed by now though. They have known for long enough that these
            > problems are there. There has to be a hard limit, and for me it
            > would be where something is structurally wrong with the vehicle -
            > especially something noticeably wrong - and it can't be fixed by
            mere
            > mortals. Yes, you could put it in the shop and hack out the rear
            > deck with a Sawzall and fiberglass it in right, but this has to be
            > going too far!!! How is Zap going to figure out that they have
            gone
            > too far if we just keep rolling over to give them access to another
            > orifice. I think we have to start making Zap accountable for more
            of
            > this stuff as time goes on. They have had lots of time now to get
            > someone on-site in China and do some quality control. They are
            going
            > to have a lot of competition coming to the market over the next
            > several months or years, and if Zap is given a pass all the way
            down
            > the line (by us) then they will not be able to compete when the new
            > stuff comes along. Of course we will be left holding that bag when
            > they go broke and our resale value is ZERO. If this was me I would
            > make them fix it or replace it.
            >
            > ..
            > Norm
            > http://www.wacparts.com
            >
            > PS - I don't want to be in the aftermarket parts business
            supporting
            > Zap's screwups. I would rather be driving a vehicle where the
            > manufacturer and the importer both at least pretend to care and
            make
            > progress. The 2007 vehicles have all the same screwups the 2006
            > vehicles had only shuffled around a little, and nobody is making
            Zap
            > take any responsibility or improve their products - or even stock
            > important spare parts for the ones they are selling.
            >
            >
            > --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, Don <xebra_don@> wrote:
            > >
            > > My new Xebra was delivered yesterday. All in all, I am
            satisfied,
            > most
            > > of the cosmetic defects I can ignore, and I will upgrade the
            > > suspension. But there is one thing that bugs me. The shelf
            behind
            > the
            > > rear seat is glassed in noticeably crooked. It slopes down to
            the
            > > right. The flaw stands out as you look at the car from the
            rear.
            > The
            > > back wall behind the rear seat is also mounted such that one side
            > is
            > > noticeably more forward than the other. The degree of error of
            > both is
            > > at least 1.5 inches. The center break light is also mounted such
            > that
            > > it points a bit to the left, but I can reposition that if I want
            to.
            > >
            > > Do other Xebras have such abnormalities? Should I just live with
            > it?
            > >
            > > One of the things that bothers me is that as an employee of
            > Cal/EPA, and
            > > the first one in that state agency to own a Xebra, a large number
            > of
            > > environmental bureaucrats are going to inspect this vehicle. I
            > would
            > > hate for this Xebra to leave a negative impression. Much of the
            > reason
            > > I bought a Xebra is to promote and encourage the adoption of
            > electric
            > > vehicles, and because of my work, this car will be an ambassador
            of
            > > Xebras. The manufacturers of every electric and alternative fuel
            > > vehicle regularly come to Cal/EPA to show off their wares. But
            my
            > Xebra
            > > will be in the parking lot every day for everyone in the agency
            to
            > > inspect. I could probably return the vehicle today if I
            wanted.
            > > Should I? Or should I just say to people that it is what it is?
            > >
            > > ~Don
            > > Sacramento, CA
            > >
            >
          • Daniel Schechter
            Based on what I ve read of Zap s history, I have zero confidence in their ability or their willingness to produce a quality vehicle. The Xebra is poorly
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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              Based on what I've read of Zap's history, I have zero
              confidence in their ability or their willingness to
              produce a quality vehicle. The Xebra is poorly
              designed and poorly constructed, and Zap does not seem
              to care. But for the time being, it's the only game in
              town, and I LOVE driving electric, and between Sean's
              upgrades to the batteries, controller, and seats, and
              Norm's suspension, I've got a car I can live with, if
              it keeps running, until something better comes along,
              at which time I expect Zap to fade away into oblivion.
              I don't see how Zap can compete once there's a decent
              EV available. I LOVE driving my Xebra. But I consider
              it a stop-gap until somebody markets a proper EV
              again.

              Given that I consider this a stop-gap vehicle, I'd
              just live with the defects. However, if you intend to
              drive yours over the long term, I'd insist that Zap
              fix the serious defects, or replace the car with one
              that was properly assembled.

              BTW, I was off the list for two weeks while I was on
              vacation. I have not seen anything posted during that
              time.

              Daniel


              --- Norm <normw@...> wrote:

              > It is just my opinion, but I wouldn't give Zap a
              > pass and just
              > say, "Oh, it is the Chinese workmanship". Yes, we
              > all know that
              > there are issues with seams that leak, the stupidity
              > of welding cabs
              > directly to frames, etc. I can give them a pass (to
              > a point) on
              > things that we can fix like the suspension and the
              > speedometer and
              > tires and weatherstripping and stuff. Even those
              > things should be
              > fixed by now though. They have known for long
              > enough that these
              > problems are there. There has to be a hard limit,
              > and for me it
              > would be where something is structurally wrong with
              > the vehicle -
              > especially something noticeably wrong - and it can't
              > be fixed by mere
              > mortals. Yes, you could put it in the shop and hack
              > out the rear
              > deck with a Sawzall and fiberglass it in right, but
              > this has to be
              > going too far!!! How is Zap going to figure out
              > that they have gone
              > too far if we just keep rolling over to give them
              > access to another
              > orifice. I think we have to start making Zap
              > accountable for more of
              > this stuff as time goes on. They have had lots of
              > time now to get
              > someone on-site in China and do some quality
              > control. They are going
              > to have a lot of competition coming to the market
              > over the next
              > several months or years, and if Zap is given a pass
              > all the way down
              > the line (by us) then they will not be able to
              > compete when the new
              > stuff comes along. Of course we will be left
              > holding that bag when
              > they go broke and our resale value is ZERO. If this
              > was me I would
              > make them fix it or replace it.
              >
              > ..
              > Norm
              > http://www.wacparts.com
              >
              > PS - I don't want to be in the aftermarket parts
              > business supporting
              > Zap's screwups. I would rather be driving a vehicle
              > where the
              > manufacturer and the importer both at least pretend
              > to care and make
              > progress. The 2007 vehicles have all the same
              > screwups the 2006
              > vehicles had only shuffled around a little, and
              > nobody is making Zap
              > take any responsibility or improve their products -
              > or even stock
              > important spare parts for the ones they are selling.
              >
              >
              > --- In Xebra_EV@yahoogroups.com, Don <xebra_don@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > My new Xebra was delivered yesterday. All in all,
              > I am satisfied,
              > most
              > > of the cosmetic defects I can ignore, and I will
              > upgrade the
              > > suspension. But there is one thing that bugs me.
              > The shelf behind
              > the
              > > rear seat is glassed in noticeably crooked. It
              > slopes down to the
              > > right. The flaw stands out as you look at the car
              > from the rear.
              > The
              > > back wall behind the rear seat is also mounted
              > such that one side
              > is
              > > noticeably more forward than the other. The
              > degree of error of
              > both is
              > > at least 1.5 inches. The center break light is
              > also mounted such
              > that
              > > it points a bit to the left, but I can reposition
              > that if I want to.
              > >
              > > Do other Xebras have such abnormalities? Should I
              > just live with
              > it?
              > >
              > > One of the things that bothers me is that as an
              > employee of
              > Cal/EPA, and
              > > the first one in that state agency to own a Xebra,
              > a large number
              > of
              > > environmental bureaucrats are going to inspect
              > this vehicle. I
              > would
              > > hate for this Xebra to leave a negative
              > impression. Much of the
              > reason
              > > I bought a Xebra is to promote and encourage the
              > adoption of
              > electric
              > > vehicles, and because of my work, this car will be
              > an ambassador of
              > > Xebras. The manufacturers of every electric and
              > alternative fuel
              > > vehicle regularly come to Cal/EPA to show off
              > their wares. But my
              > Xebra
              > > will be in the parking lot every day for everyone
              > in the agency to
              > > inspect. I could probably return the vehicle
              > today if I wanted.
              > > Should I? Or should I just say to people that it
              > is what it is?
              > >
              > > ~Don
              > > Sacramento, CA
              > >
              >
              >
              >



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            • Glade Diviney
              Let me add my amen to Norm s sentiment as well. The main reason I bought an SD was because I want to encourage _real_ transportation alternatives to the ICE
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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                Let me add my "amen" to Norm's sentiment as well.

                The main reason I bought an SD was because I want to encourage _real_ transportation alternatives to the ICE which are available _today_ instead of pinning my hopes on stuff that doesn't get you much ( e.g. hybrid) or doesn't really exist (e.g. hydrogen). Zap needs to spend its dollars to keep the current product workable and marketable so that the dealers can spend their time selling instead of patching/priming/painting over problems.

                Incidentally, I have noticed the poor workmanship in the details, but so far my vehicle has been a quality ride, meeting my expectations and a fair amount of thanks goes to my excellent dealer EWI in Salem. Here's hoping that Zap will continue improvements for the next generation.

                -Glade


                On 10/1/07, dgpretzel <deg@...> wrote:

                I agree whole heartedly.

                I really don't like to have to respond to the many, many inquires by
                giving them the whole spiel, only to have to add multiple caveats
                about the quality & workmanship, and to emphasize the criticality of
                using a knowledgeable, motivated, and interested dealer. I wish I
                could just give an unqualified endorsement.

                At the end of the day, although both the manufacturer and the
                importer are to blame, I fault ZAP more than the manufacturer.

                It's sort of like a long past employer told my wife when complaining
                about certain working conditions (this was a teaching position at a
                university): "It's your fault-- you continue to accept employment
                under these conditions." We realized the employer was mostly
                correct, and within months WE changed the conditions. (New employer,
                higher salary.)

                DG


              • Don
                Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. After reading them all, I began to think that even though I am sort of inclined to let it ride, the dealer and ZAP both
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 1, 2007
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                  Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. After reading them all, I began
                  to think that even though I am sort of inclined to let it ride, the
                  dealer and ZAP both should have a chance to address the issue, because
                  their reputations are at stake, especially when this electric vehicle is
                  parked next to other brands of EVs every day in the parking lot of the
                  Cal/EPA building.

                  So, I called the dealer, Davis Electric Cars, and explained the issue.
                  Someone from the dealer was planning to drive to ZAP today, anyway, so
                  they will talk to someone about it at ZAP.

                  By the way, the Xebra came from a dealer in Oregon, not directly from
                  ZAP to Davis Electric Cars.

                  Photos of the irregularity are now posted at
                  http://donvandyke.smugmug.com/gallery/3572286.

                  ~Don
                  Sacramento, CA
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