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Author Topic: Plastic Tank Problem Info: The fix is in. See last post.  (Read 116308 times)
ducatiz
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« on: October 20, 2010, 05:29:16 PM »

If you are experiencing a swollen/expanded/rippled gas tank on your 2005 and up Ducati with a plastic gas tank, this is for you.  I created another thread that got very large and became a discussion.  This post will remain locked and I'll occasionally add updates here.

Discussion thread here--> http://www.ducatimonsterforum.org/index.php?topic=25074.0

1.  There was a lawsuit.
2.  Ducati and the plaintiffs settled.
3.  You are part of the lawsuit settlement.
4.  Affected bikes got an extended warranty, some bikes may get replacement tanks if the deformation is significant.
5.  No one is getting a tank from a new material.
6.  You may get new tank mounting hardware or a smaller tank or a shorter seat.

End of line.


« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 06:59:51 PM by ducatiz » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 05:29:34 PM »

Updates in reverse order:



Update #4  11-Oct-2010

If you have been told by a dealer any of the following, PLEASE PM ME with your contact info, i.e. name, email, phone #, and the dealer you dealt with.  I will be taking this directly to a meeting with my contacts at Ducati.

    * You have to have a leaking tank before we will replace it.
    * You have to leave a deposit to get your replacement tank
    * You have to leave your bike with us until the new tank comes in
    * Ducati isn't replacing tanks merely for expansion
    * Your bike is out of warranty, no replacement


etc

Also, if you have sold your bike due to the tank issue, please contact me as above.

Thanks

Izaak

Update #3a    28-Aug-2010:  Research links FYI
Some of you have asked for more information on the Ethanol/Water/Nylon interaction.  Some of the info I have is proprietary and I can't post it, but all of the following have the same or similar info and are public. 

Problems with E10/Ethanol absorbing water and then separating are well known, thanks to the boat industry, and manufacturers of polyamides (all) have known for years that (uncoated/untreated) Nylons absorb water in varying degrees depending on the type.  PA6, the Nylon used in your tank, is probably one of the more aggressive absorbers.  (Note: polyamides are a family of materials).

The last PA6 note mentions that PA6 can absorb moisture to 8% of its weight, and that is from a manufacturer of PA6 parts.  I wonder if ~anyone~ at Acerbis/Ducati did any research on PA6 before deciding to use it for a gas tank.


Footnotes:
On Nylon 6/PA6
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pola.1993.080310119/abstract
http://www.dsm.com/en_US/html/dep/akulonmoisture.htm
http://www.springerlink.com/content/h046820627255320/
http://www.zellamid.com/show.aspx?SP=2&url=202PA6

On Ethanol adsorption of water
http://www.springerlink.com/content/j2x43q45660x5617/
http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/news/E10.shtml


UPDATE #3 10-Aug-2010 What is known so far:

1.  Ducati is replacing every tank that comes in with any significant deformation.  The main things to look for are a) spreading on the frame mounts (one rubber bumper on each bottom side) b) ripples in the surface or c) pressing against the keyswitch

2.  The correct procedure is to go to a dealer and have the tank inspected.  Some folks have had problems with some dealers not wanting to deal with the tank or claiming Ducati is not replacing the tanks.  So far, this has borne out to be just dealers with incorrect info.

3.  The tanks are made from Nylon 6/6, aka PA6 or Polyamide 6.  They are made by Acerbis.

4.  Nylon 6/6 absorbs water.  Ethanol wicks moisture from the air and gravity causes the water to weigh down the ethanol so that it separates from the gasoline solution.  This means you end up with a pool of water at the bottom of your tank which is readily absorbed by the nylon surface.

5.  I do not know if Acerbis/Ducati coats the interior of the tanks.  I do not believe they do.

6.  Other bikes have had the same type of problem:  Multistradas and Sport Classics.  I have not talked to anyone with an SBK yet, but I have heard rumors those as well. 

7.  Some Multistrada owners got new tanks and had them coated with Caswell's liner.  I have gotten into contact with a few of these folks and so far, they are happy with the result.  Some have had the coating for a year now.

8.  Ducati NA is actively looking into solutions.

9.  I have spoken with the Office of Defects Investigation at NHTSA and have presented to them the data on the problem.  They may open an investigation given the number of complaints thus far.  More reports can only help push this effort.

10.  Ducati NA seems to be engaged, but not to the extent we'd all like them to be.  That doesn't mean a solution isn't coming, but it also doesn't mean a solution is coming at all.  The best thing for me to do is continue working with them until I am convinced there is no more effort on their part.  I do not currently have a timeline, there is no statute of limitations for a defect suit of this type.



UPDATE #2 17-Jun-2010 Please check out HeMan's post on how to inspect your tank for signs of expansion: http://ducatimonsterforum.org/index.php?topic=39604.0

UPDATE  ***I am collecting stats on which bikes are having the tank problem and what (if any) mods may be involved.  You have to be on my list (see signup below) to receive the survey link.  That's the only way I can prevent crap responses from getting in.

Please sign up to the list to get the survey link if you haven't yet.  If you are on the list, check your email.

**************

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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2010, 05:34:56 PM »

Photos of expanded tanks.  THUMBNAILS click for large image.

Some of the deformations are hard to see in photos.






















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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 11:47:52 AM »

If you haven't read the lawsuit filed by Girard-Gibbs against Ducati, please check it out.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/11/19/Ducati.pdf

They have filed in California federal court under California laws. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 07:16:08 PM »

FYI, here will most likely be no metal tank to replace the deformed tanks.  It will either be another plastic material or the same tank with a coating.

Also, NHTSA opened an investigation as of 11/4:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/docservlet/Artemis/Public/Pursuits/2010/PE/INOA-PE10045-8595.PDF

This only helps the effort to get them to fix the problem.  NHTSA is focusing on the fact that some tanks deform enough to have fuel leak.  This is not a problem if it is established that the deformation's cause is unique, i.e. it is the same across all models.

Also, I have determined that European tanks are made of the same material.  Europe will be rolling out E10 in the next years.  Ducati needs to get their heads right.
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2011, 08:19:43 AM »

Ducati has filed a motion to dismiss (2/14, happy valentine's day) and a motion to stay discovery pending the status of the motion to dismiss.

posted in the yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ducatiplastictanks/files/sugarman%20v%20ducati%20m\
otion%20to%20dismiss.pdf

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ducatiplastictanks/files/sugarman%20v%20ducati%20m\
otion%20to%20stay.pdf

Ducati is alleging that they have 24 models and 16 different gas tanks. 

Quote
Plaintiffs have proposed a nationwide class of every person in the United States who during an eight-year period purchased or leased any of Ducati’s 24 different models of motorcycles equipped with 16 different custom molded thermoplastic fuel tanks, with different conditions of use and with different warranty claims experiences.

24 models?  I guess...
16 different custom tanks???  ... I guess..

Different warranty claims experiences?  Um...  if you say so...



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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2011, 06:30:03 AM »

My replacement tank started expanding, and I drained it and took it off to examine.  I found some pretty interesting items.

1.  The tank was made in March 2005, which would make it OLDER than my original tank, which had a date of JUNE 2005.
2.  Final inspection was done March 2006.
3.  Plenty of bubble artifacts inside the tank.








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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011, 06:31:02 AM »

I've posted additional documents from the pre-trial motions in the Yahoo group.  I can't easily derby the links here.  If you're following this thread and not in the yahoo group, then tough.  Sign up and read them.

Quote
This document was filed by the plaintiff's attorneys, known as a Declaration in
Support. This was filed to support the plaintiff's attorney's request to be
named counsel for the proposed class action.

Take a look at it as it has declarations by 3 different people explaining what
happened with their Ducati. The bikes are a 1098SBK, a SportClassic, and a
Monster 696. All of them had fuel breaches of the gas tank.

I will be posting additional documents from the case soon.

In summary, Ducati has requested the claims be dismissed since the plaintiffs
have not stated a claim that can be adjudicated and that the class not be
certified. This means that Ducati is saying the claimed phenomenon are not
defects as defined in the law and are merely cosmetic issues. Ducati has
offered the results of the NHTSA ODI investigation and results as rationale for
their proposed dismissal. (NHTSA investigated the tanks leaking and did not
find a systemic problem with the tanks.)

Plaintiffs have not yet replied to this.

All of these are "pre trial" actions -- motions, declarations and replies.
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 01:29:52 PM »

I've been notified that Ducati has reached a settlement in the lawsuit.  More info posted soon.
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 10:09:18 AM »

Forgot to post this:

Proposed settlement:

http://www.girardgibbs.com/Ducati%20-%20Motion%20for%20Preliminary%20Approval%20of%20Class%20Settlement.pdf
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2011, 08:38:48 AM »

Notice that is being sent out, in case you do not get one.

You have to have had your bike titled in your name/address at the time of the suit to be notified, but even if you did not that will not prevent you from contacting them and getting in on the settlement (or contesting it) if you want to.

http://www.girardgibbs.com/ducati-class-notice.pdf
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2011, 09:25:20 AM »

For those of you interested in objecting to the settlement, please PM me YOUR FULL NAME AND  EMAIL ADDRESS.

I am preparing an objection to file if you want to sign an affidavit which "attaches" your objection to mine, let me know ASAP.

Deadline is Dec 27 to receive the objections by the court and the law firms.  That means it needs to be in the mail before then.
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2011, 12:55:01 PM »

I have sent the objection I am filing along with about 15 additional people's objections to the court and the attorneys, overnight.  Everyone will have the documents in hand tomorrow (12/23/2011) in plenty of time for the cutoff (12/27).

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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 05:24:43 AM »

The sum of the settlement is:

1.  Ducati continues doing what it's already doing now for the next 18 months.  After that, you're on your own.

2.  Ducati's position is that this is an aesthetic problem, nothing else.

3.  Acerbis "tested" the Caswell coating and found that it failed in their testing.  Their test consisted of a single tank which was filled with 100% ethanol and temperature cycled.  I don't consider this a valid test and nothing was said about how the tank was prepped for the coating or if the coating was applied correctly.  Moreover, testing with 100% ethanol doesn't prove anything since it is not representative of any real-world use.  This testing method does not match any fuel/materials compatibility testing used in the US.

4.  They found other coatings would "delaminate" or separate from the tank.  Again, this is probably a preparation issue.  This is consistent with tanks that have any gasoline residue left since the gasoline will prevent the epoxy from adhering.

That's pretty much it.  Assuming the judge finalizes the settlement soon, this is what you got.

I'll leave this thread here, FWIW
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 03:35:29 PM »

Quote
Ducati Class Action Update

We are pleased to announce that the Court has fully approved the Ducati settlement.  The effective date for the settlement is February 14, 2012.  That means the earliest that Ducati is obligated to perform under the settlement is February 14, 2012.

Under the settlement, Ducati will provide repairs for fuel tank expansion problems under an extended warranty.  The extended warranty for expansion problems that are not purely cosmetic will cover repairs for the longer of 6 years from the original sale date or until 18 months after the settlement’s effective date, whichever provides longer coverage for a particular motorcycle.  The extended warranty for purely cosmetic expansion problems will cover repairs for the longer of 5 years from the original sale date or until 18 months after the effective date.

To receive repairs under the settlement, you must take your motorcycle to an authorized Ducati dealer.

Complete information about the settlement, including links to the settlement agreement and the Court’s order approving it, can be found at www.GirardGibbs.com/ducati.asp
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