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      10-02-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
1speedbike
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Drives: 2008 BMW 135i
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NJ, NYC, Baltimore

Posts: 2,932
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Exclamation Seibon: STAY AWAY! Good product, PITA Warranty

Apparently, Seibon hates their customers.

I got the Seibon Carbon Fiber GTR Style hood for my 135i from Vivid Racing. I got a great price, and everyone who I spoke to at Vivid was simply awesome. The hood got put on last December (2010), but the car wasn't taken out of the body shop / my own garage, save for one quick trip until the following January (2011).

For the price, I was impressed with the quality of the carbon on this hood. It was about 2/3-3/4 the price of an iCarbon hood, and the weave was excellent, the finish was glossy, and the workmanship of the hood as a whole was great. There were a few imperfections in the direction of the weave, but they weren't noticeable except under careful inspection, and this is to be expected on a CF item of this size and complex design.

I even tried to get hood pins installed and was told they really cant be installed well. This is because of an extra layer of lightweight reinforcing material along some parts of the underside of the hood. It would make it very difficult to get hood pins on, and the shop was worried they'd crack my hood in the process, so we skipped it. The good news is that the hooks that keep the hood in place are drilled through this reinforcing layer, not simply glued onto the carbon, so this actually negated the need for hood pins, since most CF hoods fail because of glued-on hooks breaking free.

Fast forward a few months and my clearcoat starts to yellow and develop strange bumps. I had many people look at it, and everyone was kind of baffled. The carbon fiber underneath the clearcoat was not yellowing, it was the clearcoat itself.. and these bumps.. what the heck?

I contacted Vivid Racing, and looked up Seibon's warranty, and lo and behold, there's a 6 month clearcoat warranty on all products! Perfect!

Or so I thought..

Turns out that in order to get a new hood, I have to ship my old hood back. This car is my daily driver. I can't go around without a hood for weeks while they receive the old hood and ship out a new one. I told them that this is pretty ridiculous; they really can't expect to have a car out of commission for a few weeks while they handle the exchange. So I was given another option, not much better than the first.

I was to buy a brand new hood, at regular price. Shipping was only free if I had the new hood shipped to the original shipping location, which happened to be a bodyshop that I didn't particularly want to install this new hood. But I didn't want to pay $150 for shipping, so I had to abide. I was to install this new hood, destroy the old hood, and send them pictures for proof. Only after all of this would I get my close to one grand back for the new hood.

Seriously? I need to have a giant charge sitting on my credit card for however long this whole process will take. Billy at Vivid Racing agreed that this sucks, but it's just how it is with Seibon. Nevermind the fact that they had my full name, address, credit card number, paypal account, etc and if I was dishonest and didn't end up sending the promised pictures they knew EXACTLY who I was and how to find me...

So, I finally got the new hood installed, and I went to destroy the old one. I had the shop smash up the old hood with bats and hammers. I sent the pictures. The reply was "not good enough". The hood needed to be broken into at least 6 different pieces and have the individual vents smashed as well. Seibon did not want me reselling even a VENT from their hood. Not that I would, but it would have been cool to keep a little vent as a souvenir. I'm lucky I didn't take my hood home to try and destroy it myself, because I had to inconvenience the body shop and have them use a power saw to cut the hood up into six pieces before Seibon was satisfied.

This was all just a giant inconvenience to me. When I see a warranty, I expect a warranty. Not "buy another one, and prove to us that you destroyed the old one".

The new hood, however, is perfect. The weave is actually better than the first hood's, and I am very happy with the quality of this hood. However, Seibon's customer service and warranty is just plain horrendous.

Oh yes, I forgot. Seibon's people don't even want to speak to you. To file my warranty claim, I had to do it through Vivid Racing. So on top of my own inconvenience, I had to bother Billy at Vivid Racing for weeks upon weeks as this whole months-long exchange occurred.

Good products.. horrible service
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