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      10-02-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
1speedbike
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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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      10-02-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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How long have you had the new hood on?
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      10-02-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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that sounds like a nightmare...
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      10-03-2011, 07:09 AM   #4
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I dunno. There are some aspects of this that don't sound great, like basically forcing you to use the same installer, if you want free shipping. But as for having you pay for a new one upfront, I'm not so sure that's so egregious. They may have your credit card number, and your address, but that does them pretty much no good whatsoever. They can't simply charge a credit card without authorization, even if someone walks away with the second hood.

The fact that they have your info makes it easier to find you, if they need to sue you, but that's time-consuming, expensive, and basically not a realistic option for a $1000 item, especially if you're not local to them.

I actually see an upside to how they handled this. They didn't require that you return the hood to them, so they could inspect it themselves. Most companies require that you return the item, AT YOUR EXPENSE, for a warranty claim. They could have required that, but they didn't.

So while it could have been handled better in some respects, I'm not so sure I share your outrage.
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      10-03-2011, 09:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinmagic View Post
I dunno. There are some aspects of this that don't sound great, like basically forcing you to use the same installer, if you want free shipping. But as for having you pay for a new one upfront, I'm not so sure that's so egregious. They may have your credit card number, and your address, but that does them pretty much no good whatsoever. They can't simply charge a credit card without authorization, even if someone walks away with the second hood.

The fact that they have your info makes it easier to find you, if they need to sue you, but that's time-consuming, expensive, and basically not a realistic option for a $1000 item, especially if you're not local to them.

I actually see an upside to how they handled this. They didn't require that you return the hood to them, so they could inspect it themselves. Most companies require that you return the item, AT YOUR EXPENSE, for a warranty claim. They could have required that, but they didn't.

So while it could have been handled better in some respects, I'm not so sure I share your outrage.
I completely agree. This circumstance wasn't bad at all. Many other warranties would have required something paid 'out of pocket' on your end. Be it shipping or something else entirely.

I'd honestly be pretty happy with the warranty, imho.
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      10-03-2011, 11:14 AM   #6
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where is your stock hood in all of this?
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      10-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #7
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Better than the tire warranty I got from Pirelli. I had a tire delaminate after 2 weeks on the road. Pirelli made me ship them the tire to their inspection office at my own cost...they never payed me back for it.
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      10-03-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinmagic View Post
I dunno. There are some aspects of this that don't sound great, like basically forcing you to use the same installer, if you want free shipping. But as for having you pay for a new one upfront, I'm not so sure that's so egregious. They may have your credit card number, and your address, but that does them pretty much no good whatsoever. They can't simply charge a credit card without authorization, even if someone walks away with the second hood.

The fact that they have your info makes it easier to find you, if they need to sue you, but that's time-consuming, expensive, and basically not a realistic option for a $1000 item, especially if you're not local to them.

I actually see an upside to how they handled this. They didn't require that you return the hood to them, so they could inspect it themselves. Most companies require that you return the item, AT YOUR EXPENSE, for a warranty claim. They could have required that, but they didn't.

So while it could have been handled better in some respects, I'm not so sure I share your outrage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakazoid View Post
I completely agree. This circumstance wasn't bad at all. Many other warranties would have required something paid 'out of pocket' on your end. Be it shipping or something else entirely.

I'd honestly be pretty happy with the warranty, imho.
I guess I was being optimistic in thinking that if my product has a manufacturing defect, that the manufacturer should take full responsibility and set me up with a new item, making it as hassle-free as possible. Instead, I had to constantly ask for updates, fight for my new hood, be forced to wait for months for it to actually arrive, and then pretty much "prove my innocence" in that I wouldn't resell anything, not even a little vent. KW will ship you a new coilover and let you send your busted one back, unless they want to try and repair your part. Alpine always ships out a replacement ballast or light first, then asks for the defective unit back.

Seibon was very unaccommodating. I had to wait several weeks after I originally sent pictures for them to verify that my clearcoat was indeed defective. Then another couple months for them to make a new batch of hoods (they promised about 2 weeks), then another week before the hood actually came. I had to not only destroy my old, already defective hood, but do it in a very convoluted way (slicing it up into at least 6 pieces, etc). Not everyone has the tools to do that, it costs money to get someone to do it for you. I already had to pay to get the old one uninstalled and the new one put on.. so now I'm hit with paying to get it destroyed "their way" and I don't have a choice as to where I can get it installed, either.

They didn't want to speak with me, so I had to bother Billy every time I wanted an update. I started my warranty claim process in late may, and if it wasn't for Irene I would have gotten the hood on late August, but had to wait until mid september due to hurricane related issues. The time it took to do everything probably aggravated me more than anything and is probably making me think all this other stuff is worse than it is, too.

I know not everyone has a warranty system like this, but for such a large, unwieldy item that I cannot drive my car without, I was expecting better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 91Kevin View Post
where is your stock hood in all of this?
Destroyed due to an accident
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      10-03-2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
Better than the tire warranty I got from Pirelli. I had a tire delaminate after 2 weeks on the road. Pirelli made me ship them the tire to their inspection office at my own cost...they never payed me back for it.
Pirelli FTL. That really sucks, I feel ya man!
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      10-03-2011, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1speedbike View Post
I guess I was being optimistic in thinking that if my product has a manufacturing defect, that the manufacturer should take full responsibility and set me up with a new item, making it as hassle-free as possible. Instead, I had to constantly ask for updates, fight for my new hood, be forced to wait for months for it to actually arrive, and then pretty much "prove my innocence" in that I wouldn't resell anything, not even a little vent. KW will ship you a new coilover and let you send your busted one back, unless they want to try and repair your part. Alpine always ships out a replacement ballast or light first, then asks for the defective unit back.

Seibon was very unaccommodating. I had to wait several weeks after I originally sent pictures for them to verify that my clearcoat was indeed defective. Then another couple months for them to make a new batch of hoods (they promised about 2 weeks), then another week before the hood actually came. I had to not only destroy my old, already defective hood, but do it in a very convoluted way (slicing it up into at least 6 pieces, etc). Not everyone has the tools to do that, it costs money to get someone to do it for you. I already had to pay to get the old one uninstalled and the new one put on.. so now I'm hit with paying to get it destroyed "their way" and I don't have a choice as to where I can get it installed, either.

They didn't want to speak with me, so I had to bother Billy every time I wanted an update. I started my warranty claim process in late may, and if it wasn't for Irene I would have gotten the hood on late August, but had to wait until mid september due to hurricane related issues. The time it took to do everything probably aggravated me more than anything and is probably making me think all this other stuff is worse than it is, too.

I know not everyone has a warranty system like this, but for such a large, unwieldy item that I cannot drive my car without, I was expecting better.



Destroyed due to an accident
well then that explains where the hassle came from in the first place. Sounds like to me if you had had a stock hood then it would have been a seamless transaction. Their warranty policy sounds like they assume the owner of the hood has a stock hood as well.

Not your fault though.
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      10-03-2011, 06:15 PM   #11
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well then that explains where the hassle came from in the first place. Sounds like to me if you had had a stock hood then it would have been a seamless transaction. Their warranty policy sounds like they assume the owner of the hood has a stock hood as well.

Not your fault though.
True, it would have been easier, but not cheaper. Instead of replacing the old hood with the new, I'd have to visit the shop twice, get the old one off and stock on, and then again to put the new one on and take the stock off. Depending on the labor rate and how good the place is, that's an extra hundred or so bucks at least. There's no winning
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      10-03-2011, 07:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1speedbike View Post
I guess I was being optimistic in thinking that if my product has a manufacturing defect, that the manufacturer should take full responsibility and set me up with a new item, making it as hassle-free as possible. Instead, I had to constantly ask for updates, fight for my new hood, be forced to wait for months for it to actually arrive, and then pretty much "prove my innocence" in that I wouldn't resell anything, not even a little vent. KW will ship you a new coilover and let you send your busted one back, unless they want to try and repair your part. Alpine always ships out a replacement ballast or light first, then asks for the defective unit back.

Seibon was very unaccommodating. I had to wait several weeks after I originally sent pictures for them to verify that my clearcoat was indeed defective. Then another couple months for them to make a new batch of hoods (they promised about 2 weeks), then another week before the hood actually came. I had to not only destroy my old, already defective hood, but do it in a very convoluted way (slicing it up into at least 6 pieces, etc). Not everyone has the tools to do that, it costs money to get someone to do it for you. I already had to pay to get the old one uninstalled and the new one put on.. so now I'm hit with paying to get it destroyed "their way" and I don't have a choice as to where I can get it installed, either.

They didn't want to speak with me, so I had to bother Billy every time I wanted an update. I started my warranty claim process in late may, and if it wasn't for Irene I would have gotten the hood on late August, but had to wait until mid september due to hurricane related issues. The time it took to do everything probably aggravated me more than anything and is probably making me think all this other stuff is worse than it is, too.

I know not everyone has a warranty system like this, but for such a large, unwieldy item that I cannot drive my car without, I was expecting better.



Destroyed due to an accident
Yeah, clearly there's a lot there that could have been handled better by Seibon. Definitely not saying they come out smelling like a rose.
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      10-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1speedbike View Post
True, it would have been easier, but not cheaper. Instead of replacing the old hood with the new, I'd have to visit the shop twice, get the old one off and stock on, and then again to put the new one on and take the stock off. Depending on the labor rate and how good the place is, that's an extra hundred or so bucks at least. There's no winning
Or you could have changed the hoods yourself lol

But yeah I see where you are coming from.
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      10-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #14
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Surprised they don't have you nuke the hood to obliterate it

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      11-27-2011, 11:50 AM   #15
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so the fitment is actually good? I heard bad stories on seibon fitment, at least that's good news...
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      11-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #16
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so the fitment is actually good? I heard bad stories on seibon fitment, at least that's good news...
The fitment isn't as perfect as an OEM hood, but you won't get perfect OEM fitment from any CF hood in my opinion. Carbon parts always take a little bit of tweaking to get to fit right, but the body shop that installed the hood both times was surprised at how easy it was to fit on.They said they have had MUCH worse quality hoods in terms of both fit and finish put on various cars.

Here are a couple pics showing that the gap between the hood and the body of the car isn't too too bad, and how it lines up more or less correctly:





Not perfect.. but not like the claims of "horrible" fit that I have also heard in the past. Both hoods fit the exact same.
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