I Heart Stella.

disposable scooters

a couple of years ago i bought a printer for about $25. the print quality was great for such a cheap printer. it did a decent job on photos, and it was perfect for term papers. but when it finally ran out of ink, i realized what the catch was. it would cost me about twice the original price of the printer to replace the ink. i had purchased a disposable printer. it was more economically viable for me to get rid of the “used” printer and to buy a new one than it was for me to buy new ink cartridges.

i bring this up on a scooter blog because a friend of mine is buying a used scooter for a couple hundred bucks. he knows it’s a terrible scooter, but he’s excited anyway. you see, at that price it’s a disposable scooter.

he was telling me about it. he couldn’t remember the brand, but he said, “the only good thing it has is the remote start”.

oh. so you’re getting a Tank. i know a thing or two about Tank…

in my opinion, any company that offers a three year, 36,000 mile warranty which covers nothing is more than a little shady.

a few of the highlights:

Limited Warranty: 36 Months or 36,000 Miles for ALL On-Road TANK, VISION & URBAN Series.

sounds pretty good, no? my genuine stella only came with a 1-year, 5,000 mile warranty. maybe tank actually stands by their products?

let’s take a closer look.

PARTS ONLY FOR ALL PRODUCTS THIS LIMITED WARRANTY COVERS THE FOLLOWING PARTS ONLY: Engine long block assembly, including all internal lubricated parts...

hmmm. it looks like this warranty only covers parts. that means you’ll have to pay labor, which can get a bit expensive. and what’s this about “internal lubricated parts”?

TRANSFER CASE: All internal lubricated parts contained within the transfer case. The transfer case itself will be covered if damage solely as a result of the mechanical failure of one or more of the internal lubricated components contained within the transfer case...

there’s that phrase again. “internal lubricated parts”. it looks like only some parts in the transfer case are covered under this amazing warranty. in fact, the transfer case itself is only covered if it’s determined that it was damaged by the failure of these “internal lubricated parts”.

DIFFERENTIAL: All internal lubricated parts... The drive axle housing itself if damaged solely as a result of the mechanical failure of one or more or the internal lubricated components...
TRANSMISSION (Automatic or Standard): All internal lubricated parts... The transmission case itself if damaged solely as a result of mechanical failure of one or more of the internal lubricated components...

more about “internal lubricated components”. so the engine block, the differential, the axle, the axle housing, the transfer and the transmission case aren’t covered under the warranty.

what exactly is covered?

well, none of the “accessories” are:

including but not limited to electrical components of all types (distributor, alternator and all sensors and electrical control devices), fuel systems, gaskets, seals, filters, mounts linkage and fluids... U-joints, linkage, mounts... modulators, governors, electrical controls... are not covered by this agreement.

i don’t know that i’d classify the electrical system of a scooter as an accessory. it doesn’t run without electrical components…

but it gets better.

The following items are not covered under any circumstance. Tires, rims, body panels, fuses, forks, shocks, gaskets, light bulbs, seats, CV Boots, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, filters, clutch wear parts, cables, drive belt, chain, spark plug, any part made from rubber, belts, brake linings and/or pads, batteries, sprockets, external springs, clips, nuts, bolts, fasteners, frame.

amazing. the frame is specifically excluded from the warranty. if your frame breaks in half–which it might, if the metal and the weld quality i’ve seen on some Tank scooters is any indication–it won’t be covered.

REPAIRED COMPONENTS: If the components are repaired under the terms of this agreement, they will be repaired or replaced with component parts of like kind and quality.

that’s great. so when one of the few things that is actually covered by this warranty dies, it will be replaced with another one of the exact same quality. that’s reassuring. and you get to foot the bill for shop fees and parts shipping on top of that.

congratulations. you have purchased a disposable scooter. when it dies (not if, but when) it will actually be cheaper for you to buy a new one than to try to repair the broken one. anyone who buys this scooter is contributing to our single-serving, disposable society. you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

but at least it comes with a remote start!

This article was posted by Justin Hileman on 11 June 2007, and is filed under chinese scooters, friends, tank scooters, tupperware and warranty. If you have any comments, please contact me or leave a comment on this article.