AGM Failed at 16 months, warranty woes what can I do?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 18:19
ThreadID: 31948 Views:3209 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
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This history of this relates to my previous thread, but basically I've got an 100Ah AGM that is 16months old and appears to drop a cell after it has been partially discharged (will run 8amps for an hour dropping voltage slowly through 12.55,12.5,12.45,12.4 then in a sudden crash drop to below 10v while under load, ie 5 minutes to go from 12.4 to 10v, but an hour to go from 12.55 to 12.4). I've done several tests now with help and advice from a few ExplorOz users and I'm pretty certain that the battery has failed, and I don't think it's my fault.

The battery is an Abosorbed Power brand and I purchased it through Bias Boating who had purchased through Powerdive who have now apparently gone bust/sold the battery business, I'm not sure which (bust/sold) but not selling batteries any more anyway.

I've spoken the the Absorbed Power (Orbis) guy and he told me that since he bought/took over the business from Powerdive that he can't warrant the battery and that I should speak to Bias to see what their arrangements are. I've spoken to Bias and they say that since Powerdive is no longer in business they can't handle the warranty and I need to speak straight to the manufacturer, Absorbed Power.

I don't know if there is anything that I can do, obviously I can't buy another Absorbed Power battery (although they're happy to sell me a new battery plus a new charger, yeh right, Bias seem happy to sell me a new battery too). I do have a new AGM that I had just purchased before I found out this one failed, I'm glad it's a different brand.

Anyway I figured I'd ask if anyone has any ideas on how I should proceed, currently just contemplating giving up, but maybe someone out there has a better idea for me.

As an aside, the Aborbed Power guy told me that "... the batteries need to be charged at 14.8 volts to gain 100% charge and if not 100% charged will quickly sulphate and die in around 16 months..." obviously the 16 months was tongue-in-cheek but the 14.8 (ie a high charge voltage) seems to contradict a lot of other info I've read/seen, has anyone got any ideas on this?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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Reply By: Flash - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 18:53

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 18:53
Sorry to hear of your woes.
FullRiver quote 14.8v for their graphs, but I did not believe it was essential, I'm pretty sure 14 and a bit would be fine, though I'm not positive....
Good luck.
AnswerID: 161729

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 12:55

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 12:55
Ha HA not possitive means u r negitive
FollowupID: 416550

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 19:25

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 19:25
Absorbed Power should read their own website that has the data sheets for their AGM batteries.
Cyclic Voltage 14.4 to 15.0 volts - i.e 14.4 is sufficient.
Float Voltage 13.6 to 13.8 volts

My experience with Remco AGM is that it will charge fully at 13.8 volts.

Methinks they are looking for excuses.

Bias Boating took your money - if the product was defective they have to take responsibility. Talk to Dept of Fair Trading in your state.

But also consider the view of the manufacturer - they have no idea how well or how badly you treated the battery.

AnswerID: 161734

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 13:01

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 13:01
Agree wholeheartedly...they sold it to you, they have the burden of warrenty...(which they dont want because it will cost them sending it back) are entitled to pro rata at the least....and it shouldnt be this is a problem of the seller who took on the responsibility of warrenty once they took on the selling rights and took the profit.
Tell them John Laws is your cousin, set up outside their premisis with banners stating they cant be trusted.....get in their face or they will run you around.
FollowupID: 416551

Reply By: Nav 8 - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 01:01

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 01:01
To my knowledge of warrenty Bias boating is correct, they are only the selling agent. The manufacturer is the one responsible for warrenty but if they are no more you have a problem.Selling agents will usually help the customer obtain warrenty from the manufacturer but in this case if they no longer exist,
Good luck ,,, Nav.
AnswerID: 161811

Reply By: brett - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 01:52

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 01:52
You handed your money over to bias boating, that's who you should deal with, your contract is with them. How are you supposed to know who or where they get their batteries from. I'm pretty sure this is what any fair trading department will tell you.But what warranty did they give you on the battery, at 16 months it's probably out of warranty I guess and best you can do is try and get some goodwill out of one of them.
AnswerID: 161816

Follow Up By: murphnet - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 07:28

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 07:28
Unfortunately I don't know what warranty it had. The Absorbed Power web site says 6, 12 or 24 months, depending on application. Bias tells me that they reckon they were sold with a 3 year warranty, but then they might as well have told me it has a 50 year warranty if there's noone to honour it. I wish they'd just told me it was only a 12 month warranty, that would have been a better cop out.

I would've even been happy if they'd offer me a battery at cost, that way it doesn't cost them anything, but both parties just want to sell me a new battery, very frustrating, I think I will just cut my losses and not deal with either of them again.
FollowupID: 416495

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 07:34

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 07:34
If someome sells you a product that is not as described or not fit for purpose, then you are entitled to a refund - at any time.

Of course with a "consumabke" product like a battery, there will only be a pro-rata refund.

FollowupID: 416497

Reply By: Richard - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 07:35

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 07:35
Had a cell in a gel cell fail on me just out of warranty. Retailer give me a decent discount on a new one.
AnswerID: 161827

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 08:53

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 08:53
I would be checking your wiring and voltage output at the AGM before fitting the new one. AGM's are great and possibly your system is the cause of the failure. This would not be covered by warranty.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 161850

Reply By: AdlelaideGeorge - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 12:44

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 12:44
The question of whether you look to the FairTrading Act (State legislation that mirrors the Trade Practices Act [TPA] or the Trade Practices Act [Federal]) is one of business structure - were the vendors of the battery a corporation? If they were, the TPA applies. If they are a partnership or sole proprietor then the State Act applies.

With regards to the product 'warranty' it is irrelevant TO THE EXTENT THAT no contractual limitations to your rights (the posting re fit for the purpose/description is essentially correct) are effective in abrogating your legal rights under the TPA statutory warranty.

What this means is: if you were told or it is reasonable to conclude that your type of battery would last for X years, and the contractual warranty is for 6 months, the TPA provisions would apply and you would be afforded legal protection.
Don't give in - read the Act (it's easy to download/access from AUSTLII) and get some idea of your statutory warranty. Alternatively, go to a Community Legal Centre and get someone to explain your statutory rights under the consumer protection Acts.
AnswerID: 161905

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 13:01

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 13:01
Hi Murph

Absorbed Power Batteries are of very high quality and they carry a 2 year warranty. They are on par with Fullriver, Vision and Remco. ABR batteries are tested before they leave my workshop. Your battery may have failed due to the charge you are putting into it but make sure to test that A.S.A.P.

I have spoken to David of Orbis and we will validate your warranty for you and should the battery be faulty we will replace the battery pro-rata.

Please send the battery to me with a copy of the invoice and I will personally test it and handle the warranty claim for you.

Regards Derek.

AnswerID: 161907

Follow Up By: murphnet - Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 20:08

Tuesday, Mar 21, 2006 at 20:08
Hi Derek,

Thankyou for taking the time to enquire on this, much more than I expected from an anonymous post on a forum!

While I accept the fact that I may be at fault, the biggest thing I want at the moment is to actually find this out before I do it again. If it's my fault I'll be dissapointed but at least I'll be able to learn from that.

I drive down the gateway, not too far from your place, twice a day so I will contact you to tomorrow to arrange dropping the battery around.

I have checked the voltage of my charging circuit and I find that with the engine idle I'm reading 14.1 at the main battery, 14.05 at the aux battery in the tray. When driving the main voltage will rise to 14.4 (2000rpm+) so I guess that the aux battery is getting a little more then too. I realise that the voltage drop will be greater with increased current flow, but I would expect that as the battery charges and the current flow decreases that the voltage drop becomes less and the battery would still receive enough to fully charge up. If this doesn't constitute under or over charging then I don't know what I could have to to ruin the battery, but I'd like to find out!

Thanks for your time and input (and everyone elses), I will be in touch.

FollowupID: 416681

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Wednesday, Mar 22, 2006 at 23:33

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2006 at 23:33
AGM on test bench.

5.00pm Did a pre-test charge on a 50amp ABR Smart Charger. It went from 'BULK' to 'ABSORBSION' to 'FLOAT' in under 2 mins. (Already a problem ?)

6.00pm Charger still on 'FLOAT' 0.20 amps current flow.

6.45pm Removed Charger 13.4 volts
6.45pm Started a 4.25 amp discharge cycle 12.6 Volts
7.00pm Still discharging at 4.21 amps 12.6 Volts
7.50pm Still discharging at 4.20 amps 12.5 Volts
8.45pm Cell failure.
8.45pm Still discharging at 4.0amps 10.26 Volts

9.00pm Back on charger. 50amp ABR Smart Charger
9.01pm 'Bulk' to 'Absorb' in 25 seconds. 14.4 Volts
9.20pm 'Float' 13.82 Volts.

Will check BIAS BOATING invoice and start warranty claim procedure on behalf of Murph.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 162386

Follow Up By: murphnet - Thursday, Mar 23, 2006 at 07:13

Thursday, Mar 23, 2006 at 07:13
Thankyou very much Derek, especially since this was not your responsibility, you have done me a huge favour.

You got the same results as I did, 8 amps for 1 hour for me, 4 amps for 2 hours for you = 8Ah.

Again, a huge thanks, you have gone "beyond your call of duty".

The invoice will show that I purchased the battery in October 2004. I discovered it had failed in February (as per my original post). 16-17 months.
FollowupID: 417108

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, Mar 23, 2006 at 22:19

Thursday, Mar 23, 2006 at 22:19
The Queensland state manager is coming to see me on Monday to process the battery.

I can't understand why BIAS Boating could not do what I have done. I am not even in the loop.

It is very unusual for AGM's to fail especially one of high quality. It must have been one of those Friday or Christmas eve batteries. This is the first one I have seen in a AGM.

If it was a Super Ch... product I could understand. I think all their product are made on Friday.

Will keep you posted next week.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 162574

Reply By: 4145derek - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:42

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:42
Just a quick follow up and thanks to David from Absorbed Power in Brisbane.

The faulty battery has been replaced by Absorbed Power. I have personally tested the replacement battery on a duty cycle and it performs beautifully.

Regards Derek.

AnswerID: 163850

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:48

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006 at 10:48
Murph it's been a pleasure to help you with this issue, feel free to pop the vehicle around for a voltage test once you have fitted the new battery.

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 163851

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