Since reading about the incident involving COR Forged, a Mustang owner, a failed wheel, lawyers, and Jalopnik I have become a tad obsessed with it.
I’ve had the chance to discuss it with some intelligent (and sadly some not so intelligent people) and though it feels a little bit like throwing a few kicks in at a dead horse I am going to discuss it here as well.
For those who don’t know what happened a quick summary of events is that the owner of a Mustang took his car equipped with COR Forged wheels to the track where one of the faces failed quite dramatically.
The owner then contacted COR Forged who according to him stone walled him in regards to any compensation for the damaged wheel.
He was denied for two reasons, the first being that the wheels were painted after purchase which COR feels (depending on the process used) could have had detrimental effects to their structural integrity, and the second –and far more interesting– reason is that COR’s policy is to not cover any damage that occurs on the track despite marketing materials advertising them as a ’performance’ wheel company.
The instant I read reason two I was reminded of the time I tried to warranty my first cracked BMX frame and was told that despite being sold with a ‘lifetime warranty’ the manufacturer (Mongoose for those curious) had a clause buried in their fine print that allowed them to weasel out of covering a bike used off road or in competition.
Comparing a $500 bike to a $4500 set of wheels is a bit of a stretch but it does illustrate that this type of ass covering by manufacturers is not uncommon regardless of the industry, and I have since learned that other wheel manufacturers have similar policies as well.
For example found on the Rays wheel site is the following:
For a company with a wheel called the ‘Super-Lap” this is a little surprising and if I were denied a claim I would be pretty upset too but if you think about it they are not entirely out to lunch.
Racing is not exactly the calmest environment and while it would be nice if they replaced everything free of cost regardless of whether a pothole did it or a hard corner entry did it at the end of the day it wouldn’t be great for their bottom line.
The difference is that any Rays Wheel failures (and perhaps denied warranty claims) have not played out in such a public fashion. I can only image the ‘shit just got real‘ moment at COR headquarters upon learning they made the front page of Jalopnik not once but twice in the same week for what could be classified as a freak accident.
Now no number of statements COR press releases claiming that the owner was requesting damages above and beyond compensation for their wheel will ever fix the bad press they have received from the situation thus far.
With both sides lawyer’d and clammed up this situation will probably get worse before it gets better.
It would be a shame to see COR go belly up after a situation like this and really I’m not sure Jalopnik’s involvement was necessary but perhaps once the dust clears COR will introduce a crash replacement system that gives the buyer the opportunity to purchase a replacement lip, face, or barrel at a discounted price no matter what the cause.
Tomorrow I hop on a plane to Vegas to attend SEMA for the second time.
I’ll be at the show from Tuesday on (doing some tourist stuff before hand) and I will have Internet access through the duration of the trip so if anyone knows of anything cool going on outside of the show do let me know either on the fanpage, email, or twitter.
I will be bringing the same level of coverage that almost got my kicked of my host in 2010!
Still like that Buick.