Author Topic: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw  (Read 8384 times)

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Offline Festool USA

  • Festool USA Employee
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    • Festool USA
Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« on: June 27, 2019, 04:41 PM »
All,
As this topic has appeared on this forum and other places, we would like to take this opportunity to share a message with you about it.  As loyal and faithful customers, we cherish your support and interest in our company and our brand.  Thank you for continued support and for your engagement and involvement with this very special community.  You help make us what we are and we appreciate you.

-----

Dear Festool Customer,

We would like to extend our appreciation for your interest in Festool and the Festool Kapex Miter Saw.  The Kapex was originally launched in North America in 2008 with the intent to introduce a saw that provided full capacity while providing low weight and being worthy of the Festool name.  Additionally, the Kapex is a feature-laden machine that was intended to provide the most advanced features in the market.  We combined these features with several design and construction points to help ensure longevity both in accuracy as well as performance.

Over the years, we also continually looked for ways to improve the saw itself to further enhance durability and longevity.  Some of these changes were never specifically marketed as it is a normal part of the constant quality improvement process that we implement to provide the world’s finest power tools.

In recent years, some customers presented machines that seemed to have issues related to the motor longevity.  Some of these machines had been working in the shop and the jobsite for years under various conditions and others may not have had as much use.  These issues were random and individual, and a bit perplexing for us and it is not a normal experience for our motors.  While we attempted to work with every customer to provide a high-quality product and address these issues as part of our commitment to provide high-quality service, some of the issues became public and brought even more attention to these issues.

Since 2017 we have made improvements to the internal structure of motor components to produce an even more reliable machine.  We are confident that users will no longer experience these issues.

We truly apologize if you, our customer, may have been affected by this, and did not feel that we, as a company, served you in the way you expect.  The blame is then on us as an organization, certainly not with our product, the KAPEX. We assure you that the KAPEX is produced and tested to the highest quality standards and we, as Festool, stand fully behind this product.

We hope that you see this statement as a sincere step to regain your invaluable trust in our products and in our company.

With our sincerest gratitude,

Festool

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1289
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 04:58 PM »
No words of assurance (or reassurance), such as extension of warranty, for owners of Kapexes bought before 2019 (?) at all. [scratch chin]

It will be a few years before we know if indeed the "new" Kapexes no longer suffer from whatever that has been working against the older Kapex...or whether this announcement is just a marketing effort to promote the sales of Kapex, given its bad reputation in the woodworking community.

I wonder if the "improvements to the internal structure of motor components to produce an even more reliable machine" can be applied to the pre-2019 Kapexes. Perhaps some kind of a "recall" (common in the automobile industry) would help repair the machine's reputation.

Also, did anyone who bought a Kapex after 2017 (assuming new Kapexes produced thereafter are using the improved components) experience the smoking motor issue?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 05:36 PM by ChuckM »

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1779
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 05:28 PM »
@Festool USA
Thank you!  So that was helpful to know that you did implement some changes to improve the reliability and when you started to add those changes to production models.  For those of us with older saws, would those improved parts be used when servicing a pre-2017 saw?  So in theory if it were to break it would be a once and done repair?  Or is that not really possible due to the nature of the changes that were implemented?
-Raj

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 804
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 05:59 PM »
I think the post is a refreshing change from a lot of the denial many have experienced from Festool. So I think a post on these lines was overdue. This also confirms the failures were not a myth.

I have recently bought the latest Kapex KS 120 REB, and i am genuinely very pleased with it, and feel pretty confident it will last a good few years. I still feel for the owners of the older saws, that still pose a risk though.

Thanks for providing some clarity.

Offline James Biddle

  • Posts: 162
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 07:23 PM »
So, let me condense your statement,

-We've known there were issues in the past but decided not to say anything about it until now.
-We're admitting it now because "the issues became public and drew even more attention to the issues."
-The issues were "random, individual, and a bit perplexing", but we've implemented a fix for the machines built in 2017 and beyond.
-We're not going to tell what the issues were or how we fixed them, but "we're confident that users will no longer experience these issues."
-Although we're confident it's been fixed, we're not so confident as to warrant the motors beyond the initial period.
-Although we knew there were issues in time to implement a fix in 2017, we still took the repair money from our loyal customer base  "as part of our commitment to high-quality service" and "stand fully behind this product".
-Blame us, Festool; not Kapex, the product...and feel free to buy a new Kapex.

Have I accurately captured your statement?



Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1289
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 07:32 PM »
Your capturing wouldn't be too far off from the facts, I say. [2cents]
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 07:34 PM by ChuckM »

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 465
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 07:32 PM »
More concisely

Dear customers who had to pay repair costs when the motor failed just after 3 yrs or had to pay shipping costs when it failed after 1  year; too bad, so sad.




Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1295
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 08:40 PM »
I literally just got my Kapex back today,.... with 3 months left on the warranty.

  [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up]
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. This is not an offer to sell securities. May be too intense for some viewers. No user-serviceable parts inside. Subject to change without notice. One size fits all (very poorly).

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 596
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 09:30 PM »
So nice to see them say something, I'd say over due, but they aren't required to say something.

The post seems to confirm what has been said in other threads on it, that Festool very well does not understand the root problem, and from their statement they threw changes at it and are hoping for the best but still are not sure it will work.

Anyone else when they started reading it thought it was going to say that Festool was going to discontinue the Kapex in North America.  Really sounded like a goodbye/Eulogy. Or announce they will now sell the 230V model in North America along with a 230V CT.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5895
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 09:38 PM »
Though I have NOT had a issue with mine which I bought approx 2011. It has been shop bound and works great.

A good friend of mine in the UK had own 2 Kapex's and had issues with both of them.  Had them both in for repair. He got frustrated and sold them. Now he has a Dewalt. He messaged me last night and told me about it. He hasnt used t on te job yet but he told me it cuts very accurate.

Anyway I happy Festool finally acknowledged what was happening. It did take a while for them to acknowledge the issue. This could be because of the recent questionaire they sent out. Folks requesting something from the company.

Offline Joe Felchlin

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Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 09:46 PM »
Still ain’t “buyin’ it”...
The Yada Yada Yada...
Or the saw.

Old saying:
“Ya can put lipstick on a pig...
       But it’s still a pig.”
We’ll see what happens.
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6535
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2019, 11:11 PM »
Still ain’t “buyin’ it”...
The Yada Yada Yada...
Or the saw.

Old saying:
“Ya can put lipstick on a pig...
But it’s still a pig.”
We’ll see what happens.

I’m so totally conflicted with this Festool statement I don’t know where to start.
 
Joe...while you and I don’t see eye to eye at times, I think you’ve nailed this one.

While I’m heartened by Festool coming clean by admitting to the Kapex issues, it’s hardly a all-for-one and one-for-all revelation that results in a symbiotic relationship between the owners of the Kapex and the Festool staff. 

Unfortunately, this admission does necessarily mean that previous conditions were known to exist and Festool decided to downplay the situation and obfuscate the issues for at least 2 years.

So, as the FOG members are asking direct questions of Kapex issues, Festool is denying that there are any issues and basically telling us that we are all circumspect and that’s it’s our use of the Kapex that’s incorrect.

That’s really unfortunate from a person-to-person honesty level.

There’s a large amount of shame here that needs to be addressed. The sooner the better because the blood loss is less.



« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 11:15 PM by Cheese »

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1869
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 11:19 PM »
Regardless of what Festool does some people will see it as glass half empty, others as half full. It's time to let it go.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 11:24 PM by Svar »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6535
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 11:27 PM »
Regardless of what Festool does some people will see it as glass half empty, others as half full. It's time to let it go.

Yes your highness...🙏🙏🙏

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1289
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 11:28 PM »
Snip.

There’s a large amount of shame here that needs to be addressed. The sooner the better because the blood loss is less.

The honorable thing Festool should do is one of these:
- Do a "recall" for all the pre-2017(?) Kapexes, and replace whatever applicable with the "improved" parts

- If the above is technically or financially not possible, offer/extend a one-time two-year warranty (on top of any warranty remaining) to all pre-2017 Kapexes.

Doing that will win the hearts of not only existing Festool owners (not just the Kapex owners), but also those of not-yet Festool owners eyeing the Kapex.

Does Festool have the spine to do what is right?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 11:44 PM by ChuckM »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1289
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 11:34 PM »
Regardless of what Festool does some people will see it as glass half empty, others as half full. It's time to let it go.

When the Kapex's motor issue was repeatedly brought up over the past four years (?), a similar call of letting it go had been floated. I suppose the Kapex announcement we saw today wouldn't have happened if indeed we had heed such call.

Offline sprior

  • Posts: 445
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2019, 11:37 PM »
How about publishing a range of serial numbers which let you know if you've got the fixed version or not, or ranges of serial numbers if the fixes were incremental.  That way those of us who bought a Kapex in the last couple of years could have a clue where we stand.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6535
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2019, 11:42 PM »
Chuck I’m with you 100%...automobiles are recalled, bicycles are recalled and even computers and cell phones are recalled. So what’s wrong with recalling the Kapex? 

For the last 100 years this saying has held sway.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 596
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2019, 12:39 AM »
I think their statements explain why there is no recall or list of serial numbers.  If we take their statement for what it is, they confirmed that they never figured out what was wrong.  So they made some changes, if those make it different, they don't know.   If they found "the smoking gun" they probably could have/would have done something more actionable.

Also recalls happen for safety reasons, not quality.  Unless Kapex's were burning folks workshops to the ground, there wouldn't be a recall.

Festool could have handle this situation better, but as I've said elsewhere before, in various ways, be in their shoes.  A product may be having issues. Your engineers can't find anything wrong or a root cause,  what are you going to do.  Tweeks that you think may beef things up or reduce stuff will get applied and you will wait and see if anything changes.  It's easy to yell that they should have done this or that and that you wouldn't have done this if you were festool, but that's not reality of making products and running a company.  Just like all of use get stumped on why things don't work, or things we can't figure out, so do companies.  Sometimes it just is what it is.

I do think offering 230V tools in the US is/can be a valid solution.  It would have given buyers more options and festool could have de-rated the kapex 110v some as a path of giving it some margin. But also by selling the kapex in both voltages, it would have given Festool a chance to see how the market responded, to options, which would be important due the the Kapex situation.


Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 211
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2019, 12:46 AM »
I am pleased to see that Festool is acknowledging there is a problem.  To me this is a big step.   I purchased my Kapex in Dec. 2017.

Bob

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1289
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2019, 01:31 AM »

Snip.
Also recalls happen for safety reasons, not quality.  Unless Kapex's were burning folks workshops to the ground, there wouldn't be a recall.



The recent recall of the Honda CRV in Canada was about rust problems, not safety related at all.

In any case, "recall" I used is in quotation marks, referring to the kind of action warranted.

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 393
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2019, 01:50 AM »
Whatever FT does or doesn't do ppl read what they want to read. If they (FT) say nothing they're in denial, if they say something its marketing.

At the end its pretty simple and their statement kind of support this. FT never got the root of the problem and for some people thats hard to understand and accept (I get it, when shell out a fortune then it is hard). To find the real cause, you need to be able to replicate the problem. Thats the only way to you will be able to see if a fix truly works. But thats easier said than done.

Now, FT could use this opportunity to rise above the occasion and assure those pre 2017 owners that they extend the warranty to this specific issue. If in the near future the engine does goes up in smoke, they will replace it. That might take away the concerns and would show FT does care for its customers and takes this specific instance very serious. Not because they would be legally bound or are afraid for bad publicity (such things exists?), but because they truly, truly care, Making a step beyond what's expected. If their is a time to show what FT is made of, now is the time.

For the community it would be obviously better if FT could explain what they exactly changed and what they think is causing it. Most of us We are not stupid and some reasonable explanation would be valued as plausible (or not). Even if they are not 100% sure it was the cause. But for different reasons, that might to a bridge too far.

Nevertheless, they do my have my appreciation to have made an effort and therefor the for me, the glass is ½ full. You can call me a naive idiot, but I like to believe that, even into todays world, not everything is about money. If it was, it would be a (very) sad place.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 02:00 AM by threesixright »

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 1042
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2019, 03:14 AM »
Thank you for this statement Festool!  [smile]

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 804
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2019, 03:41 AM »
A recall would put a lot of worry to rest, and in truth should probably have been launched a long time ago.
Cheap washing machines, tumble dryers, toasters etc sometimes have recalls, so why not an expensive saw from a reputable manufacturer?

I see some are saying the machines supplied in 220-240 volt would be a good idea, I know of a good few 240 volt machines failing. It seems at first glance the 110 volt machines are more prone to fail but, it could be a percentage thing, simply because so many were sold in N.A.

I think this statement is a positive gesture going forward, albeit very late in the day. I just hope that any owners of pre 2017 saws, aren’t left up that famous creek without a paddle?

Online vkumar

  • Posts: 407
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2019, 04:08 AM »
What would be more reassuring would be an extended warranty for the new saws so that there is some teeth behind their claims of having fixed the problem.  Also some kind of a recall and or extended warranty for owners of the older models.

Otherwise the statements from Festool looks like marketing hype without any substance behind them. "Trust us" is all I get from the statement.
Vijay Kumar

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1356
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2019, 07:39 AM »
"- If the above is technically or financially not possible, offer/extend a one-time two-year warranty (on top of any warranty remaining) to all pre-2017 Kapexes."

This seems like a viable option for both sides. I don't have a Kapex but if I did I think this would go some distance toward easing my concerns, but seeing as many have encountered this condition as varying time intervals from the in-service date of the saw, that maybe 2 years is not enough. Three years added on the any remaining warranty might be more appropriate.

But I am glad to see them step up and say something, just wish it had happened sooner and required less backpressure from their consumer base to make it happen.

Mess up, fess up.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3886
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2019, 08:27 AM »
That's some careful lawyerly language we got here, that skillfully avoids pointing to any direct cause and effect (perhaps for liability reasons?).  But here' how I read it:

"Over the years, we also continually looked for ways to improve the saw itself to further enhance durability and longevity.  Some of these changes were never specifically marketed as it is a normal part of the constant quality improvement process that we implement to provide the world’s finest power tools."

So, some unspecified number of years after the introduction of the saw in 2008, they made some additional tweaks to the Kapex -- not ones that added a new feature, but perhaps a change in the manufacturing process or materials/components used.

"In recent years, some customers presented machines that seemed to have issues related to the motor longevity.  Some of these machines had been working in the shop and the jobsite for years under various conditions and others may not have had as much use.  These issues were random and individual, and a bit perplexing for us and it is not a normal experience for our motors.  While we attempted to work with every customer to provide a high-quality product and address these issues as part of our commitment to provide high-quality service, some of the issues became public and brought even more attention to these issues."

This is the most obfuscating part of the statement -- they acknowledge the motor issues that have been frequently reported on the FOG, but don't say that there was an uptick in these problems relative to before.  And although the implication of their sequencing of events is that these issues follow upon having made the previous,unspecified tweaks, they are careful not to draw any causal relationship (and perhaps their investigation of the problem revealed there was none, or was inconclusive).

"Since 2017 we have made improvements to the internal structure of motor components to produce an even more reliable machine.
   We are confident that users will no longer experience these issues"

This is the most frustrating part of the statement.  If you haven't figured out the cause and effect between the unspecified improvements and the motor issues, how can you be confident that they will no longer occur?  Alternatively, if you do have confidence, that means you have a ballpark idea of what the underlying problem is, even if you don't know definitively.  I understand that they aren't obligated to tell us what they changed in 2017, but their engineers know, and so there must be a reason why they made that specific change.

From a corporate liability standpoint, I understand why they wouldn't want to give us their best guess if there is still some uncertainty involved.  But I think given the hit that Festool has taken over these problems, it would be a good faith gesture to extend the warranty on pre-2017 Kapexes that have motor problems.     

 
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Offline Pompeio

  • Posts: 56
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2019, 08:30 AM »
I have a Kapex 120 EB 120v that would shut down during a cut---no smoke---just stopped.  This occurred in April of this year and just a few months after the 3 year warranty had expired.  I contacted Festool and they promptly shipped me a box to return it to them.  I shipped it back to them on a Tuesday. They received it on Thursday of that week and I had back on Monday morning.
Festool's card's "Service Performed" indicated they replaced the brushes and motor components and it works great.  They did this at no charge to me other than the initial shipping to them.
I am a happy camper!

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 299
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2019, 08:40 AM »
It is completely disingenuous for Festool to claim both that they do not understand the root cause(s) of Kapex motor failures and that they have made a number of incremental improvements that will prevent such failures.  If you don't understand the root cause(s) of a failure it is impossible to know how to prevent it.  You might make any number of changes to components, subassemblies and related subsystems without having any impact on the original failure.  I believe this is an attempt by Festool to put the Kapex motor failures behind them without taking responsibility for the field repairs.  It is highly likely that this statement from Festool was necessitated by falling Kapex sales as the achilles heel of the Kapex became more widely known.  It is also highly likely that Festool identified the root cause(s), modified the Kapex to eliminate the root cause(s) and hoped the issue would die away naturally.  Unfortunately for them with a decade of field stock out there still vulnerable to failure, the issue remains front and center.  So like a magician waving a cape to distract, Festool signals that new Kapex saws are good to go, that repaired Kapex saws should not fail after repair, but (nothing up my sleeve) since no root cause was ever found we're not really culpable for the field repairs...nothing was really wrong...move along, there's nothing to see here.

I think Festool would have been much better served to identify the root cause(s), explain the revisions, and offer a modest but honest bone to Kapex owners, like free shipping for Kapex motor failure repairs on older models.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 514
Re: Message from Festool about Kapex Miter Saw
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2019, 08:42 AM »
Frankly I'm shocked they've put out any sort of statement. They didn't have to. And coming from a German company makes it especially unusual.

I don't own a Kapex, might someday, might not. My DeWalt cuts just fine and I prefer the LED shadow line over a laser.

For those affected I think the best course of action is to vote with your wallet and move on. Take your licks if you suffered emotionally or financially. The only way you can force their hand is through a class action suit but then you'd need data to make your case which no one has. My Google Pixel had a faulty microphone and apparently I'll be getting $500 once the suit is settled before a judge. Google didn't out of their own good will agree to do any sort of recall/extended warranty.

In the Harley world questionable engineering choices are made all of the time. As long as the cheaper component used doesn't have a failure rate high enough to offset the savings then the beancounters are happy. There was a design change in 2006-2008 that caused a component to fail prematurely. Harley didn't say squat about it for years but happily made revisions to the part in question meaning they were attempting to fix it. Countless kits were produced and sold as 'the fix.' Internet threads not unlike this Kapex discusssion ensued, hundreds of pages long, speculating, reverse engineering, aftermarket bandaids. 2013 rolls around and Harley finally figured out a whole new component to correct the issue. And they were happy to sell it to anyone affected to the tune of about $400, labor excluded. No note of apology, no recall, no extended warranty's. Maybe it's my outlook on life but I bought it, put it in myself, and moved on. Never cared to lose sleep over it or get involved in all of the discussions.
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