Exploding batteries, frayed wires, disgruntled motivater

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Sepulchral
Sepulchral's picture

I used to work at a Best Buy back when they first came out in my area, and that was how we checked stock when we had problems with items or had a recall from the company. Some companies also put them into the upc code which I could never figure out unless they all were made at the exact same time from the same plant which would be impossible and stupid!

nich0lai
nich0lai's picture

The company asked me to check the number in the foot, not the one on the box, but I have to agree that it makes no sense not to put them on the box too. However as far as I can tell there is no number on the box that identifies the batch so I'm sorry guys I can't help you there, unless somebody knows exactly where to look that I'm missing.  Honestly I would not worry about the current robots on the market, it does look like the eBay seller has a bad batch of robots, you can kind of look in the forums and see when other people complained of similar problems, looks like about December 2006, let's hope that most of them are off the market.  When I find out the eBay seller's name I will post it here so you can all avoid them, unfortunately it was a gift so I don't know that off the top of my head.

Sepulchral
Sepulchral's picture

Does the person have the receipt? If I remember correctly it has both the buyers and the sellers name on receipts from ebay.

 

Did Wow Wee say if they would contact that person? 

nich0lai
nich0lai's picture

I have no idea what Wowwee is doing. I really hope they do contact them because we certainly provided them the information. I have no idea how their corporate office works. They just took care of me as a consumer, thank God, and that was all I was told, that I was going to get some help.

we are going to contact the seller of course, though frankly we are at a loss as to what to say to them at this point other than stop selling your robots, not that they will listen to us. we don't want to tell them that we got some help from the company because that would encourage them to keep selling, and I certainly don't deserve our money back (not that the seller ever offered) if I end up with a working robot. we can't even make up our mind how to do feedback, as the seller made good on their auction, they just have nothing but bad robots it seems.

bfbriones is sellers name, she has no other bad feedbacks. though she does have other complaints about broken v2's. 

nich0lai
nich0lai's picture

I had a great conversation yesterday with someone from wowwee who is not a standard customer service rep. Seemed like he was just the kind of guy you wanted working at a toy company, really nice really understanding really honest. Long story short I think I caught them on a bad week, in fact I know I just got them on a bad week and I feel pretty confident my experience would not have happened if it wasn't just for circumstances lining up right.

w it's unusual to see someone flip their stance so drastically but that's pretty much what happened, sometimes you run into a good person or two.

 

My original robot, electrical tape everywhere and all, has proven himself to have more faults than I realized besides the memory as I have been playing with a working robot for the last few days, he just doesn't work very well and is missing a few actions here and there. All of his servos motors sensors and other goodies seem to be fine, nocturnal, got any links for me on how to run a secondary controller for idiots? I've been thinking about trying this for about 20 years, I'm 30 now, it looks to me like I have the perfect platform for little experimentation if I can learn a few things so this worked out pretty well for me. has anyone played with adding slightly better sensors for vision?

RS2K
RS2K's picture

Just FYI to the readers of this thread, there are still bad WowWee V2's being sold at retail.  Two days ago I bought and subsequently returned a brand new V2 at TRU because of the wiring harness issue being discussed here.  Very disappointing to me and my son.  Cannot understand why these defective units have not been pulled off the shelves.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the AAA batteries in the robot's foot got so hot that I could not hold them in my hand.  Without a doubt they would have melted the plastic around them had I not removed the batteries.  Sure enough, opened the plastic skin around the foot and there was the wiring harness with the brittle insulation just like others have described.

Fortunately TRU accepted the return and gave me a full refund.  I advised them to pull their remaining stock from their shelves as there is a likelihood of them coming from the same batch in production.  I can just see one of these bad bots catching on fire and burning a house down, or worse, causing someone's death.  Just imagine a multi-million dollar lawsuit over a toy.  Unbelievable.

MrScott
MrScott's picture

Only WowWee knows the details of how widespread the problem in manufacturing was, or whether they were all in one batch of production. If it was a problem with their wire supplier, it's conceivable that the bad batches came and went, with good product in between the faulty ones.

Given that this problem can cause a burn or fire hazard, I'd think the company would be inclined to determien how to recall just the affected lots, or issue a blanket recall of all shelf stock. 

Issuing a recall, and having stores and retailers pull the stock, are two different things.  

RS2K
RS2K's picture

Understood.  You're right... Only WowWee has a possible view into how many of these affected units were realeased into the market.  I guess my point is that in this litigious society we find ourselves, a company has to decide for themselves what is the lesser of two evils (costly product recalls or risk of lawsuit), and I'm betting that for most companies this comes down to $$$, plain and simple.

 In this case, does the manufacturer reach out to all the authorized retailers and ask them to pull all the remaining V2's off their shelves???  Depends on how many units are out there.  It's a numbers game, right?  How many possible successful sales of V2's can be realized without anyone coming back on the company???  Hmmm.  Just one 1-million dollar suit would completely negate the sales profit on a *LOT* of sold V2's when they are only fetching $150-200 apiece these days.

 If it were me (and thankfully it's not), my corporate decision would be to yank all the remaining stock of V2's just to reduce the chance of litigation, not to mention the fact that it's morally the right thing to do to keep people safe.  And when a bean-counter considers where the company is in the production cycle of the RS Media coming to the States, it just makes sense to cut the potential loss by calling home all the leftover V2 models.  Just my 2 cents.

Rio Uchiha
Rio Uchiha's picture

Thats a serious event that could impact safety voliolations of the part 15 of the rules for FCC. You could sue.....

nich0lai
nich0lai's picture

Well, I am the original poster. I decided to post a follow up as I ran into this link by complete accident.

The robots did indeed seem to be pulled from the shelves not long after I posted this. You can buy a version one but never a version 2.

I never received a working robot from Wowee. I was sent a robot supposedly from china, but it too was defective. I was promised another robot as soon as they could work it out but never received it. I gave up after a few months of trying. I really did want a working robot.

I never bought another wowee product even though a few have tempted me, how could I?

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture

Currently the RSV1 is the only Robosapien Wowwee has in production.

cimplexsounds
cimplexsounds's picture

Well you know guys. With a high torque precision screwdriver in hand, I opened up my RSV2 today and guess what? I have the same problem, that I was lucky enough to catch in it's early stages. The peeling insulation problem on the wires. I found two power wires on the main circuit board dangerously bare with no plastic insulation in the some place. In dangerously close proximity of each other.

Fortunately for me the robot still works really good. However had I not caught the problem, it would have been just a matter of time, before my RSV2 become a time bomb. Fortunately nich0lai, my problem is not as bad as yours was. Some good quality , extra sticky electrical tape will probably fix my RSV2 for several years. You can also try applying super to the bare areas with a brush then let it dry. Dried super glue is excellent insulation.

To be honest it doesn't look like crumbling insulation. Instead rather a crappy job of manufacturing. I also checked the quality of the plastic coating in places on my robot where there wasn't a problem. The quality of the plactic coating was to good to just crumble. I worked in production plants for a long time. The plastic is heated around the wires during the making process before they go into the robot. If equipment is left unmonitored, the plastic gets heated to long, and you have crumbling and burnt insulation.

So after investigating. I concluded that these thing were probably assembled by industrial robots, and it looks like the wires were accidentally spliced or subject to to much heat during manufacturing. This is only my guess, but I've seen this happen before.

I'll be checking under the leg covers too. Because I can't afford to have a $500.00 robot just blow up and send me to the hospital, so I'm not willing to power him up, until this problem is completely fix. I work to close to my robots everyday to have my safety compromised like this.

Thank You for bringing this issue to the light. Now I can avoid potential problems before they occur.

Studs
Studs's picture

I recently aquired a RSV2 and had the same problem . All the wires in the back were crumbling and 2 of the AAA batteries in the left foot blew up . I dissasembled comlpetely and used a liquid electrical tape to coat every wire individuly . It's very time consumming , however , if you like the Robot it's worth it because he seems to function fine now . Get the liquid tape in any electronics  store .

Studs

GipsyDanger
GipsyDanger's picture

WOw this is incredible the way they have treated you m8. I live in the Uk I have one white one which nearly went on fire I opened him up only to find the same problem as you frayed wires. The memory went on him and as soon as I switched him on he leant backwards and stayed there. When I took out the batteries they were hot from the left foot. I have two of the silver ones and one of them has been acting up as well. He had FRESH batteries in and FRESH AAA batteries. He kept saying brain battteries low powering down. And he would shut down do you think the silver version has the same annoying problem?

GipsyDanger
GipsyDanger's picture

Does anyone know how I can upload some images. Mine suffered the same problem opened him up earlier and BAM BAD WIIREING. It has badly corroded. PEOPLE BEWARE THIS IS IN THE SILVER VERSION BOTH OF MINE ARE BAD IN THE LEGS AND TORSO AT THE BACK!!!!!!!!!! NOT A HAPPY PERSON HERE. I am an engineer and it would take days to replace all that wireing

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