Service Agents Responsibilities

Ian Shepherd

I am fishing for a gut feeling on this one . Whilst in Marmaris Turkey I had a company called Marlin Yachting come and have a look at my Yanmar engine which was becoming increasingly difficult to start. They fixed that easily by renewing the O-ring in the water sensor at the bottom of the engine mounted fuel filter. They also advised that there was marginal current flowing through the extra solenoid that I had fitted to shut down the engine. This is connected to the manual shut off lever, and was installed by myself some years ago because the shut off valve in the fuel pump was unreliable, it sometimes taking more than a minute of holding the stop button in to stop the engine. As they were the experts I agreed that they would send over their electrician to install an extra relay in the solenoid circuit.

I watched this man struggle with the task for about an hour and a half. He was almost in panic mode, tearing wires off and on the relay connectors and then testing the supply by shorting a live wire several times to the engine casing. I noticed too that the fault light on the genset rocker switch had started to flash, but thought at the time he might just have lent on the switch and brought the yellow light on. The genset had after all ran perfectly the day before coming into a marina to have the work done.

His efforts seemed so confused that I decided to go to Marlin's office to express concern that he was taking so long and acting in a reckless way. They telephoned him to be told that he had now got the relay working, so there was no need to replace him. However later that day when I went out to test a rebuilt water maker pump, the genset would not start. The dreaded 3 flashes that I saw when he was working in the engine room remained. Getting into the second level of codes showed error 35 which is an EPROM failure which requires a replacement control board which in Turkey costs US$1880! With labour $2174!

As the engine and genset bodies are both electrically connected I am convinced that my genset was damaged by the electrical discharges that this man made whilst he was in panic mode. How else could the EPROM fail whilst shut down following a perfect shutdown the previous day? It's a million to one chance that the EPROM would fail whilst the electrician was working next to the shutdown genset. The only trouble I have ever had with my Onan is impeller failures from time to time. Electrically it has been perfect.

I met with the manager of Marlin who at first agreed that accidents like this could happen, and he tried to convince me that the board was OK, quoting suspect fuses that don't even exist on the Onan! Once he realised the cost of replacing the board, he refused to consider that his company was in anyway responsible and that there would be no compensation for my loss. It's a difficult one to prove, but the circumstances all point to the reckless behaviour of their electrician. Torque Marine who are the appointed Onan service agents changed the board and everything is fine once more, except my bank account. I would have thought that service companies might be required to carry insurance to cover damage caused by their employees? Court action would be difficult as I don't live in Turkey, but I could always post my opinion of their company on social media. Onan were contacted and their opinion was that the EPROM was probably damaged by the electrical shorting.

Has anyone else had a similar misfortune, and any advice on how to resolve it? Does anyone have in depth knowledge of a Turkish service companies responsibilities when something goes wrong?

Ian Shepherd SM2K 414 Crusader Marmaris Turkey

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