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Thread: Warning: Be careful when conducting business with Keizer Wheels

  1. #1

    Warning: Be careful when conducting business with Keizer Wheels

    Disclaimer: I am an alumni of this team. The reddit post was by one of the current members.

    Taken from https://www.reddit.com/r/FSAE/commen..._precision_in/

    TL;DR = Keizer sent defective wheels, treated us like a bunch of whining babies when we brought up the issues. Terrible customer service, terrible wheels, thought you should know. Read details below.



    Like most teams, we'd been using Keizer wheels for years without any issues. This year we made a big switch to center locks, and after a bit of research, the team decided to go with Keizer CL-10 wheels with corresponding shells. Ignoring all the stories of the centers failing (which we heard after we purchased them).
    We purchased 12 centers, and were informed by the president/founder Mr. Huisman that they could drill out custom dimensions for the drive pins we'd like to run. We defined all the data that was requested, and included a drawing found here: (http://imgur.com/Ke24dGt) that specified tolerances that would definitely allow fitment when considering our tolerances on the hubs. You can see that they are clearly defined. Typically, we will ask if there are any issues and if a company cannot hold tolerances that are specified they will say so, so when we received the e-mail saying that "everything seems to be good to go" and then another saying "everything looks good" and that the wheels will be ready to go after payment, we assumed that the tolerances were okay.
    Some time went by and eventually we received our wheels and centers. The holes for the drive pins were visibly not concentric, and would not fit on the hubs on all except 4 of our 12 wheel centers. Upset, we called them and again spoke to Mr. Huisman. They reluctantly said that they would replace them. Keyword here is that they said they'd be replaced. This was around mid march. We packaged and shipped the 8 wheel centers back to Keizer as requested.
    About 1 week before competition, the "new" centers finally arrive. Excited, we go to throw them on a hub to test fit, and to our initial inspection they fit fine. We then noticed that the centers actually wobble around on the drive pins, nothing like the ones that are in tolerance from the first round. We measured the holes and now were anywhere from .530 to .537 inches in diameter. Our suspension guy called up Mr. Huisman and asked about the new centers. Specifically, he asked if they were new. Mr. Huisman said no, and that they were now fixed. We asked how they fixed them and they replied that "They were put on a drill press and drilled out larger!" Now to anyone, especially to someone who supposedly owns a "precision machining company" this should sound absurd. Still, we remained civil throughout the entire ordeal, while he continuously yelled.
    We call again and say that they'll be replaced, but remember that we have one week until michigan, and no way to mount our wet tires except these centers. We explained this to them, and after several rude exchanges (skipping the details, but it was at least 5 e-mails where he seemed to be treating us as if the fact that we were students meant he could push us around) he finally says that he will not replace the centers until he receives the old ones back. We tried to do 4 at a time, so that we would have 4 "spares" in case Keizer didn't come through for a third time. He said it was unacceptable, and didn't want to pay twice for shipping. We gave it one day, and began to call again and explain that since his company promised tolerances and didn't deliver, and since we are on a tight schedule, we simply cannot give the centers back and risk jeopardizing competition.
    The response goes like this: "That makes absolutely no sense what so ever. You told me you have 8 centers that are as you put unusable. If that is the case and they will not fit your hubs then they do no good in your possession. So I take it they do fit? So I am assuming your only needing 4 replacements?" - Mr. Huisman Our email response reads: "I want to clarify any miscommunication. The 8 out of spec centers that we asked to be replaced were sent back to you. Instead of replacing them with properly machined centers they were taken to a drill press and drilled out wider, .025" out of spec. This allows the wheel to slip over the drive pins, but they are very loose and wobble around. They are "good enough" to pass as wheels, but "good enough" is not enough, especially on critical components. It is unnacceptable that the dimensions and tolerances that were specified were ignored. All of the design that went into sizing and placement of the drive pins and their respective holes had been completed elimnated due to the manufacture error. We are concerned that we will not have the centers in time for competition. If you are worried about not getting them back after we recieve the new ones let me know how I can reassure you, I am willing to work with you."
    We called and explained again. He tells the suspension team lead to go grab a set of calipers, open them up to 30 thou, and then yells "This is seriously what you're whining about?" He also included that the tolerances we gave are impossible to reach, even with the best of machines. He said that "5 thou isn't possible with something like this, because drill bits inherently wobble!" We told him that our hubs are speced to 5 tenths and he didn't want to hear it. This is the president of a precision machining company.
    He then proceeded to give us an ultimatum: "Option 1. I send you new centers & you can finish the drive pin details as you see fit. Option 2. You send the 8, 12, 4 centers back and we will refund you the money on them." We could not get through to him on the phone after several attempts later that day. The next day we had a team meeting, and decided it couldn't be risked, despite blank centers being the best option and we would have to keep the 8 centers, 1 of which still did not fit even after the "fix" so we sent this email: "Mr. Huisman, this situation has gotten out of hand. It is extremely dissapointing that, as students, we were given an example of arguing with customers about the merits of accuracy and precision. Despite our hopes for precision quality parts, we will be keeping these centers. No further exchange, replacement, or refund will be necessary. Thank you, and have a nice day."
    Some team members believe that it was an honest mistake. Personally on the other hand I believe that since Wade Huisman, along with Keizer, are so familiar with the FSAE program and its deadlines, sent the centers back later than they had said the first time, and gave an ultimatum late knowing full well that we wouldn't be able to send the centers back and that they could get off without having to give us a refund or new centers. It is extremely discouraging to be treated like this, at a discount or not, purely on the merit of the program and the fact that we're students and not an established business.
    Not sure what everyone else would like to think, but none the less, the tolerances and customer service are the worst I personally have dealt with in FSAE, and we as a team thought that everyone should know what they're getting into with Keizer wheels.
    Last edited by JustNutsandBolts; 05-27-2016 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
    What other alternatives for 10" wheels have different teams been using ??

  3. #3
    The general consesnus I've always had, talking to teams in the pits, seems to be that the Keizer centres are not worth the paper the drawings are printed on. Any team looking to use Keizer wheels should look to design and manufacture their own centres to fit the rims.

    My old team recently moved from 13" to 10" and went with Keizer rims and custom aluminium centres as a starting point and seem to be getting along fine.
    Dunk
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Brunel Racing
    2010-11 - Drivetrain Development Engineer
    2011-12 - Consultant and Long Distance Dogsbody
    2012-13 - Chassis, Bodywork & Aerodynamics manager

    2014-present - Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

  4. #4
    Similar to 'Dunk'...


    My team hasn't had a problem with Keizer rims/shells, but we design & manufacture (sponsor manufactures it for us) custom centers.

    1) we were warned about going with Keizer's centers from former fsae teams.
    2) its not hard to design something lighter and stiffer than Keizer's centers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,688
    JustNutsandBolts,

    You are providing a valuable service to society by starting this thread. Thank you.

    You could do an even better job if you returned the eight sub-standard wheels to Keizer, and demanded your money back. That is what I would do, just as a matter of "business as normal". While I am not sure what your legal rights are in the US, I would guess you have similar "consumer rights" to most other countries in the western world.

    The main point here is that the "western market economy" only works well if the MAJORITY of consumers who get sub-standard goods or service ... demand their money back! In fact, this is the "responsibility/obligation" that consumers have, which goes hand-in-hand with their rights.

    If only a small minority of consumers complain about bad service, then the useless, third-rate companies thrive (because they have the lower costs associated with cutting corners), and the better companies lose profits and eventually go broke (because they have the higher costs of "doing it right"). And shortly thereafter the whole of society goes down the drain.

    High standards only come when there are "corrective pressures" pushing things in that direction (<- "Control Theory 1.01"...).

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 05-26-2016 at 09:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Brighton, MI
    Posts
    677

    Big Wheels Keep on Turning...

    Except now, you've besmerched this higly respected and profitable company by your angry, insulting, false, reckless, ill-conceived, mistaken, and True claims so that you will be sued until your wheels will fall off (Call your Homeowners Insurance, they will settle it for you).

    If you make it to Court, ask for free wheels for life (with tires and valve stems, free balancing and white letters). And, its 'integral control'. You need to build up some pressure from other teams (and maybe Facebook) until the error level reaches the explosive point before any control action will be taken.

    Good Luck. You'll need it. Meanwhile Kaiser will offer free wheels to beginner first year teams.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BillCobb View Post
    Except now, you've besmerched this higly respected and profitable company by your angry, insulting, false, reckless, ill-conceived, mistaken, and True claims so that you will be sued until your wheels will fall off (Call your Homeowners Insurance, they will settle it for you).

    If you make it to Court, ask for free wheels for life (with tires and valve stems, free balancing and white letters). And, its 'integral control'. You need to build up some pressure from other teams (and maybe Facebook) until the error level reaches the explosive point before any control action will be taken.

    Good Luck. You'll need it. Meanwhile Kaiser will offer free wheels to beginner first year teams.
    I would not accept a Keizer wheel set for free unless they addressed the issues professionally.

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