Leica sets time limits on free CCD sensor replacement
The sensor corrosion problem affecting the CCD sensors of the M9-series cameras became huge problem for Leica when the problem was diagnosed in 2014. At first, the advice was to send the camera back to Germany for a sensor replace at a cost of around €1,000. This didn’t go down well, as can be imagined, and sales of used M9s dried up almost completely.
Recognising the long-term impact of the problem, Leica sensibly made a welcome about-turn — no doubt at significant cost — and undertook to replace corroded sensors henceforth without charge. As a direct result of this action the used market recovered and, indeed, the M9 range, which includes the Monochrom and M-E models, became desirable again. Second-hand prices have more than recovered.
Good times can’t last forever, however, and Leica has now put a limit on its financial commitment. Owners of older cameras affected by the corrosion problem now have until August 15 this year to get their sensor replaced. For the time being, however, free replacement will continue to be offered for cameras purchased new within the previous five years.
Owners of older cameras, at the moment pre-August 2012, will be left somewhat out on a limb. If the corrosion problem has already struck, the problem must be rectified before this August.
What to do? If your M9-series camera was originally purchased before 15 August 2012 you should get it checked by your nearest dealer to see if it is suffering from the corrosion problem. If it is affected, arrange to have it sent to Leica for a free sensor replacement before the 15 August 2017 deadline. It’s also worth asking what it would cost to upgrade to an M240 if you fancy that camera.
If your camera is under than five years old, the free sensor replacement service will still be available. But bear in mind that this now appears to be a rolling five-year limit so a camera purchased in, say, early 2013, could soon fall off the perch.
The main problem for M9 owners is when the camera is now more than five years old but isn’t exhibiting symptoms of sensor corrosion. The upgrade scheme could be more attractive in this situation.
Here is the small print from Leica:
Latest information concerning the CCD sensors of the Leica M9 / M9-P / M Monochrom and M-E camera models
Following the successfully begun and largely completed replacement programme for corroded sensors that affected M9, M9-P, M Monochrom and M-E camera models, we would now like to inform you about how this programme will be handled in the future.
Until 15 August 2017, we will continue to offer free replacement of sensors for these camera models if they are affected by the corrosion problem. This will also apply after 16 August 2017 for the models listed above, but only in cases where the camera has been purchased as new products within the last five years.
A new overhaul scheme for older cameras is being introduced at a cost of €982, including VAT. It will include a general overhaul and some cosmetic updates. In addition, the company is extending its upgrade programme where older cameras will be exchanged for an M240-series replacement at attractive terms.
From 16 August 2017, and until further notice, we will offer our customers the following new programme for all camera models mentioned above that were purchased longer than five years ago. Here, the customer pays a share of the replacement costs for the affected CCD sensor amounting to 982 euros (825 euros plus 19% VAT). Included in this programme is a free general overhaul of your Leica M camera and a one year warranty on the same terms as for new products. This offer expresses our commitment to conserving the value of your camera.
We have also revised our upgrade offers with more attractive terms for our customers. Instead of a sensor replacement, we offer our customers the alternative option of sending us their camera affected by sensor corrosion in part payment for the purchase of selected Leica M camera models of the Type 240 generation at even more attractive terms. Leica Customer Care will be pleased to inform and advise interested customers about the terms and conditions of the upgraded offer.
With regard to the above, we would like to remind you that the replacement of CCD sensors and the upgrade offers apply only to cameras affected by this concrete problem, and only to the models of the Leica M-System we have listed above. Preventive replacement of sensors is not included in this programme.
The general overhaul of the Leica M-camera includes the following items:
- Cleaning and overhaul of the shutter cocking mechanisms
- Cleaning and maintenance/repair of the multifunction wheel
- Cleaning of the main switch and shutter speed dial
- Adjustment of the baseplate locking system
- Refurbishment of engravings
- Renewal of the protective film on the baseplate
- Maintenance/repair of viewfinder displays
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