D750 Service Advisories are Like Echoes

Yep, it ain’t over until the Geisha girl sings. 

D750 shutter complaints have seemed pretty incessant since the day it shipped. Some D750’s seem to work just fine, others seem to be dragging their fins. I regularly get complaints from D750 users about shutter-related issues.

And now we have Nikon issuing a Service Advisory for the third time on the camera. It’s like old news that won’t stay old. 

The gist is that Nikon now says cameras made between July 2014 and September 2016 may have a sluggish shutter that can sometimes shade a portion of the image at certain shutter speeds. This can also produce ERR messages.

If you’re worried about your D750, use the Service Advisory link above to check your camera’s serial number to see if it is in the recall list, and follow the instructions on Nikon's site if it is. 

You have to wonder what this is all doing to Nikon’s reputation. The good news, of course, is that Nikon generally steps up and makes good on true product issues, as they are doing here. Bravo for that. But the D750 is a complete fumble on the marketing optics side of things. The multiple recalls and slowly expanding dates on what bodies were impacting is making Nikon look like bumbling idiots. 

I’m betting that the issue is the supplier. Someone else is picking up much of the expense of doing a tear-down and shutter replacement, not Nikon. Nikon was able to convince that supplier that a certain batch of shutters didn’t meet requirements when they inspected cameras they fixed under warranty, and got the supplier to pick up (most of) the tab to fix. But then it was discovered that it wasn’t just that one batch.  Or two batches. It’s looking like all the shutters Nikon got for the first two years of production are suspect now. 

This is the same type of problem that car companies like Honda got into with Takata airbags. When those airbags started exploding and hurting customers, the problem, of course, starts with complaints to the auto manufacturer. Then the engineering teams at the supplier and auto maker start dickering—not to mention the federal governments stepping in—and fingers eventually get pointed.  In the Takata case, it took 10 years before both my airbags got replaced, and the company that made the originals is now about to go out of existence because the problem was so persistent and costly to fix.

Supply chain issues are tough. It’s clear that Nikon’s had a few of those recently, and the D750 shutter is clearly one of them. Unlike the airbag situation, which impacted a number of makers, Nikon alone seems to be having this shutter issue—remember, the D600 problem was also related to shutter—which means that part of the problem is that Nikon isn’t doing enough QA testing on incoming parts. Then we get the slow roll while negotiations roll on about who’s going to pick up the cost of fixing the cameras.

My bottom line is this: even though the part in question is almost certainly made by someone else and supplied to Nikon, it’s Nikon’s problem because they’re the company that the customer sees. I’ve received far too many emails from site visitors who had D750 shutter issues denied by Nikon who probably now are owed a new shutter or a refund for the replacement they paid for. I even had one email from a disgruntled D750 user who couldn’t get NikonUSA to fix their camera a week before the latest Service Advisory appeared. Sad. 

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