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eubanks

M5/M6 Impeller Failures

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eubanks

There seems to be a lot of talk about this topic on the Malibu Boat Owners FB page, but I haven't seen much on this site.  What do you guys know about Malibu's acknowledgement and potential timeline for a recall related to the failed impeller design?  We've had 2 blown ones...the latest of which happened less than 10 hours after a new one was installed by our dealer.  I feel for these dealers doing all the can to get all these failed impellers replaced, but they seem to be at the mercy of this new design.  They've had to go to a 50 hour replacement schedule, but both of ours have failed with considerably less than that on them.  From what our dealer says, a potential recall is coming in the next couple of months but nothing confirmed yet.  We love our 2019 23LSV, but between the failed impellers and thrown belt, we can't seem to stay on the water.

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csleaver

Recalls are only issued by the U.S. Coast Guard for defects that generally have the potential to cause loss of control, fire, or explosion.  You should speak with your dealer about the service bulletin from Malibu to replace the Y-pipe sea water check valve and have them notify you if there are any other bulletins in the future.

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gregtay
Posted (edited)

Still shocked that I have managed to go 100 hours on my M6 without an impeller issue. But as @csleaver said... no recall, only a service bulletin. Malibu will get this figured out.

Edited by gregtay

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ahopkinsVTX

I’d contact your dealer if you, or anyone, is having issues again. Malibu has definitely been working on it. 

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eubanks
2 hours ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

I’d contact your dealer if you, or anyone, is having issues again. Malibu has definitely been working on it. 

We've been talking to the dealer about it.  They just throw another impeller in and hope for the best while they wait on a potential recall from Malibu.  Their only communicated solution has been to rev the engine at initial startup to get the water circulating.  I doubt this is a huge help though as both of our overheating issues were while we had been on the water for a significant period of time already.

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Nitrousbird

My suggestion has been to run a Globe Run Dry impeller for the M motors, as it should take the abuse better.  Someone on the FB page was able to cross reference the P/N.

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ahopkinsVTX
7 minutes ago, eubanks said:

We've been talking to the dealer about it.  They just throw another impeller in and hope for the best while they wait on a potential recall from Malibu.  Their only communicated solution has been to rev the engine at initial startup to get the water circulating.  I doubt this is a huge help though as both of our overheating issues were while we had been on the water for a significant period of time already.

Have you talked to them in the last few days?

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eubanks
10 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

Have you talked to them in the last few days?

Yesterday, yes.  Do you have some more recent updates?

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Jayp13

Mine went with 40hrs on my 2020 T22. I’ve heard some say it’s the actual impeller housing or design, however my dealer claims it’s the manufacturer that Malibu purchased the OEM impellers from.  He said he’s replaced 8 already this season with an impeller from a different manufacturer and hasn’t had any of those replacement impellers fail yet (of course time will tell but some were replaced early in the season).   Will get the details on which brand he is using to replace and post here. 

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COOP
1 hour ago, Jayp13 said:

Mine went with 40hrs on my 2020 T22. I’ve heard some say it’s the actual impeller housing or design, however my dealer claims it’s the manufacturer that Malibu purchased the OEM impellers from.  He said he’s replaced 8 already this season with an impeller from a different manufacturer and hasn’t had any of those replacement impellers fail yet (of course time will tell but some were replaced early in the season).   Will get the details on which brand he is using to replace and post here. 

There has been no new news on the actual impeller issue.

Most recent bulletin was for the coolant relief valve, transmission shift valve and motor calibrations.

 

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COOP
1 hour ago, Nitrousbird said:

My suggestion has been to run a Globe Run Dry impeller for the M motors, as it should take the abuse better.  Someone on the FB page was able to cross reference the P/N.

A little birdie might have mentioned that someone has run some tests with these. But I know nothing. 

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agarabaghi

There is a sticky in the how to form on all the cross reference impellers

 

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gregtay

I am going to go ahead and say that Malibu has a bit to learn about how to manage a situation like the impeller mess.  I get that they like to have no direct communication with customers and instead want to leave it up to the dealers.. but it is clear dealers don't have any useful info to share and Malibu hasn't really done much other than tell dealers to replace the impellers and pretend nothing is wrong with the motor/parts/design.  Malibu needs to get some PR training and they need to come out with a letter to their M5/M6 owners stating they are aware of the issue, they are working on it, they will stand behind their product, and maybe even do like the car companies and state they will cover any cost of repairs related to the issue that people have had to deal with out of pocket (IE: they are on a trip, impeller blows, the pay for a tow to the dock or pay for a new impeller install on their own dime.)  This is what luxury car companies do for cars that cost far less than a Malibu.  I have received quite a few letters from Audi over the years and I was so impressed at how the managed these types of things.. quality issues, not recalls/safety issues.  They send a letter stating they found out a part in your car might be defective (ie: DSG shifting solenoid) and might cause over time for the car no not shift quite as smooth as it did when new.  They state they will extend the warranty on that part for 100k miles or something like that and they will cover any cost related to if it were to give you trouble and you had to pay out of pocket (ie: there was a flapper motor on their cabriolets that would give an error code which would prevent the roof from closing... so if you had to pay to get it fixed or pay for a shop to manually close our roof when it was stuck open they  would pay those charges.  Never once have I needed to use their extra warranty, etc.. but it was sure nice to receive the letter and know that when I had an issue with that part Audi would take care of it.

Personally I am lucky.. I have not had any issues with my impellers in my early build M6... but just watching the mess unfold it is rather mind blowing that Malibu's PR and customer relations department has decided to just keep quite and pretend all is fine.  People are pissed about their day on the lake being cut short by a $40 part that Malibu is well aware of an issue with. Malibu seems to be trying to shut down and shut up anyone (meaning dealers, techs, etc) who come out and try to share accurate information on what they are seeing with regards to impeller failures.    The people on the FB page are ready to take things into their own hands and make a messy public scene for Malibu around the issue and while I don't typically think that is the right approach to solving these types of issues, I do see their point and it has almost gotten to the point that someone needs to do something.

 

 

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csleaver

I don't see any difference with these issues and the issues that boat engines have had over the past 30 years other than how people today react to it today.  The entire paradigm has changed.  Comparing how boat manufacturers handle production issues compared to car manufacturers, computer manufacturers, or microwave oven manufacturers does not hold water.  Even NASA has issues with their designs, if you haven't heard.

This is a very low production, niche market of a hand built product used in a very extreme environment that has no where close to the same regulation, R&D, or testing of any automotive product.  If we started comparing boats to anything Audi builds that can be driven over 25 MPH in at least 50 feet of water at the same price point, it would become a completely ridiculous conversation.

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ahopkinsVTX
7 hours ago, gregtay said:

I am going to go ahead and say that Malibu has a bit to learn about how to manage a situation like the impeller mess.  I get that they like to have no direct communication with customers and instead want to leave it up to the dealers.. but it is clear dealers don't have any useful info to share and Malibu hasn't really done much other than tell dealers to replace the impellers and pretend nothing is wrong with the motor/parts/design.  Malibu needs to get some PR training and they need to come out with a letter to their M5/M6 owners stating they are aware of the issue, they are working on it, they will stand behind their product, and maybe even do like the car companies and state they will cover any cost of repairs related to the issue that people have had to deal with out of pocket (IE: they are on a trip, impeller blows, the pay for a tow to the dock or pay for a new impeller install on their own dime.)  This is what luxury car companies do for cars that cost far less than a Malibu.  I have received quite a few letters from Audi over the years and I was so impressed at how the managed these types of things.. quality issues, not recalls/safety issues.  They send a letter stating they found out a part in your car might be defective (ie: DSG shifting solenoid) and might cause over time for the car no not shift quite as smooth as it did when new.  They state they will extend the warranty on that part for 100k miles or something like that and they will cover any cost related to if it were to give you trouble and you had to pay out of pocket (ie: there was a flapper motor on their cabriolets that would give an error code which would prevent the roof from closing... so if you had to pay to get it fixed or pay for a shop to manually close our roof when it was stuck open they  would pay those charges.  Never once have I needed to use their extra warranty, etc.. but it was sure nice to receive the letter and know that when I had an issue with that part Audi would take care of it.

Personally I am lucky.. I have not had any issues with my impellers in my early build M6... but just watching the mess unfold it is rather mind blowing that Malibu's PR and customer relations department has decided to just keep quite and pretend all is fine.  People are pissed about their day on the lake being cut short by a $40 part that Malibu is well aware of an issue with. Malibu seems to be trying to shut down and shut up anyone (meaning dealers, techs, etc) who come out and try to share accurate information on what they are seeing with regards to impeller failures.    The people on the FB page are ready to take things into their own hands and make a messy public scene for Malibu around the issue and while I don't typically think that is the right approach to solving these types of issues, I do see their point and it has almost gotten to the point that someone needs to do something.

 

 

You have to take the people on the Facebook page with a grain of salt. Just like any other issue on facebook it goes from 0-100 in a blink of an eye. How do we know all of them are telling the whole truth. Are they checking their sea strainers? Many of the posts I’ve read were people using them over the 50 hour change mark. Yes, many were also failing prematurely. I also have to wonder how many of these people are first time boaters. Who takes a week long trip without a bag of tools and spare parts like an impeller? Even on my 5.7 monsoon that had the Johnson impeller everyone references I carried a spare with me at all times. That group is also terrible for anyone who has a positive experience, they get thrown to the wolves. There was just a few threads asking who is happy, who hasn’t had issues and the one about a MC guy looking at an LSV, hundreds responded. People don’t post after a day on the water and say, yep, another day with no issues. I don’t see how this could go anywhere for those looking to take action. Their claims Malibu didn’t do enough testing. How do they know that? Or they aren’t doing anything. Again, how do that know that (and they are wrong). They can’t demand a solution overnight right after a statement of how “Malibu didn’t do enough in water testing”.

I find the, didn’t do enough testing statement interesting. In 2017 I visited the factory and there were boats with 1000’s of hours that had these engines in them that were being tested with GM between Michigan and Tennessee. I have no idea how many hours they actually tested them but it’s not like they flipped this switch overnight.
 

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ahopkinsVTX
2 minutes ago, gregtay said:

Certainly understand the FB attitude and its not for me. And I'm not at all suggesting lack of testing or really any fault of Malibu that just dumb for someone to make statements without any real info.. but something is off with the cooling system, either a bad shipment of parts from a supplier, manufacturing tolerance issue with how they install the cooling system on the factory floor, etc. I don't really care and I'm not "blaming Malibu and saying they have a bad product." Manufacuting is really really hard... things aren't always perfect. How a company responds to issues or perceived issues (perceived being the key here) is what defines a companies reputation in this social media cancel culture world. I have seen some great products and great companies destroyed by the type of mob mentality you see on the FB page. Small product issues that were no fault of the company(supplier issues, etc) get blown out of control and people just start believing "the company sucks" line. When a company doesn't respond to these types of issues (or percived issues) it can quickly become a slippery slope.

I've been discetly involved in cases where ive seen this happen.. IE: some idiot wrote an article claiming a major tech company was planting spy software on their devices.... it blew up on social.media, hate  , never going to buy their products again, etc..., 1000s of articles, tweets, etc. The companies HQ is in Asia and they were all asleep and couldnt get any response out for 12 or so hours so it just continued to spiral.  Took me 5 mins to disprove the idiot (from an prestigious university looking for fame) and show that the software he was using to detect Spyware was flawed and he was 100% wrong (he misidentified some files.) Took him a day to acknowledge he screwed up(took getting his deen to put pressure in him) and retract his statements but it didn't matter... damage done and no way to undo it. My point is that we may not like the way social media turns stuff into a mountain with little or no truth behind it, but that is (sadly) the world we live in and it can destroy a company if they stay silent and aren't out there communicating with their customers. Silence tends to breed more and more rumors and the feeling the company either doesn't care about their customers or they are clueless about their products potential issues.

So no, I don't fault Malibu for having a few more issues than normal on their new motors. And no, I don't think Malibu is reckless with product design. But... I do think it would be in Malibu's best interest to say SOMETHING about the perceved issues with the impellers. 

BTW... back in 2008 Malibu called me up and said they had a few things they wanted to fix on my new boat to ensure I didn't have any issues, and they would come to my home to do it. They replaced all the Mux panels, updated some software and replaced some parts. They did this for all 2008 23LSVs (new model that year and it apparently had some teething issues.. i never had an issue but certainly let them update my boat.) Thats the type of reaction from a company that makes a customer for life.

 

Yeah I 100% agree with you, tried to word my post to speak for what is being posted on FB and not what you said.

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Sparky450
11 hours ago, csleaver said:

I don't see any difference with these issues and the issues that boat engines have had over the past 30 years other than how people today react to it today.  The entire paradigm has changed.  

The difference is that one person can now speak to the entire world with one post on social media. 

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granddaddy55

we are talking about 3 model years plus research years prior 17 and 18.  something is not right in the approach , implementation, fix or communication

wife dry ran my sierra/johnson for 2 min +/- coming out of launch two weeks ago and i should have pulled the pump cover but blew it off (though i admit I should).  next time out 158, snd immediate drops from 178 starting after sitting a little while and right back down

it is a dangerous online world that isnt fair but Im certain there were 18/19/2020 posts on this site or early 19/20.  means more important to immediately conquer and communicate and implement the solution 

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csleaver
38 minutes ago, Sparky450 said:

The difference is that one person can now speak to the entire world with one post on social media. 

Yes, it's like bathroom stall graffiti that everyone can see.

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gregtay
3 hours ago, csleaver said:

Yes, it's like bathroom stall graffiti that everyone can see.

And people get paid for clicks and other people reading their graphiti... so there is that aspect as well.

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Sparky450
34 minutes ago, gregtay said:

And people get paid for clicks and other people reading their graphiti... so there is that aspect as well.

So we agree. It is just hyped up garbage without any verification.  

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formerathlete
5 hours ago, Sparky450 said:

The difference is that one person can now speak to the entire world with one post on social media. 

This x 1,000,000,000. And precisely why I avoid FB and the Gram as if they are the ‘Rona. The root of so much that ails us.

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Eagleboy99
36 minutes ago, formerathlete said:

This x 1,000,000,000. And precisely why I avoid FB and the Gram as if they are the ‘Rona. The root of so much that ails us.

Sadly, our world  lives and dies by this stuff on the web.

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tjklein

 

There is a fix in the works. Malibu will be installing something like a check valve from my understanding in future boats. Very, very basic explanation, but essentially without RPMs (idling right away after starting) you're not getting water to the impeller and priming it. This is burning them out prematurely.

Look at the new motors and see how much water has to be drawn before it gets to the impeller housing. 

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