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Genuine Stella Automatic Recall Progress

The offending ECU on a Stella Automatic 125
The offending ECU on a Stella Automatic 125
Detroit Scooter Examiner

Earlier this week, Genuine Scooter Company issued a voluntary recall to replace the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of their Stella Automatic 125 scooter. The part is manufactured by Dellorto of Italy, and a faulty one can result in difficult starting or instantly disable the scooter. The defect had cropped up during initial pre-delivery inspection (PDI) of the scooters at local dealerships and many ECUs have already been replaced in order to get the scooters in ready for sale. The manufacturer of the scooter, LML of India, had alerted Genuine of the potential defect with the ECU.

On July 7, Genuine announced the recall on Stella Automatic to their dealers. Here is what Genuine did this week:
1. Reached out to the dealers, informing them of the situation. Dealers were advised to stop selling Stella Automatics until the new ECU can be installed.
2. Genuine overnighted ECU's to all of their dealers who we have purchased Stella Automatics.
3. Genuine is repairing all unshipped Stella Automatics before they are delivered to dealers.
4. Established a customer notification program. They are reaching out directly to customers (by email, phone call or both) who have warranty registered their Stella Automatic. Genuine are advising them not to ride their Stella Automatic and use Genuine’s standard Roadside Assistance program to get their scooter in to their dealers (at no charge) for a replacement ECU.
5. Genuine has also started working with NHTSA to issue a formal recall number. At that point they will send a letter (approved by NHTSA) to each of the customers who have warranty registered their Stella Automatics. The information in the letter will be essentially the same as what was already provided them by email or phone. Once NHTSA is fully aboard, the recall information will be listed on NHTSA's web site.

Trey Durren of Genuine Scooters stressed that the recall involves a very simple removal and replacement of the ECU found under the scooters right cowl. He described it as a very simple “plug and play" fix available at no cost to the customers. Trey added that the recall “includes any replacement ECU we might have already sent to the dealers” which means that even if a Stella Automatic had received a replacement ECU prior to the recall, it will be replaced again with the fresh batch of “known-good ECUs”. Trey was sure to reinforce that many of the defective ECUs had already been replaced once. He said, “To date, the majority of the failures have been at dealer level on start up” and those had already received a replacement ECU.

David Corneille of Clinton Township’s Blackbeard Powersports said that the recall had been handled well by Genuine. All three of the Stella Automatics that he had sold had been returned by tow truck and had been updated with the new part. Sadly, David says, it was too late for the owner of the very first Stella Automatic that he sold. After being stranded twice with a failed ECU (the very failure that this recall is addressing), he gave up on his Stella Automatic. That scooter, now back to running very well, is back at Blackbeard Powersports and ready for a new owner.

With all the vehicle recalls in the news, this one seems like it’s benefiting from a plan and is being executed as directly and trouble-free to the customer as possible. Trey finished up with a reaffirmation of Genuine’s quality promise. He said that “This is the right move. Our customers' safety comes first.”

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