Some relevant facts:
- Bought Thule ski rack in November
- Used ski rack for entire season
- A couple weeks ago, front bracket opens on the highway. Skis fly up like an airplane wing with so much force that it destroys the rear bracket. Roof of car is cut up and slightly dented. Skis take on some damage bouncing down the highway, but are still usable
- I take rack back for replacement. I figure I'm SOL on the car skis.
At the place I bought the rack, they replaced the rear bracket, but insisted that the front one (the one that let go) was not defective and must have opened due to customer negligence and refused to replace it. Their operating theory is that ice or snow got in the mechanism and though it closed and clicked, it wasn't fully engaged. They tell me this sometimes happens.
I think this is possible, but that there also may have been a hidden flaw. In any case, I feel that if these things sometimes open, they should be designed not to since having stuff flying off the roof of the car at highway speeds is dangerous for people behind you. If the ski rack contained a pin or a locking clip, it would literally be impossible to open.
I was not a jerk about and didn't endlessly press the issue, but I think that the customer should have been given benefit of the doubt and that they should have replaced the whole rack, particularly since I lose the most in this transaction anyway. My question is are my expectations out of line? I think I'm in the right and will take my future business elsewhere, but I want a reality check.
I notice that the popular Yakima racks also have a crappy POS plastic mechanism that the guys at the rack shop also said opens on occasion. What gives? It's easy enough to design something that can't let go. As for myself, I will never have this problem again because I will now strap the rack closed after the POS plastic "locking" mechanism engages.