Today, Leica has issued an official statement regarding the focus motor issue that has plagued S-Lenses for the last year or so. After engineering a new motor assembly, the QA team had to make absolutely sure that the replacement mechanism would be reliable for the long run. Such repetition testing takes time. Now, it seems that the permanent fix has gotten the final seal of approval and is being implemented by Customer Care in Germany under what they call a “Goodwill Arrangement.”
If you have an S lens that is affected by the motor malfunction, you can now have your lens fixed at no charge any time during a five year grace period from the initial purchase. If a lens is currently functioning correctly, but you want to proactively have the motor replaced anyway, you can send the lens in for a charge of around $400. In addition to the replacement of the motor, Leica will also tack on a full one year warranty extension to the lens, even if it is currently out of warranty. So, while we would have liked to see a good-faith fix even for lenses that haven't succumbed to any AF failures yet, the additional warranty does take a little of the sting out, and might be worth doing if you are concerned about possible issues before a big trip or upcoming job.
Official Release from Leica AG
In some cases, a defect may appear in the autofocus drive unit of Leica S-Lenses. Under certain unfavorable conditions, this may lead to a complete loss of the autofocus function.
We are pleased to inform you that we have successfully completed the development and stringent quality assurance testing of a new generation of autofocus drive units under practical conditions.
Leica Camera AG is prepared to offer a free replacement of the autofocus drive unit of S-Lenses affected by this problem within the terms of a goodwill arrangement.
In light of this, we would like to remind our customers that we can offer free replacement of the autofocus drive unit only for S-Lenses affected by this concrete defect. The goodwill arrangement will remain valid for a period of five years from the date of purchase of the respective S-Lens.
Preventive replacement of the autofocus drive unit (including a warranty extension of 12 months) may be requested at your own expense.
Should the defect described above occur in one of your S-Lenses, we recommend that you send it directly to Leica’s Customer Care or the authorized Customer Care department of your country’s Leica subsidiary.
firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: +49 (0)6441 2080 189.
We consider it our obligation to provide only technically faultless products. We therefore particularly regret that the functions of one of your S-Lenses could have been be impaired by this defect. We hope that the goodwill arrangement we are offering will allow us to resolve this issue as soon as possible and rebuild and maintain the trust you have always placed in the Leica brand and its products.
I appreciate that this post is 2 years old. I recently reactivated my membership here and was looking for information on lenses where the AF motor fail occurred. I have two lenses, one that failed and one that has not and is 4.5 years old. I am in Australia and repairs through the national distributor go to Wetzlar of course. I was considering the preemptive service, based on what I understood to be a new warranty period afterwards, as mentioned here.
My 70CS had the AF fail and was repaired free of charge, Six months later the central shutter failed. I had to pay for that repair and the advice from Wetzlar was that the warranty only covered the AF motor fault. It does not cover any other faults.
That makes paying for the preemptive fix much less attractive in my eyes
Thank you for sharing this information, as I had just watched the May 16, 2020 Red Dot Forum YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX7kucZiCro) where David had made it sound like the 1 year warranty covered the lens in general. I feel the same way that if the 1 year warranty only covers the AF motor fault, then there is less reason to send the lens in preemptively, unless I wanted the CLA as well.