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Dodgy Kenwood Car Gear Under Investigation By ACCC Faulty Bluetooth & Sat Nav

According to several dealers that SmartHouse has spoken to several Kenwood Car Kits are suffering from “severe” Bluetooth problems with users unable to pair a Smartphone with their Kenwood device.

Kenwood who are one of the largest sellers of in car gear in Australia has so far refused to comment.

Among the products that are being investigated by the ACCC is the KCAB T 200 and the KCAB T 300.

According Michael Stephens of Freeway Car Audio in Malvern Victoria, he has replaced over 100 of the faulty Kenwood Bluetooth devices during the past 12 months.

He said “What Kenwood has offered is to replace the faulty Kenwood device however they are expecting their dealer network to pick up the labour costs associated with installing and removing the faulty gear.”

“Customers have had problems pairing their phones over Bluetooth and in a lot of cases when the device has paired initially it has dropped out within days with users unable to use the Kenwood product” he added.

In a stinging attack of Kenwood Electronics management, Stephens said “The bastards at Kenwood are hiding from everything they do. If this had been a Holden car, General Motors would have picked up both the dealer cost of replacing units and replaced the faulty device, but not Kenwood”.

“We have complained to the ACCC who are currently investigating the matter” he said.

An Adelaide based Kenwood dealer said “Kenwood are not the best Company at the best of times to deal with. Dealers across Australia are set to be out of packet to fix a serious Bluetooth problem. We have sold the device in good faith but Kenwood fail to recognise this”.

Robert Barakat the General Manager of Kenwood Australia has refused to return SmartHouse calls.

A Kenwood manager who did not want to be named said “We are well aware of the problem. Local management do not want to be responsible for the faults which are across several products. We are talking of potentially thousands of products.”
SmartHouse has also been told that there are “major” problems with Kenwood Electronics navigation units that are being fitted as an OEM product in Australia. “This is a separate issue to the Bluetooth problem” said the Kenwood Manager.
When we went back to the Kenwood dealer network, several dealers confirmed that there were “several” problems with the Kenwood navigation units.

A search of forum sites reveals several complaints over Kenwood Electronics automotive gear. One user wrote “I have a Kenwood DNX7100 and KCA-BT300 (Bluetooth hands free) running the latest firmware and a Samsung Galaxy S (Android 2.2) mobile. I find that 80% of the time the KCA-BT300 does not connect with the phone unless I start the connection from my phone manually”.

A spokesperson for the ACCC in Adelaide said “We are currently investigating several complaints about Kenwood products. At this stage no decision has been made as the issue is still under investigation.

Michael Stephens said “We have removed approximately 100 or more Bluetooth units and navigation units from vehicles which were faulty and continue to be faulty. Kenwood have refused point blank to offer any form of compensation and we are now seeking a ruling from the ACCC as to whether they are liable to compensate their dealers for their disgraceful rate of failures”.