Phantom 3 Professional propulsion output is limited to ensure safety of battery small claims case

Discussion in 'Flying' started by fansb8355064, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. fansb8355064

    fansb8355064 New Member

    I flew my Phantom 3 Professional on Maui in April 2016 shortly after updating the software to V1.8.80. Prior to this, I completed over 100 flights without any issues. About 12 minutes into the flight, a “propulsion output is limited to ensure the safety of the battery” warning popped up on the DJIGo app. I had never seen this error before the software update. I had no idea what this meant or what to do about it, so tried to troubleshoot and then tried to bring my Phantom home. However, its maximum speed seemed to be reduced by about half even when I was trying to fly forward at full speed. A few minutes later, when the Phantom was about half a mile away (it would have been home at that point if the max speed was not reduced), the battery ran down so far that it auto landed. I tried to recover it but was unable to find it.

    The battery had less than 25 cycles and was still under warranty, as was the Phantom. I analyzed the flight record and discovered that after the warning appeared, my max speed was limited by about 40% when the elevator input was at max forward, even though my battery drain rate was unchanged.

    This cut my range in half during the last 2-3 minutes of flight, very likely resulting in the loss. I contacted DJI tech support for a warranty replacement and uploaded the flight record as requested. A few months of back-and-forth communication followed, during which DJI attributed the loss to the wind, unforeseen environmental factors, and pilot error. DJI never explained what I had been doing differently from previous flights that caused the “propulsion limited…” warning and stated that the warning in no way indicated a problem with the performance of the Phantom. Ultimately, I filed a small claims suit for the cost of the Phantom and accessories (OEM impellers and battery) that I lost. In court, DJI argued that pilot error caused the loss and that a loss was not covered by warranty because there was no way for DJI to examine the Phantom. However, DJI was unable to explain what pilot actions caused the propulsion to be limited. I argued that I lost my Phantom because it’s range was cut in half in the last 2-3 minutes of flight and that DJI never informed Phantom owners about what could cause this or how to prevent it. I also pointed out that complete loss of the Phantom due to hardware failure was covered by warranty. The court ruled in my favor and awarded me the cost of the Phantom, accessories, and court fees.

    Needless to say, I’m very disappointed that I had to take the time and effort (six months and over 20 hours of my time) to go to court to get warranty service for my Phantom. I can’t imagine buying another DJI product until there’s a drastic change in DJI customer service policies. I should mention that I did ask for DJI feedback on this before posting, and the feedback was, “we are working on improving both the statement of the warning and our customer service, based on your and other customer’s feedbacks. We are in the process of revising that particular warning involved in this case, for more clear instructions and better wording.”

    Attached Files:

    KentA and GlassKnees like this.
  2. GlassKnees

    GlassKnees Well-Known Member

    Very interesting story. Sorry to hear about the hassle you had to go through - I too had to sue in small claims court over an entirely different issue, so I can relate to your experience! I will pass along your story to some of my friends who own DJI products.
  3. DuaneM

    DuaneM Drone? I don't see any drone ... crap!

    Wow! I was thinking about buying the NAZA-M Lite stuff, but I think I'll look around for something else now.
  4. ringolong

    ringolong Well-Known Member

    The Naza M does not have these features, but you should take a look at the Tarot zyx-m.
  5. DuaneM

    DuaneM Drone? I don't see any drone ... crap!

    The Tarot stuff is a bit more than I wanted to spend on my first build, but quality doesn't come cheap I guess. :)
  6. ringolong

    ringolong Well-Known Member

    Seems like you could pick up tarot or less than the cost of the naza.

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