Fischer Panda 10000i problems

Kipwrite

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Imagine your genset broke down. Something with the electronics. It’s a German genset, highly technical, and you’re in the US.
You’ve had it for 7 years. It’s worked perfectly. You’ve been religious about servicing it. You like it. But there's no authorized dealer nearby who can help you with this electronic problem - this is an unusual genset in the US.
So you call the US tech support team. These folks don’t really fully understand this machine as it is not sold in the US, but whatever. They are owned by the German parent company. They accept the service calls for this unit. There’s nowhere else to go in the US for help.
US tech support tells you which parts are required to fix your issue, and that installation is essentially plug and play.
Yay!
You order the parts for $1280. They come with very sparse documentation.
You install them, not easy, and you get an error code. Something about programming the new parts.
You call the US tech support team, and they tell you your new parts need to be programmed to your genset and that this is very important. This is news to you. They give you a protocol to program your new parts to your genset. You try it, but it's incorrect. You get that same error code.
So you call US tech support again, and this time they give you the correct protocol to program everything. (Turns out the first protocol they gave you was to program a different genset!) You enter the new sequence of numbers. The genset accepts everything.
Yay!
But your genset is still broken. You find an authorized dealer a bit farther away who is willing to have a look. You take it to them, but they report they can’t fix it.
So you travel 300 miles to the another authorized dealer, one with a great reputation on this brand, in a major US east coast sailing location.
These guys show up on time, are great, and clearly know what they are doing. They tell you everything is hooked up properly. The back end is putting out correct voltage. But something is still incorrect that they can’t diagnose. So they send all the parts you purchased for $1280, and some others, including the inverter, back to US tech support for evaluation. US Tech Support will know what needs to be repaired.
Yay!
75 days later US tech support tells you the parts they sold you for $1280 are working perfectly, but, regrettably, they are incompatible with your machine. These are returned to you in a baggie marked NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CUSTOMER’S MACHINE. You will need another, supposedly correct part that costs $608 - the one you needed to begin with, and that is correct for your genset. And by the way, your inverter needs to be rebuilt. This all is very expensive - but it looks like the end is in sight. You fork over big $, but now everything is going to be finally fixed.
Yay!
You get all your parts back, 7 months after the start of all these issues. You put everything back together. You program everything correctly. But your genset still doesn’t work You are 600 miles from that great authorized dealer. By now, the US tech support guys aren’t too happy to hear from you. There are some wonderful engineers in Germany, but you aren't allowed to communicate with them.
(The genset starts and runs perfectly without error codes, puts out voltage from the back end to the inverter, but the inverter puts out nothing.)
You decide you can't have a genset that is this hard to fix. Time to move on and buy a simpler genset thats easier to fix. You should have done this much earlier. You are in a bad mood.
Trying to salvage something out of an exhausting and expensive situation, you ask for a refund from US Tech support, just for the parts that you were originally sold that were incompatible, and that tech support gave you the wrong programming information for, and that, by the way, tech support said were working perfectly when they tested them in December.
Seemed like a reasonable request - especially since you just paid for the $608 part you actually originally needed. And paid for a rebuilt inverter. And spent months without a working unit, from a company that prides itself on a timely and efficient global support network. Not to mention your own hours.
So, did US tech support authorize the return for the $1208 in parts they sold me that test perfectly, but are NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CUSTOMER’S MACHINE??
Nope - no return can be authorized by US tech support - because I installed these electronic parts, entered the wrong programming protocol, and electronic parts are not returnable.
What would you do?

My 10000I genset starts and runs like a top without faults, about 450 hours, is well taken care of, and the back end puts out voltage. Inverter is likely fried but honestly, i don’t know.
 

Ian_Edwards

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I had a similar experience with a Fischer-Panda uk.
A long very expensive story.
I gave up.
Bought a Whisper Power unit which has worked flawlessly for 3 years.
Three years on Fischer-Panda uk, still have my 5000i, having quoted more to repair it, than it would cost to buy a new one.
The conclusion should be obvious.
I'm sorry to hear you had similar problems, and I know the post doesn't help you, but perhaps it will warn other about what to expect.
 

Bouba

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Why can’t you talk to the German company ?....or possibly a UK supplier ?....
While I agree with getting a new genny that’s American made (Onan for example)...since your generator is European spec..is your boat also 230v ?
 

Stemar

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Is this Sail Life? If not, they seem to be having a similar story with an FP generator.

I don't know how it works in the US, but here, I'd write a letter that starts "Dear Sir, Unless..."

They were negligent in supplying the wrong parts and giving you wrong information.
 

Kipwrite

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Yes boat is 230v, and I'm not Sail Life.

Have tried to reach Germany directly. They refer US inquiries to FL, and the FL guys are very reluctant to ask them for help it would seem. Shouldn't be this hard.

Looking at an American made old school Phasor compact 1800 rpm genset that will fit in the space allowed. Can't wait to have the Panda off the boat. Lesson learned.

In the meantime have written several letters and gone the better business bureau route.
 

Minerva

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I’ve heard nothing but bad things about fisher panda. Can’t say I’d entertain one of their units on board.

Sail life’s experience of Customer support, as per the OP’s is atrocious.
 

rotrax

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I fixed an FP small 3000RPM Genset in NZ for a friend. The safety cut outs were chiming in all over the place. Being the man I am and having read about the dramas experienced by owners I rejigged it so as long as it had oil in the sump and water coming out of the exhaust it worked.

The KISS principle-Keep It Simple Stupid.

The safety cut outs shut the fuel off, stopping the unit. I rewired it to owner control of the fuel.

I have an 8KW Westerbeke. Same KISS system, no safety cut outs, if water is exiting the exhaust and there is oil in the sump, it is good.

Works for me. Some friends have the same boat as us but have a far newer Onan Genset. It stops from time to time, the Engineer comes, fiddles about a bit and charges them £150 plus parts.

It usually stops again not long after................................... :(
 

jwilson

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Welcome to the world of FP. The globe’s most expensive anchor weight.
I have never owner a Panda genset, but the two boats I've sailed that had them both had problems with them. So no aircon working, which in the tropics is a bit of a hardship on two otherwise lovely cruisers.
 

Beneteau381

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Imagine your genset broke down. Something with the electronics. It’s a German genset, highly technical, and you’re in the US.
You’ve had it for 7 years. It’s worked perfectly. You’ve been religious about servicing it. You like it. But there's no authorized dealer nearby who can help you with this electronic problem - this is an unusual genset in the US.
So you call the US tech support team. These folks don’t really fully understand this machine as it is not sold in the US, but whatever. They are owned by the German parent company. They accept the service calls for this unit. There’s nowhere else to go in the US for help.
US tech support tells you which parts are required to fix your issue, and that installation is essentially plug and play.
Yay!
You order the parts for $1280. They come with very sparse documentation.
You install them, not easy, and you get an error code. Something about programming the new parts.
You call the US tech support team, and they tell you your new parts need to be programmed to your genset and that this is very important. This is news to you. They give you a protocol to program your new parts to your genset. You try it, but it's incorrect. You get that same error code.
So you call US tech support again, and this time they give you the correct protocol to program everything. (Turns out the first protocol they gave you was to program a different genset!) You enter the new sequence of numbers. The genset accepts everything.
Yay!
But your genset is still broken. You find an authorized dealer a bit farther away who is willing to have a look. You take it to them, but they report they can’t fix it.
So you travel 300 miles to the another authorized dealer, one with a great reputation on this brand, in a major US east coast sailing location.
These guys show up on time, are great, and clearly know what they are doing. They tell you everything is hooked up properly. The back end is putting out correct voltage. But something is still incorrect that they can’t diagnose. So they send all the parts you purchased for $1280, and some others, including the inverter, back to US tech support for evaluation. US Tech Support will know what needs to be repaired.
Yay!
75 days later US tech support tells you the parts they sold you for $1280 are working perfectly, but, regrettably, they are incompatible with your machine. These are returned to you in a baggie marked NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CUSTOMER’S MACHINE. You will need another, supposedly correct part that costs $608 - the one you needed to begin with, and that is correct for your genset. And by the way, your inverter needs to be rebuilt. This all is very expensive - but it looks like the end is in sight. You fork over big $, but now everything is going to be finally fixed.
Yay!
You get all your parts back, 7 months after the start of all these issues. You put everything back together. You program everything correctly. But your genset still doesn’t work You are 600 miles from that great authorized dealer. By now, the US tech support guys aren’t too happy to hear from you. There are some wonderful engineers in Germany, but you aren't allowed to communicate with them.
(The genset starts and runs perfectly without error codes, puts out voltage from the back end to the inverter, but the inverter puts out nothing.)
You decide you can't have a genset that is this hard to fix. Time to move on and buy a simpler genset thats easier to fix. You should have done this much earlier. You are in a bad mood.
Trying to salvage something out of an exhausting and expensive situation, you ask for a refund from US Tech support, just for the parts that you were originally sold that were incompatible, and that tech support gave you the wrong programming information for, and that, by the way, tech support said were working perfectly when they tested them in December.
Seemed like a reasonable request - especially since you just paid for the $608 part you actually originally needed. And paid for a rebuilt inverter. And spent months without a working unit, from a company that prides itself on a timely and efficient global support network. Not to mention your own hours.
So, did US tech support authorize the return for the $1208 in parts they sold me that test perfectly, but are NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CUSTOMER’S MACHINE??
Nope - no return can be authorized by US tech support - because I installed these electronic parts, entered the wrong programming protocol, and electronic parts are not returnable.
What would you do?

My 10000I genset starts and runs like a top without faults, about 450 hours, is well taken care of, and the back end puts out voltage. Inverter is likely fried but honestly, i don’t know.
Twitter them!
Fischer Panda GmbH @FischerPanda_HQ on X
suggest put a link to this forum on there?
Ive always had good results when addressing issues like this on X
 
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sfellows

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I DON'T have an FP generator. But was considering getting one after we couldn't get our old Onan Generator to start. To cut a long story short we eventually worked out it was the starter motor and had it replaced for £300.

Our neighbour in the marina has had FP problems. SailLife has had FP problems. Too many people have FP problems.

If we had had to bin the Onam generator, we would NEVER get an FP generator.
 

Kipwrite

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Panda refunded my $ for the circuit board and control panel.

And I got an apology.

Turns out there's a bad batch of Icontrol 2.5/3.0 circuit boards and panels being shipped to customers since at least July last year - and while they reported my new electronics to be in good working order when tested in December and were merely-non compatible with my genset, turns out they were defective when shipped to me nearly 8 months ago.

Can't make this stuff up.

Got the FL better business bureau involved and wrote a bunch of complaint letters. And some social media posts. Finally got their attention.

Anyone who may have purchased an updated Icontrol panel or board recently and are struggling getting their Iseries to run properly may want to investigate this.

Still no working panda genset but whatever, I've moved on.

Good luck everyone.
 
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