Just going back to Rod's story, with further explanation by Rod, the damage would more likely have been cause by a slightly dirty connection on one wheel trapped between rail on a set of points. The resultant current flowing through the dirty connection would have been enough to heat up the wheel and cause the meltdown.
To answer your question Catchpoint, the owner of TOR did not commit to solving the problem one way or the other. I made him aware of the problem of the poorly meshing gears and he said he would look into it. AFAIK, the meshing problem was not addressed at all, and would therefore still be an issue today. As for providing the replacement muff, I am not sure what issue that was intended to address, as I had not seen any examples of split muff gears.
In defence of TOR, the problem of the poorly meshing gears is not one that I would lay at their door. It was clearly a result of poor design by the Chinese manufacturer, and unless they had good reason to suspect a problem, I would not expect TOR to have dismantled a bogie to look at it, as you would reasonably expect the factory to have got it right. So the most likely passed the sample as being OK for volume production without knowing the problem existed.
Once the problem surfaced, they had a quandary, either ignore it and hope it only occurred in a small number of models, or try and get the factory to admit to a bad design flaw and take the models back. Doing something about it would have created a logistical nightmare, as it is not a simple problem to fix, it virtually requires you to replace the entire bogie with another. I am fairly sure the factory would have tried to reject blame for the problem, leaving TOR to pick up the tab for the fix.
Just a thought came to me regarding this problem & remembering that 3 of our importers used SDK at the time, Austrains & Eureka along with TOR, so far the only diesel types that Eureka has done have been 4 wheel bogie types in the 620 & CPH models, we await the 40cl from SDK & wonder how the gear set up is on that model.
So far, at least from the main reports regarding these issues has centred on the TOR models, with I believe one other person saying at one point they had problems with Austrains models. So, I have tried to ask around to find out if there has been problems with other ones, namely those from Austrains, overall there is nothing to say that Austrains have had a similar problem so that seems to point the finger purelly at TOR. However as I thought further on this I was able to find out how Austrains may have been able to get a clean sheet. PLEASE NOTE I said MAY HAVE.
One person I know identified a model from Austrains as having the same issue, but it came from the reject bin that used to adorn every Exhibition, or at least the major ones anyway, where Austrains sold off models that had been returned as being faulty. These models were sold off very cheap, with a notice on the boxes saying faulty, & over the bin a notice that the models had faults, & were offered on sale, as is & with no warranty or returns,
Something that has also been noted with Eureka as well as Auscicion having models on special with faults. On a trip to one exhibition a few years back where this box was found, one modeller had asked the proprietor what problems were with the models, the answer was "he did not know but had been returned with faults" so they are sold as is"".
I wonder if anyone here has purchased any of those special deals on faulty models & could inform us of the problems. It may be interesting to know, as to have just one brand out of 3 being the only onr ti have the amount of problems as seems the case a bit unusual.