In 1966 I bought a 200cc Vespa scooter new that had 33,000 miles on it when I sold it. 'Cause of my faith in Vespa I bought a super 300 but had severe problems from the start. Now they have an unannounced recall for the fuel pump and I have been told by phone that I must take the scooter 900 miles to Baton Rouge for repairs. The scooter will not start after riding until the engine cools down... over an hour so you're stuck.
Vespa probably has the worst warranty there is. One year or 625 miles. The chrome trim appears to be nothing more than tinfoil, and the air cleaner is a two-hour job to remove. To remove the fuel pump it's necessary to detach the luggage carrier and the rear shock absorbers. Replacing the pump is an all day job, and I still have not found a suitable workshop manual to make my own repairs (I'm a degreed ME). I have offered to replace the pump myself but Vespa refuses even after I offered to buy a pump and have the cash returned after I return the defective one. And these pumps cost well into the hundreds to have replaced.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Having owned a 200cc Vespa for 18 years and only having to occasionally replace a cable I had no qualms about spending over $5000 on a new Vespa. Within 600 miles it wouldn't start when warm so I checked with Vespa headquarters and was told I'd have to take the scooter 900 miles to Baton Rouge for warranty work... they explained to me the fuel pump was going bad. I asked them to send me one and they refused. At the same time, Ford recalled some vehicles with faulty fuel pumps. I finally found a dealer 100 miles away who replaced the pump under warranty.
I used a GPS to check speedometer accuracy and at 55 the speedometer shows 62. The gas gauge warning light comes on after using less than one gallon of a 2.5-gallon tank and reads half a tank. When the gauge is pegged empty there is still about a gallon in the tank... you never know where you stand re gas. But the 'chrome' is all plastic and just hitting decoration with a light hose pressure the stuff bends and breaks. With America quality consistently rising, it's a disappoint to find a really respected name like Vespa going downhill... or did I just get a lemon?
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK -- Three weeks before my year's warranty was to expire my scooter refused to start when engine was warm. I tried finding a dealer for repairs, no luck. I called every number Vespa listed and all were robot numbers. I finally found online a number originating in NYC, the Vespa headquarters I believe, and for the first time encountered a human who after hearing my problem told me The closest repair facility was 900 miles away in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And I had only two days left on my warranty. I'm from Illinois. The Vespa representative was adamant about my taking the scooter to Louisiana for in warranty repair. New cost for the scooter last September was over $6000.