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Mavic Air 2 Stress Cracks in outer Case / Frame / Body / Shell
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8330 77 2020-9-8
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julienlife
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I found cracks in the outer case of my drone, only a few weeks after flying. I did not crash the drone nor had a rough landing. The total number of flights is only about 10 and I can already see severe damage on the outer case without there being any obvious source. The cracks mysteriously appeared right where the hinges of the arms are located. Therefore I reckon that the used materials are all made out of very bad and insufficient quality. I now feel very unsafe flying with the cracks situated right above the hinges. I am afraid that the arms may fall of mid-flight. As you can see my drone is in mint condition and still has these cracks in the outer shell. After such a short period of using it there is no way that this is not a production issue! DJI has to fix it !!

My research showed that many more people experience the same behaviour, but none of them were fixed free of charge! DJI always say that the people crashed their drone but in my opinion it clearly is a production issue.

Never had such issues with the Mavic Pro!

DJI can you explain what causes these cracks? It seems a very common issue with many of the Products! (Phantom 4...)

Does anybody else experience the same behaviour?



Detail Crack on the right side

Detail Crack on the right side

General condition: NO Crash or whatsoever

General condition: NO Crash or whatsoever

Symmetrical cracks right above the hinges

Symmetrical cracks right above the hinges

Detail Crack on the left side

Detail Crack on the left side


2020-9-8
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DJI Stephen
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Hello and good day julienlife. I am sorry to read and to know the issues that you are having with your DJI Mavic Air 2 and thank you for reaching out. Since there are stress cracks on the said drone the best thing you need to do is to contact DJI Support at https://www.dji.com/support?site=brandsite&from=nav for us to be able to check the drone and for us to assist help you with this issue. It is not recommended to fly the said drone if these are stress crack on it. This cracks might affect the performance of the said drone while on flight and may lead to an unwanted incident. Agian, I am sorry for the trouble and thank you for your understanding.
2020-9-8
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A J
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Yet to experience stress cracks on my MA2 after 80+ flights since May. I'd get yours shipped back for replacement asap.
2020-9-8
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hallmark007
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They look like scratches.
2020-9-8
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Montfrooij
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That last one is very clearly a crack.
The others are a bit hard to judge.
But anyways, if they are cracks I would not fly again and open a support ticket.
2020-9-8
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julienlife
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hallmark007 Posted at 9-8 01:35
They look like scratches.

Look closely! Both, the first and last image show the cracks in detail. I can ensure it definitely are cracks and not scratches because of the very clear delimitation of the crack.

I did not fly since.
2020-9-8
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hallmark007
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julienlife Posted at 9-8 01:44
Look closely! Both, the first and last image show the cracks in detail. I can ensure it definitely are cracks and not scratches because of the very clear delimitation of the crack.

I did not fly since.

I was looking from my phone, took a second look on my iPad and yes they are very much cracks and it certainly needs attention.
2020-9-8
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whammer007
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I just noticed tonight that my Mavic Air 2 has a crack at both front arms, not been abused and hardly been flown.


2020-10-2
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julienlife
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Those cracks seem to be a really common issue. I heard of many more people to have these. Unfortunately I never heard of any case where DJI would replace the aircraft. In the past DJI always stated that the cracks are caused because of misuse (e.g. crash’s or hard landings) They always seem to find a reason not to replace the unit. But proove me wrong, DJI!

Definitely I wouldn’t fly with the cracks on the aircraft. It really is a safety reason.



In my case, I got mine replaced, not from DJI but from the dealer I got it. It is the law here in Germany that they have to replace it if it breaks within 6 months.

Please keep us updated if you decide to send it to them.

Kind regards,
Julien
2020-10-3
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DaMa
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julienlife Posted at 10-3 00:06
Those cracks seem to be a really common issue. I heard of many more people to have these. Unfortunately I never heard of any case where DJI would replace the aircraft. In the past DJI always stated that the cracks are caused because of misuse (e.g. crash’s or hard landings) They always seem to find a reason not to replace the unit. But proove me wrong, DJI!

Definitely I wouldn’t fly with the cracks on the aircraft. It really is a safety reason.

"Those cracks seem to be a really common issue. I heard of many more people to have these."
Both sentences raise big question marks for me...!!
Both sides evenly cracked indicate to me an overload OR an incorrectly attached (not screwed tight) bearing – the bearing is only fixed in the middle housing, the upper housing has only a guide for the axis.

Unbenannt-1.jpg
2020-10-3
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$gambino$
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This is like the 3rd case i seen with Mavic air 2 and these stress cracks around hinges or battery compartment...mavic pilots is where I seen the first couple cases.  I think personally it is probably from factory technicians maybe tightening the screws to tight around the hinges on certain units, resulting in some of the units forming stress cracks.
2020-10-3
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djiuser_1wTon8iocrCu
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I have the same issue on my MA2 after only a couple of flights, no crashes and no rough landings.  If DJI will not honor this as a free repair for a weak mold design or a manufacturing defect, there is no way I will send it back to get charged their $65 quote fee.  Shame that they feel that denial is the way to treat their customers for their issue...

2021-1-7
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JohnLietzke
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Those look like compression cracks which form in plastic due to weight and not stress cracks.  As the cracks are on the protruding edges, I would consider those to be a result of the Mavic Air 2 being packed in something that either was too tight or a heavy item place on top of it.  Based on the thickness of the plastic and density along with the weight of the drone stress cracks such as those are unlikely to occur due to flight.
The honey comb structure in the upperbody should help to prevent those cracks from further progressing.  
2021-1-7
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JohnLietzke
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djiuser_1wTon8iocrCu Posted at 1-7 05:27
I have the same issue on my MA2 after only a couple of flights, no crashes and no rough landings.  If DJI will not honor this as a free repair for a weak mold design or a manufacturing defect, there is no way I will send it back to get charged their $65 quote fee.  Shame that they feel that denial is the way to treat their customers for their issue...

[view_image]

Your crack appears to be the result of the hyperextension of the arm based on the cracks allignement to the extended arm on the body.  When the arm is over extended the stop places pressure on the upper and lower body. The stress would be applied to the body in a in a similar direction of the arms open position.  

This could also be the result of an excess or material in the upper body plastic that requires extra force to be used to fully extend the arm.
2021-1-7
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JohnLietzke
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whammer007 Posted at 2020-10-2 10:10
I just noticed tonight that my Mavic Air 2 has a crack at both front arms, not been abused and hardly been flown.
[view_image]
[view_image]

Both cracks appear to be a result of pressure cracks.  

The first has a hairline crack running vertically down the aircraft.  This weakness appears to have cause the secondary V shaped cracks where the arm meets the body.  More than likely based on the V shape of the secondary cracks when fully extending the arm stress is transferred to the body and has created the diagonal crack running towards the arm.  The diagonal crack running towards the rear inner body may be a transfer crack or a result of less dense material alleviating pressure at the weakest point.

The second crack appears to be a pressure crack from weight or force compressing the body.
2021-1-7
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3Recon
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It seems all cracks are in areas of prop arms folding joints. We have to remember these are plastic parts all be it durable. Injection molded parts have a consistence wall thickness if QC was done and looking at DaMa's  it's a nice part in photo.
2021-1-7
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ptecibhotmail.com
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My Air 2 has the same hairline crack on the top right near the right arm. My drone has never crashed or been abused. I just noticed it tonight. Should I be concerned over this, or just continue to fly, and not worry about it?
2021-1-8
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George210477
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ptecibhotmail.com Posted at 1-8 16:21
My Air 2 has the same hairline crack on the top right near the right arm. My drone has never crashed or been abused. I just noticed it tonight. Should I be concerned over this, or just continue to fly, and not worry about it?

That is DJI quality...but they dont recognize it...Crap ABS...to be cheap...
2021-1-9
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julienlife
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Hi @all it's me from the original post. As I already explained some posts ago I got my drone replaced.
I got the new Mavic Air 2 on 30th of September. Brand new. So I had my hands on it for not even 4 months.

I have now exactly 6 Charge-Cycles on the new one and really didnt fly very often (since it is winter and the conditions aren't quite good around this time of the year)

So lets say I flew five times.

I already can see the cracks to develop again as you can see in the attached image. (look closely) The rest of the drone is in mint condition. Not even a single scratch!

I am really concerned about the product-quality DJI delivers these days! I mean its the second one in a row! I will get it replaced again and hope that my third drone will last longer!! I mean 5 flights and it is already developing cracks at the exact same spot as my last drone did?

This really is no good sign at all!

And I guess that many many more people have these cracks in their drone but they dont get noticed since they are really small and not everybody inspects their drone after every flight.

I really hope that DJI fixes this issue since it really is a safty-concern if you keep flying!


Kind regards,
Julien






2021-1-11
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The Duck
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julienlife Posted at 1-11 09:27
Hi @all it's me from the original post. As I already explained some posts ago I got my drone replaced.
I got the new Mavic Air 2 on 30th of September. Brand new. So I had my hands on it for not even 4 months.

Thanks for the update.  These quality control problems with the Mavic Air 2 are very concerning.  I will be inspecting my second MA2 carefully after each flight.
2021-1-12
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JohnLietzke
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I strongly disagree that the stress cracks are the result of quality control.  The small cracks vertically along the body's protruding edges appear to be from pressure or compression along the side of the body.  Injection molded ABS type plastic is known for cracking when pressure is applied to smaller areas where the distribution of pressure is not possible.  The cracks have not continued to speed because of the honeycomb reenforced structure on the bottom of housing.  

Thus, it is probably had something heavy the was pressing on the protruding edge.
2021-1-12
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Eckonism
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Oh my god! After reading this thread i directly examined my MA2 and guess what i found?!? The Drone is from middle of December, only 8 flights done and there is a crack on the exact same position as on @julienlife ! No hard landings or crashes on mine, i always started and landed from hands. The MA2 has been always transported in an complete shell case.......so the question is what to do.....dont care about the crack and fly on or give it back? Maybe bring this issue up to the Law? Like the German "Luftfahrtbundesamt" so they can do there own research in this safety concern?!?



2021-1-12
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JohnLietzke
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Eckonism Posted at 1-12 11:20
Oh my god! After reading this thread i directly examined my MA2 and guess what i found?!? The Drone is from middle of December, only 8 flights done and there is a crack on the exact same position as on @julienlife ! No hard landings or crashes on mine, i always started and landed from hands. The MA2 has been always transported in an complete shell case.......so the question is what to do.....dont care about the crack and fly on or give it back? Maybe bring this issue up to the Law? Like the German "Luftfahrtbundesamt" so they can do there own research in this safety concern?!?

[view_image]

If it is a new purchase I would return it to the retailer if possible and get a new one.  If not contact DJI.  
2021-1-12
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Eckonism
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JohnLietzke Posted at 1-12 11:45
If it is a new purchase I would return it to the retailer if possible and get a new one.  If not contact DJI.

This is the second MA2 from this dealer, the first one from end of november has had an issue with the gimbal right out of the box as you can see here:

https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=230641

I don't think I would want to make another attempt with the MA2 under these circumstances. The current quality unfortunately does not correspond in any way to the price of the MA2. Should my dealer take back the drone then it was my last Mavic Air 2, I would gladly do without an exchange.
But I will also call in the German aviation authority, after all, this is a safety-relevant weakness of the design and the Federal aviation office does not like that at all!
2021-1-12
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JohnLietzke
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I don't believe this is an aviation issue but a consumer affairs problem.  The cracks pose not safety to flight and more than likely will be ignored by any aviation authority.  
2021-1-12
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julienlife
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Eckonism Posted at 1-12 11:53
This is the second MA2 from this dealer, the first one from end of november has had an issue with the gimbal right out of the box as you can see here:

https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=230641

@Eckonism. If you have bought it in Germany it is your right to get your drone either repaired/ replaced or completely returned. Insist on your right for the “gesetzliche Gewährleistung”. Don’t let the seller hand you off to DJI. The seller is in charge for any damage occurring without your consent within 6 Months after your purchase.
Please keep us updated in case you get any response from the authorities here in Germany.

I’ll consider reporting the issue to them too!

Nonetheless these cracks definitely shouldn’t be there after just 5 flight. On my drone you also can’t find a single scratch and it still has these cracks. I treated it like a newborn child!!!

I think that this really is a common issue but most people just don’t inspect their drone after every flight like I do.

I also think that a lot of these cracks stay undiscovered because of that particular reason.

As I said earlier DJI has to fix it! This clearly is any kind of production issue.

Kind regards.
2021-1-12
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The Duck
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JohnLietzke Posted at 1-12 10:11
I strongly disagree that the stress cracks are the result of quality control.  The small cracks vertically along the body's protruding edges appear to be from pressure or compression along the side of the body.  Injection molded ABS type plastic is known for cracking when pressure is applied to smaller areas where the distribution of pressure is not possible.  The cracks have not continued to speed because of the honeycomb reenforced structure on the bottom of housing.  

Thus, it is probably had something heavy the was pressing on the protruding edge.

Yes, this is a quality control problem.  The point of good quality control is to prevent end users from getting defective products.  Guess what?  Customers are getting duds.   And you're blaming the customer.
2021-1-12
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albertocozza.eu
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Hi everyone, I have the same damn problem, drone purchased 6 month ago, always transported in a hard case with protections and now I notice the cracks. What do you advise me to do? open a replacement request? has anyone been replaced at no cost? I am very disappointed with dji, i was a real fan before this.
2021-1-27
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julienlife
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I really can relate to your disappointment!

With the DJI Mavic Air 2 I have nothing but trouble!! I upgraded from an "old" Mavic Pro 1 and in the beginning I was really happy with the upgrade.... But then after a while back when I first noticed the cracks tables began to turn and I was too really disappointed!! Never had such enormously bad experiences with my Mavic Pro 1.....

Sure you can contact DJI and hope that they replace it at no cost but there is no guarantee...I read a lot of stories where people would sent it to DJI for warranty but they have always been charged. DJI claimed then that the cracks were your own fault because you crashed the drone when you obviously haven't. Even if you just have a single scratch in your landing gear they will claim that you crashed. (Even though these scratches on the landing gear are totally normal because it just scratches when you let your drone start and land off the ground)

To be fair in some individual cases they would replace the drone at no cost. But this just doesn't seem to be too usual.

Expect a lot of arguing and eventually you may get it replaced at no charge... If you choose to send it to them please keep us updated if they replaced it and at what charge.

In any case DJI has to improve the quality of this part as many new cases of these cracks are popping up. Until then this was my last drone from them.
2021-1-28
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ross_impress
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Same problem, 55 flights and small stress cracks.  I took pictures with high contrast to make the stress cracks good visible.  Not sure if this cracks will make a safety issue to fly..


2021-3-2
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Malakai_UK
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I did, was asked to send it in for repair. They replaced mine for free.

Just remember if you are in the UK when it comes back in you will get stung for import tax again to the tune of about £70. There is a form you can fill in to declare it as a return for repair so you dont get taxed again as long as they repair and don't replace, if they replace it you have to pay import tax.

"...When you return an item to the supplier, you must inform the exporting freight agent that the item is travelling under temporary export for repairs to be carried out, and following repair the item will be returned to the UK
The exporting freight agent should then complete an OPR form on behalf of the University department, or give you instructions on how to complete the OPR application form yourself
When the goods are re-imported the completed OPR form is used as proof that VAT and import duty were paid on the item when it was originally imported. This ensures that the cost of any VAT and duty is waived on re-importation
If repaired goods are not returned in one single consignment, then the agent must be informed of this to enable them to inform HMRC who will note the quantity of goods being imported and the quantity which remain to be imported. (This paperwork must be presented to HMRC again when the next consignment is imported.)

What if I forget to make the OPR statement?

It is not possible to complete the OPR statement in retrospect. If it isn't completed when you send the goods for repair then HMRC will assume the export is final. When the goods are returned to you you would then have to pay the VAT and Import Duty again (ie twice).

What it the item can't be repaired?

If, after export, the supplier decides to replace the faulty goods instead of repairing them, then VAT and Import Duty will be charged on the full value of all new replacements."

2021-3-4
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SengFeng
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I have a theory - unproven as of yet, but seems plausible.  With the way the drone is built, the weight rests on the back of the body, and the front is supported by the extended front legs.  If you insert the battery with the drone sitting on the ground/table/etc, each time you push down, there's going to be extra force exerted on the front leg mounts.

The first time I took my MA2 out of the bag, I noticed that was something of a potential design/function flaw - I've always held the body of the drone in my hand when snapping the battery in.  It wouldn't surprise me that a large number of people simply set the drone down, push the battery in (pushing to make sure the buttons click in place), and over time, get some stress fractures in the housing.
2021-3-4
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julienlife
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I also had this thought after I noticed the cracks on my first defective drone. Therefore I was really VERY VERY precautious and careful at inserting the battery when I got my replacement drone. I then always held the drone body with my hand and inserted the battery while holding it.

It lasted for about 6 flights, same cracks, same issue and now I have my third replacement drone.

Unfortunately I therefore can't confirm your theory...it is just dead cheap plastic.

I wish there was something to stop these cracks from appearing...
2021-3-4
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SengFeng
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julienlife Posted at 3-4 07:56
I also had this thought after I noticed the cracks on my first defective drone. Therefore I was really VERY VERY precautious and careful at inserting the battery when I got my replacement drone. I then always held the drone body with my hand and inserted the battery while holding it.

It lasted for about 6 flights, same cracks, same issue and now I have my third replacement drone.

Ugh, not good.  I'll keep an eye on mine.  Maybe some of them got a bad batch of plastic that was overly brittle. (Looked mine over good - no cracks.  Bought it in January, so only about 5 or 6 flights on it so far, all over 20F for temp)
2021-3-4
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Ninja63
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SengFeng Posted at 3-4 08:20
Ugh, not good.  I'll keep an eye on mine.  Maybe some of them got a bad batch of plastic that was overly brittle. (Looked mine over good - no cracks.  Bought it in January, so only about 5 or 6 flights on it so far, all over 20F for temp)

Ok so i just had to replace my MA2 today ,my last one bought 9 months ago ,no cracks at all ,always had a decal girl skin on it but checked it out before i returned it to the store today.
i noticed the replacement top shell that is cracking on people is a slightly different color and texture ,i wonder if DJI have changed this in the manufacture ? i will try and get some pics in the daylight tomorrow.
i noticed it as soon as i took it out the box.
2021-3-4
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JimDandy
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djiuser_1wTon8iocrCu Posted at 1-7 05:27
I have the same issue on my MA2 after only a couple of flights, no crashes and no rough landings.  If DJI will not honor this as a free repair for a weak mold design or a manufacturing defect, there is no way I will send it back to get charged their $65 quote fee.  Shame that they feel that denial is the way to treat their customers for their issue...

[view_image]

If you are under the 90 day window, Send it back for refund or replacement. Tell the whiz kidz at DJI to quit over tightening the screws in the body. ( causing the cracking IMHO ).
2021-3-5
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JimDandy
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JohnLietzke Posted at 1-12 10:11
I strongly disagree that the stress cracks are the result of quality control.  The small cracks vertically along the body's protruding edges appear to be from pressure or compression along the side of the body.  Injection molded ABS type plastic is known for cracking when pressure is applied to smaller areas where the distribution of pressure is not possible.  The cracks have not continued to speed because of the honeycomb reenforced structure on the bottom of housing.  

Thus, it is probably had something heavy the was pressing on the protruding edge.

John, They are from quality, not quality control but the quality of the plastic. DJI had this same problem with the shells on the phantom 3, all models. I owned the P3 advanced and took impeccable care of it. The shell cracked on all 4 motor mounts. People who are a lot smarter than me determined it was over tightening of the screws. Might be the same here with the MA2. The issue was so huge, that 3 party companies manufactured aluminum motor mounts to install "over" the cracked shell to hold it together. I bought a set because DJI was no help. Just letting you know this is a known issue, and I believe these guys when they say they haven't had any hard landings or bumps. I lived it. I would have thought DJI's Quality of plastics would have received an update since the Phantom 3 series..... guess not. Don't believe me, google phantom 3 motor mounts for sale.
2021-3-5
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JohnLietzke
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JimDandy Posted at 3-5 02:07
John, They are from quality, not quality control but the quality of the plastic. DJI had this same problem with the shells on the phantom 3, all models. I owned the P3 advanced and took impeccable care of it. The shell cracked on all 4 motor mounts. People who are a lot smarter than me determined it was over tightening of the screws. Might be the same here with the MA2. The issue was so huge, that 3 party companies manufactured aluminum motor mounts to install "over" the cracked shell to hold it together. I bought a set because DJI was no help. Just letting you know this is a known issue, and I believe these guys when they say they haven't had any hard landings or bumps. I lived it. I would have thought DJI's Quality of plastics would have received an update since the Phantom 3 series..... guess not. Don't believe me, google phantom 3 motor mounts for sale.

JimDandy,

I appreciate the information.  In regards to the information about previous models and over tightened screws that makes sense and is a very interesting issue.

Based on a reasonable analysis the most like culprit of the cracks would be from hyperextending the arms.  But, I assume that the majority operators avoid doing this.  DJI would simply claim the cracks are a result of poor judgment and user error.  But that scenario seems unlikely to be so pervasive.  Therefore, another logical explanation has to be posed.

I do not believe the cracks were caused by hard landings or bumps.  The location and orientation of the cracks are not consistent with that scenario.  My hypothesis is that the cracks are a result of lateral compression of the body during storage or transportation.  As the cracks appear to start on the protruding appendages which are weaker in both plastic density and structural size they would be more subject to damage from pressure.

Your information leads to another potential explanation,  that some of the parts were not manufactured to the exact specifications and when anchoring the screws in place pressure is created that is relieved by the upper body cracking.  The edge appendages would most likely place pressure cracks would start at.

I agree that DJI should have foreseen that issue and designed a more comprehensive reinforcement matrix in those weaker areas.   
2021-3-5
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DaMa
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SengFeng Posted at 3-4 07:44
I have a theory - unproven as of yet, but seems plausible.  With the way the drone is built, the weight rests on the back of the body, and the front is supported by the extended front legs.  If you insert the battery with the drone sitting on the ground/table/etc, each time you push down, there's going to be extra force exerted on the front leg mounts.

The first time I took my MA2 out of the bag, I noticed that was something of a potential design/function flaw - I've always held the body of the drone in my hand when snapping the battery in.  It wouldn't surprise me that a large number of people simply set the drone down, push the battery in (pushing to make sure the buttons click in place), and over time, get some stress fractures in the housing.

I absolutely agree with you...
2021-3-5
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Rustic17
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SengFeng Posted at 3-4 07:44
I have a theory - unproven as of yet, but seems plausible.  With the way the drone is built, the weight rests on the back of the body, and the front is supported by the extended front legs.  If you insert the battery with the drone sitting on the ground/table/etc, each time you push down, there's going to be extra force exerted on the front leg mounts.

The first time I took my MA2 out of the bag, I noticed that was something of a potential design/function flaw - I've always held the body of the drone in my hand when snapping the battery in.  It wouldn't surprise me that a large number of people simply set the drone down, push the battery in (pushing to make sure the buttons click in place), and over time, get some stress fractures in the housing.

I think you are right about inserting batteries with the MA2 on the ground...just noticed this after reading this thread.
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2021-3-5
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