Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) self propel motor failure & repair report

After four months of ownership, around 40 hours of usage, the self propel motor unit on my Ego 21″ Self-propelled electric lawnmower (Model LM2100SP) failed. Before this failure I was very happy with its performance, and although it was repaired under warranty, the procedure took longer than I think was reasonable.

Ever since I purchased the mower, I have been monitoring the Ego community forums, and I knew that reaching a customer support representative would sometimes take extended hold times, and I had heard that taking a mower to Home Depot for repair could be an extended procedure, so when my self propel motor failed, I was relatively well prepared on how to handle the situation.

August 29th, 2017 – The self propel motor fails. I finish mowing my front lawn pushing the mower by hand (which makes me realize that paying extra for the model with the self propel motor was the right choice.)

August 30th, 2017 Time to call customer support. After re-charging the battery, and letting the mower sit overnight to cool, I tested it again (yep, still no motion) and then called Ego customer support early in the morning (to avoid a long wait on hold.). I only had to wait a few minutes on hold, and then a helpful customer support representative walked me through a few simple questions (yes, my mower blade would turn on and spin, so the battery was good, and the folding handle interlocks were correctly latched, etc…) to verify that the drive motor had actually failed.  After that, she “made a note in my file” and told me to take it to Home Depot.

What I wish she had told me: 1. Home depot will charge you a $20 deposit, just to look at the mower (and you authorize up to $150 worth of repairs upon drop-off). They will refund this deposit to you if the work is covered under warranty (mine was).  2. You can only take the mower to a Home Depot that has a tool rental / repair clinic (call first to check). 3. The Home Depot repair clinic doesn’t have their own EGO batteries for testing, so be sure to leave your battery in the mower. [This makes sense in hindsight, but I was hesitant to leave 7.5 AH battery that costs $400 to replace at HD, so this required me to make a second trip back to HD with the battery a few days later.]

Also, after talking with her I received an email from Ego that stated my “case had been closed” (this is the case associated with the phone call to Ego only…but the wording of the message didn’t inspire confidence.)

Because I had heard horror stories about the Home Depot repair clinic taking a long time to repair EGO mowers, I made sure I called them every week to check on the status of my mower, just to make sure it hadn’t fallen into any cracks. I also posted an update every Monday on the ego customer forums, which may have also helped things behind the scenes.

Sep 18th 2017: They are still checking on the mower, but the HD technician felt that they could repair it locally instead of shipping the mower to Atlanta.

Sep 25th 2017: In progress, waiting on a part which usually takes a week or two (presumably the motor/gearbox unit).

October 2nd 2017: HD is still waiting on the part.  [After this update to the Ego community forum, April from EGO said that they were tracking the shipment and that the part should be arriving at the HD store within a few days.]

October 9th 2017: HD claims to still be waiting on the part.  [I mentioned this on the Ego community forum.]

Finally, on Thursday night (Oct 11th), Home Depot calls me to tell me the mower is ready for pickup. Because the home depot with the repair clinic  is 12 miles away from me, I delay pickup until Saturday.

So, it took Home Depot / Ego about five weeks to get my mower repaired, and this was with me keeping on top of Home Depot and making sure that Ego knew what was happening at each step. Reading several other reports on the ego community forum makes me believe that my experience was actually on the faster side of things, as 8-10 week delays are not unheard of if the mower gets shipped to Atlanta for repairs.  I paid $180 to a lawncare company and took a break from mowing my yard, but there are at least three other options to keep mowing if you find yourself in this situation.

Take advantage of Home Depot’s 90 day return policy

Many others in the Ego forums have bought another Ego lawnmower and used it while theirs was in for repair, returning it under HD’s 90 day return policy once their mower was repaired. I felt that this action would be ethically questionable, but after waiting five weeks for HD to repair my mower, my ethical resolve is beginning to weaken, and should the mower fail again, I will seriously consider this option.

Buy a second mower

I did consider buying a second Ego mower (and keeping it), mostly as a way to purchase a second 7.5 Ah battery (it is almost as cheap to buy the battery and mower together as to buy just the battery, plus you get a “hot spare” mower). Other than the fact that you have to store the 2nd mower, this does have certain advantages. If one mower fails, you can just switch over to using the second mower while the first is in for repair. And, you get the advantage of having twice as many batteries and chargers.  Unfortunately,  at the time Home Depot was not offering the same $50 discount on the mower as when I initially purchased mine, otherwise I may have done this.  [My wife points out the questionable logic of using the failure of a product to justify the purchase of a duplicate of the same product…]

Burn hydrocarbons

Of course, you could also buy a cheap used gas mower and several gallons of gas for less than the $180 that I paid for lawn care service, and probably be able to resell it at almost the same price you paid when finished.

Final Recommendation

Due to the fact that my self propel motor failed after 4 months of ownership, combined with a 5 week repair time, I can’t recommend the EGO electric mower to everyone. At least with a gas mower your options for repair are numerous and much faster. However, if you have decided that you will be going with an electric mower, I still think that the Ego line has the best performance. (I have also posted a review of the mower.) I also own the hand-held leaf blower and chainsaw from their Power+ line, and have been quite happy with them.

Update:
The new self propel unit installed by Home Depot  failed again (after 9 more months of usage) but I’m much happier with how Ego handled the warranty repair (via a direct replacement), which you can read about here.

2nd Update: Ego has started to produce updated 21″ SP models that have a new self propel unit that matches the one found in their dual battery (premium) mowers. Look for a picture of a phone on the box (see this video for details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtLkT5X4MQw )

16 thoughts on “Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) self propel motor failure & repair report

  1. Pingback: Ego 21″ Self Propelled 56 volt Power plus lawnmower review | Jay's Technical Talk

  2. Outstanding description of the same problem that just happened to me. I will follow his advise. Fortunately I’ve keep my old Honda mower, that can limp along until the Ego 21 is repaired.

    thank you so much, great description and advise.

  3. Good summation–in my case I was able to talk HD into swapping out the broken mower for a new one. I have not tried to the new one yet-hopefully it will be fine.

  4. Did you happen to notice any “warning signs” before the motor failed? I purchased mine in June of 2017, used it several times during the summer/early fall 2017 mowing season, pulled it out for the first mow of 2018 in early May, and noticed that the motor sounds a bit off, not sure how to describe the sound, but it seems to me like it needs some grease/oil in the gears, like they’re rusty or something. (sorry, wish I were better with words). Also, it seems to run slower (in terms of movement, the blade seems no different than when it was new.) Could be nothing, or my imagination, but I feel if I keep using it, it will soon fail completely, and that “feeling” led me to search to see if others had experienced the same issues.

    • I don’t remember any warning signs before it stopped working. It was powering along fine, I released the handle and pivoted the mower to a new direction, and when I pushed it back in nothing happened. It MIGHT have slowed down right near the end before I released the handle, but if it did it was only for a second before the total failure.

  5. I have some input on this thread that, as a Home Depot repair technician can help shed some light on the repair procedures. Some repairs can take as little as a single day, while others can take weeks or even months. The reason? We have a “batting order” that we must follow concerning all repairs in the store. In the tool rental department, we have to work on fleet (rental) equipment first, customer-owned equipment comes next, and finally, store-owned (returned equipment). There are a million factors that can determine your repair time, not just a few but I will list some common ones. If you bring something in for repair during a “busy” season, chances are there are a lot of fleet/rental units that need repaired before your unit can even be touched. There may be several other customer owned units in for repair that were brought in before yours. Usually we try our very best to give you some sort of lead time as to when we will be able to evaluate your unit and, should the need arise, how long it might take if it has to be sent to the main repair center for extensive repairs. Most HD Tool Rentals only have 1 repair technician. This person is solely responsible for maintaining hundreds of fleet/rental units, as well as, customer owned and store owned units. It may not be the best situation for the customer at all times but we do our best to take care of them in the timeliest manner possible. We only charge $18.95 evaluation fee that is refunded if the tool is covered under warranty. The maximum repair limit without contacting customers for approval is $100, not $150 as stated above. I just wanted to give a little further insight as to the repair process because I feel the original poster was a bit misleading and did not know all of the factors involved in a single repair. As for mowers, I would personally never buy an electric mower period. The best buys are anything with a Honda engine! Disclaimer: NOTHING SAID HERE REPRESENTS THE HOME DEPOT

    • Thanks for your explanatory comment. I’m sure that the service technicians work hard and do good work given the constraints they are under. (I don’t believe I ever talked with the actual Tech, just the front desk guys.) I’m relatively sure that the paperwork I signed (Orlando FL) said up to $150 without approval, but I could be mistaken and perhaps it was only $100.

  6. Well, I can’t help but add my experience(s) as well. My self propel motoer died after just 6 lawn mowing uses. It gave no hint of failure, it was working fine one second and the next nothing. It required a 2.5 hr. wait for Ego cust. srvc. to call back. I had to take it to a HD with tool rental/repair. I dropped it off and two weeks later called to find out the good/bad news. They had to send it out to AZ for repair and it left on 5/30. On 6/28, I called the HD repair number Ego provided to check on it. “Still in transit” I was told! How can it be still in transit for 4 weeks I asked? I was to find out the next day that it had been lost in transit and that I was to be given a HD money card for the amount paid. The good news is that it’s now $100 less than I paid. The bad news is that I have to decide whether it’s a really bad mower or my typical consumer karma at work. Also, I’d put a high-lift bagging blade on it for $20 and it was on it when I turned it in. They are supposed to compensate me but we’ll see.
    Also, the warranty manager at HD in Atlanta, GA., admitted that they need to find a better way to keep track of these when they ship them for repair! Ya think!!
    So, now I ave to decide……..give it another try or take my $$ and buy a Honda.

  7. I had a similar situation with a couple of twists – My complaint (albeit not as well documented):
    After one season of satisfactory performance, the throttle on my self propelled mower is stuck at 100%. I have a hilly yard and this issue results in an unevenly mowed lawn and a poor overall mowing experience. When I first called EGO, I was told to take it into Home Depot for service and warned by EGO rep that I may be told by HD that it may be 4-6 weeks. He said that it usually would not actually take this long and I should call EGO back if HD holds to that timeline. When I called back in to EGO, I was told that 4-6 weeks is an accurate estimation and expectation of service timeline. When I complained about experience and service lead time, I was told my case would be “escalated” to which I received a confirmation email. I subsequently received a call from HD saying that they were not equipped to fix the issue and my mower would need to be sent out of state where I would now have to wait 9 weeks to get my mower back. I’ve had very few issues w/my previous mowers and when I did, had reasonable repair lead times. What do I do for nine weeks? I didn’t pay $500 for a mower to pay someone else to cut my lawn. I feel that if EGO is going to sell a product nationally, there should be an adequate service network in place.
    Post update: when I picked up my (not repaired) lawn mower, The console was not properly screwed back in and as a result of not noticing this right away, I lost at least one screw. I submitted this review on EGO’s community website which, after EGO reviewed and required editing, was accepted, confirmed and subsequently removed. Also, although I have a case # and documentation, my account is showing no cases when I log in.

  8. Pingback: Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) 2nd self propel motor failure & repair report | Jay's Technical Talk

  9. Hello all.
    I purchased a Power+ 21″ Self-Propelled Mower with 7.5Ah battery and rapid charger
    Product:
    NLM04170317392
    and, the same thing. worked for a season then the self-propelled started to only work in slow mode. I did all the recommended lubrication, battery’s (I have 2) both work in my other EGO products and both draw the same results in the mower.
    EGO said to bring it back to Home Depot for repair. I did. After paying the next door neighbor over a $120 to mow my lawn for 6 weeks. Yes, 6 weeks!
    The mower came back still not repaired. Same issue. This is nuts. I’m on hold with them now for 26 minutes so far. I’ll keep you updated

  10. Update from May 28th 2019 at 8:52 am…..

    So I had EGO on the phone and explained the issue AND the lack of repair issue I had at Home Depot. They checked out out while I was on hold then came back and said the were sending me out a new mower. Said I should have it within a week to 10 days.

    I’m satisfied with EGO.

  11. I’ve had my EGO Self-propelled mower for a year now and the self-propelled function is stuck on the fastest speed. After hearing the nightmares of trying to get it fixed I will probably just live with it and push it. Too bad though because it really is a nice mower and better than gas.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I use the fastest speed for my lawn (it’s a big lawn) but agree that it’s a quite brisk walk and some people may not want that much exercise! My suspicion is the issue is with the sensor in the handle of the mower (or a broken wire?) and it might be easier to fix than a full Self Propel unit failure. You may consider taking it in for repair in the winter when it’s not the mowing season depending upon your location.

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