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Carnival Corp. sues Rolls-Royce over QM2 propulsion problems

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On December - 4 - 2008

On Wednesday, Carnival Corporation, parent company of Cunard Line, filed a lawsuit against Rolls-Royce and Converteam citing continuing problems with the Mermaid propulsion pods installed on Queen Mary 2.

At its launch in 2004, Queen Mary 2 became the first passenger ship to be driven by four pods. However, shortly after the vessel started operations issues started occuring that forced the ship to be drydocked much sooner than planned.

In it’s lawsuit Carnival cites numerous problems including cracking in the pod bearings and exciter frames, electrical arcing and failures of the damper bars. Additionally, the company stated that one thrust bearing failed after less than a year in operation.

The QM2 is not the first vessel with these issues. Royal Caribbean Cruises International took legal action for similar problems with the Mermaid pods on Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium-class vessels. Carnival’s lawsuit claims the company was “misled” into believing that it was buying a more advanced pod system than the ones experiencing problems on the Millennium-class vessels.

Carnival cited that Rolls-Royce and Converteam represented that the bearing lifetimes in the QM2 pods would equate to a minimum of 15 to 20 years. The reality is that QM2’s bearings are being changed at least every three years. The problems are costing Cunard plenty with the ship being taken out of service much more than planned they are suing for damages in excess of $100 million.

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