With your hard drive model the flat-rate repair at the corporate Panasonic Service Center in Elk Grove Village IL will always be the best deal unless you do the repair yourself.
DVD drives may be swapped between Panasonics of the same model year. Two of my DMR-ES15 DVD Recorders have DVD drives swapped from two of my DMR-ES35V combo recorder “parts machines” that had good DVD drives. DVD drive controller circuit boards, the brains of a Panasonic, are common between these and probably other 2006 model year Panasonics. (The DVD drive controller circuit board is part number is VEP79132. Panasonic had this part listed on their parts website for a brief time, priced well over $200, while I purchased my two DMR-ES35V parts machines for $15.29 and $17.00, including shipping. Both parts machines had good DVD drives and DVD drive controller boards.) If replacing the DVD drive controller circuit board model-specific firmware might have to be run if this board is swapped between different models. I have thirteen functional Panasonics from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 model years. I have swapped a variety of parts between the 2006 models and the two 2006 model parts machines, made a variety of repairs (mainly replacing capacitors and mini-switches) and made some other adjustments in order to keep out-of-warranty Panasonics functional during an extensive selective dubbing project for my twenty years of home-recorded videotapes, about 5,200 titles. My six most heavily used Panasonics average more than 3,000 recording hours per machine. One 2005 model, a DMR-ES30V combo recorder, has more than 4,200 recording hours. All these “high mileage” Panasonics are fully functional to this day.
The following information has been posted before but the street name in the address was spelled wrong, now corrected:
The corporate Panasonic Service Center in Elk Grove Village IL handles warranty and out of warranty repairs in a prompt and efficient manner.
For Panasonic warranty service, call 1-800-211-7262 to obtain a RMA.
Panasonic also offers out of warranty flat-rate repairs for $130.00, including shipping. Call 1-888-439-2676 for the flat-rate out of warranty service at the corporate Panasonic Service Center:
Panasonic Service Center
1590 Touhy Ave
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Local “Panasonic Authorized Service” locations service many brands, specializing in none. They many not have a service manual or parts for your product. They may charge whatever they please to service or repair out of warranty products. If parts are needed prepare to wait for an extended period.
Other posters have reported that local “Panasonic Authorized Service” locations have been unable to effect repairs. I have not read similar complaints concerning the corporate Panasonic Service Center in Illinois.