This post corrects some earlier mis-information concerning repair and replacement of Panasonic recorders. The most current, correct information was provided by Breyean at the AVS Forum:
The corporate Panasonic Digital Service Center in Elk Grove Village Illinois promptly and efficiently handles warranty and out-of-warranty repairs for Panasonic HDD/DVD recorders, DVD recorders and combo recorders. They and only they are Panasonic experts with access to the parts necessary to bring a Panasonic recorder back to new or better than new functional condition.
For service/repair within the warranty period call Panasonic Customer Service at 1-800-211-7262. If Customer Service determines that your recent or current model recorder requires replacement/exchange with the same or a similar model refurbished recorder they will provide you with a confirmation/RMA and shipping information for the Panasonic Customer Service Center in McAllen Texas. For exchanging out of warranty products Customer Service will provide a product exchange quotation that includes return shipping from McAllen Texas. The McAllen Texas facility does not repair recorders; the McAllen facility is for product exchanges only.
Do not allow Customer Service to talk you into taking your Panasonic to a local repair shop. If necessary, insist upon service/repair at the Panasonic Digital Service Center in Elk Grove Village Illinois, or product exchange through the Panasonic Customer Service Center in McAllen Texas.
Panasonic continues to offer an out-of-warranty $130 flat-repair for recorders. The flat-rate includes all parts and labor and return shipping from their facility in Elk Grove Village Illinois. Call 1-888-439-2676 for more information concerning the $130 flat-rate repair and the shipping procedure for out-of-warranty products. The $130 flat-rate repair is a bargain that extends the useful life of desirable or high end models, especially those with hard drives.
This is the corporate Panasonic Digital Service Center information:
Panasonic Digital Service Center
1590 Touhy Ave
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Some Panasonic owners have reported it necessary to insist upon the $130 flat-rate repair in order to initiate that process. Some Panasonic owners have found it necessary to return their recorder without a Return Authorization. If Panasonic attempts to have you to agree to an "estimate," then any work will be performed at the full price for parts and labor, potentially a very expensive repair. The flat-rate is exactly that, your total cost will be $130.
In the event that Panasonic implements the flat-rate repair process through a telephone contact they may take your credit card information and charge the $130 up front or after the machine has been received. In that case they may provide, through an email or fax, a Return Authorization with shipping information or an emailed link to a bar code for use at an UPS Store.
For warranty or out-of-warranty repair be sure to use the original Panasonic packaging or provide your own packaging to avoid shipping complications at the UPS store. (Another CD Freaks poster reported that shipping through the "Panasonic Account" could not be used if it was necessary to purchase packaging at the UPS store.)
With your Panasonic recorder include a letter that briefly describes the recorder's problem(s). That letter should clearly state that you want the $130 flat-rate repair and that you are enclosing the $130 payment. Keep photocopies of all these documents and your check/money order.
Avoid local repair shops. These shops may service many brands, specializing in none. They many not have a service manual or access to the correct parts for your Panasonic recorder. Local shops may charge whatever they please to service or repair Panasonic recorders. If parts are necessary be prepared to wait for an extended period. Some parts may no longer be ordered by local shops. I have read many posts (on this and other forums) from those learning this lesson the hard way.