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Nikon USA will fix the dust/oil issue in all D600 cameras for free (even if out of warranty)

Nikon-D600-bw-top
Who said class action lawsuits do not work? Just few hours after I reported that the first D600 class action lawsuit was filed in California federal court, Nikon USA published a new technical service advisory where they announced a free cleaning and free shutter replacement for all D600 owners, even those with expired warranty. You can send your camera even if you do not have a problem. To schedule your service, go to this website. My only concern is that this advisory is valid only for the US, hopefully other Nikon subsidiaries will follow. Update: Nikon Japan, Nikon ChinaNikon Canada and other subsidiaries have also issued similar service advisories - this is global fix.

New Nikon D600 cameras are still available on Amazon for slightly over $1,500. Check also the refurbished D600 prices on eBay.

Here is the full text of the service advisory:

Technical Service Advisory for Users of the Nikon D600 Digital SLR Camera

Affected Products:
Nikon D600 Digital SLR Cameras

Some users of Nikon’s D600 D-SLR camera have reported the appearance of tiny spots on certain of their images. Not all users have experienced this issue. Nikon has thoroughly evaluated these reports and has determined that these spots are caused by dust particles which may become visible when the camera is used in certain circumstances and/or with certain settings. It is a well-known fact that the presence of dust particles cannot be completely avoided when using a D-SLR camera even after normal sensor cleaning procedures, because of a number of factors including components moving at high speeds when images are taken, the use of interchangeable lenses, and the different environments in which a D-SLR camera may be used. As part of its customer-service commitment, Nikon is providing a customer-service measure to reduce the potential impact of dust particles on images taken by its D600 D-SLR cameras.

The solution: Nikon is making available to all owners of D600 cameras (even if Nikon’s product warranty has expired) this customer-service measure, which includes the inspection, cleaning and replacement of the shutter assembly and related parts of your camera, FREE OF CHARGE as well as the cost of shipping D600 cameras to Nikon and their return to customers. Once again, please understand that regardless of this service, your D600 camera as is the case with all D-SLR cameras, will continue to require normal periodic sensor cleanings.

To have your D600 camera serviced free of charge please follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Schedule Free Service link below.
  2. On the following pages, you will need to provide the serial number of your D600 camera and your contact information.
  3. Then, you will be prompted to create and print your Pre-paid UPS Return label and packing slip.
  4. In shipping, please secure the D600 camera in a plastic bag inside the shipping box with several inches of quality packing material on all sides of the D600 camera. Please send your D600 camera and packing slip only. Do not include any lenses, batteries, memory cards or other accessories. Please do not ship in the original display box (It will not be returned)
  5. Drop the shipping box off at any UPS facility. (Visit https://www.ups.com/dropoff for hours and locations.) You may also arrange to have your shipment collected by a UPS driver.

Nikon will notify you by email when your D600 has been received at Nikon’s repair center. Nikon will notify you by email when the service is complete and ship your D600 back to you free of charge via UPS Ground.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused. Nikon remains committed to providing only the highest quality cameras and components, and we hope that you will continue to choose Nikon for your photography needs.

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  • T53

    Well I dropped my D600 off to UPS yesterday. I had pre-ordered it before it was released. If I learned anything from this sorry episode it was never to pre-order a camera or buy one new. A 24-120mm f/4 lens lived on this camera from the day I got it and the dust issues just kept on coming so rather than relegate the camera to pricey paperweight status, I sent it in. I don’t have any expectations that Nikon will truly fix it but miracles do happen. I’m no engineer but it struck me that perhaps stuffing that full frame sensor with all its guts into such a small body is the problem. We’ll probably never really know. Meantime, the DF with its 16mp sensor is looking pretty good…If only the price would come down a bit.

  • http://www.gobotog.com/ GoboTog

    man i was just about to pay for a cleaning (and have them see if they needed to replace the shutter) before they announced this, PHEW!

  • Mojokielbasa

    And it only took a class action lawsuit to get this company to have customer service. So glad you care about us now Nikon…but I dont believe you.

  • Andya1

    Anyone know if the shutter replacement will increase the shutter speed on the D600?

    • Harry

      nope. Still clocks at about 5.5fps. I just got mine (second time) with the shutter fix. In my opinion, I believe Nikon does not have a fix. They are just hoping that a certain number of shutter replacements will fix it (much like a code change that masks a reset issue due to a memory shift!). In my case, unfortunately, it hasn’t worked. I am working with Nikon to have them refund my money.

      • Andya1

        How long ago did you get your camera back the second time?

        • Harry
          • Andya1

            I’m going to be very upset if my camera comes back and I start shooting birds and I have spots again.

            • Harry

              if you shoot reasonably shallow, you will probably be okay (which has always been the case). The number of spots doesn’t seem to abate at all. All I have done since I got the camera from NIkon is put it under test instead of taking real pictures and it is frustrating. Its demoralizing to go out and shoot knowing what I know with my camera. Did you get a chance to see the shots I posted.

            • Andya1

              Yeah, I sure did. Not very heartening. All the pics I took of birds overhead are spotted. ALl the cloud shots and sunsets are messed up. The head shots I have are all pretty much okay. The portraits really are spectacular. I absolutely love the camera…save the freakin’ spots.

            • Andya1

              I just want my D600, I still love the camera.

            • Ptluzzi59

              I don’t know you but after reading several of your posts i can see that you want the 610 for your 600. you get your camera back and all you do is shot 4k shots at a white wall instead of enjoying the camera and shooting other things other than a white wall set to inf at f29 lol!!! I think Nikon knows there are people out there that never saw a problem but read about it and now want a new upgraded camera for free and from reading your posts i feel you may be one of them!

            • prairiewinters

              When you have lost confidence in a product and they tell you that they have fixed it, of course you are going to check their quality. This is not the messenger problem, this is Nikon’s. No sense in announcing a fix and then not have it solve the problem. Nikon has already permanently devalued the camera in the used market. I am not switching but I am very disappointed in Nikon’s execution lately.

  • Gavin

    A question… so what happens to the Class Action now? Does that still stay in place?

    I am skeptical of this anyways. I sent my D600 into NPS for a replacement shutter, as they billed me for, about 6 months ago. about 3000 shots later the problem was worse than it was before. They changed my faulty shutter with another faulty shutter? How do I know they arent going to do this again?

    So my question, is this even a good idea to send it in? Im almost wondering if sending it in and having them clean it admits a fix and removes me from the Class Action?

    Bottom line, I would rather have a working camera than another spotty sensor in a month. Will a 3rd shutter fix it?

    • Harry

      My experience has been the same as yours. I do not believe sending in your camera itself (as a result of this service bulletin) removes you from the class-action. In fact, it could make it stronger because chances are the fix does not work. The fact that they charged you for a replacement knowing of a problem probably makes you even a primary candidate :).
      I have said this too many times like a broken record but I feel strongly about it. NIKON DOES NOT HAVE A FIX. THEY ARE SIMPLY BUYING TIME. It appears that the issue has to do with two parts, not one (shitter as I “lovingly call it now!). The part (although I do not know what it is) is probably designed into the body in such a way that it cannot be replaced. This is what warranted a 610, IMO. Attached is a cropped image after I received the camera on Thursday.

      • Gavin

        Wow! That is after you got it back from their “repair”?

        • Harry

          yeap. The second one. Received it on Feb 27 (the day the service bulletin was released). Has been in my basement with a 24-85mm lens on since shooting a wall with white paper pinned on with board pins. This was at 85mm, focus at infinity and f/29. About 4K+ shots.

    • Greg Heller

      I have talked to the folks at Zimmerman Reed and they assured me that even with this latest service advisory they are going full steam ahead. They said it was a great gesture on Nikon’s part but going on the current track record too many people have sent their D600′s in multiple times without them being fixed and they feel that the need for Nikon to make things right for everyone is too great. They also assured me that sending my camera in for this service advisory would have no effect on being part of the Class Action lawsuit.

  • Yoshi

    Hmm, the cost of replacing all those shutters and as well as paying a big lawsuit might spell disaster to an ailing Nikon. I want them to learn a lesson not go belly up..

    • Harry

      how do we know they are really replacing the shutter? I am not suspicious, just asking. My shutter count has not been reset, so I have no way of knowing. Plus they wont do it on all cameras they receive, I have heard.

  • Ken

    I just received my D600 back, it’s second time in for dust/oil spots.
    Just prior to Nikon sending out the second service advisory above.

    On it’s first service, they replaced the shutter mechanism, cleaned and checked it. This service occurred 1 month before the D610 announcement.

    Less than 400 shots later, the problem returned.
    On the second service, they only cleaned the sensor and did routine checks.

    Unfortunately, the service letters do not offer enough explanation or assurance on whether the problem has been fixed. I have also asked their service reps for more information on this. Was it replaced with a redesigned shutter etc? Without more details, I am not confident this issue has been resolved. Nikon needs to be more transparent on this.

  • Md camera buff

    I am glad to see this happening. My d600 was sent in and repaired last year and it just went back with similar, disturbing dust patterns on the left side. I am very disappointed in how Nikon is handling this. It lends credence to the saying that the coverup is worse than the crime. In this case, they should have gotten out in front do this right away.

  • Karl Lindsay

    Nikon Australia has issued the same notice. I sent mine off this morning.

  • Ed

    Just got my D600 back from the service advisory. All they did was check a few things and clean the sensor……………..what a waste. FYI my D600 had been back to Nikon 3 times before the advisory and in each case they replaced the shutter. Unfortunately the camera was never really fixed. Same shutter, same problem. As far as I’m concerned the fight is not over.

    • Harry

      Join the club :). Make some noise which is what I have been doing,
      Here is the latest “image” with the latest shitter :), although mine has only been replaced twice.
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5inrlzjY8ISSEpBRHNoWkNXX00/edit?usp=sharing

    • Harry

      Not sure where my previous comment went. I am at 2 shitter replacements and they both continue the trend. I have been making a lot of noise. Hopefully I can get a refund.

  • Harry

    So got an email from David Dentry stating that “my images seem to illustrate a continuing problem” and subsequently requesting that I return the camera for “further inspection” and “continued cooperation”.

    I was so pissed, that I wrote the following letter (abridged…):

    1. When I had sent my camera in the second time, I had requested that it be replaced or refunded. There was no communication whatsoever until I took it to twitter. All I was told was that my camera was being shipped back.The letter I sent (a copy of which is attached) was simply ignored. When I insisted, the CSR made an audacious statement. “We are fixing it as part of the service bulletin. If after you receive the camera back and still have the same problem, we will consider a refund or a replacement with D610″. So now I have shown beyond doubt that the issue exists. So do what you promised. Why are you requesting continued cooperation from me? I seriously thought that you had finally found a fix to the proble, but it appears it was simply a reaction to the class-action lawsuit.

    2. There are consumer protection laws that address such issues. Given the gravity of this issue, it appears unfortunate (for lack of a better word), that Nikon shows such high-handed behavior and request further cooperation.

    3. As I had previously stated, my line of work requires me to work closely with customer issues. When I am involved in fixing an issue, it gets fixed right the first time. Is it inappropriate to expect the same from Nikon? May I ask what it is that your technicians will do this time around that they did not previously? Does it take a Sr. General Manager’s intervention for your technicians to do their job? I hope not. Given that, what is the potential new outcome? A replay, no matter how you cut and slice it, will give you the same result. In other words, why did Nikon not get it right the first time. Did Nikon not know how to fix the issue? That is probably understandable the first time. How about the second time? Why do I have to be on the receving end for Nikon’s incompetence? Is it possible that the shutter was replaced on paper only? I ask because the nature of spotting appears to be identical to the first and second attempts.

    4. As much as Nikon is in, everyone’s opinion, denial, fact is that this manufacturuing defect is real and made obvious from the fact that I merely took the body cap out and replaced with a 24-85mm lens that is manufactured by Nikon as well and continued shooting my favorite subject matter in the last 5 months.

    5. In the last 5 months, again, the only photos I have taken are that of a wall with a piece of paper and some board pins. I love shooting landscape, architecture and my kids. How long do you expect me to continue this “test” phase?

    6. When I go out on a vacation, chances are pretty small that we will visit that place again. I need the peace of mind that I would be able to take pictures that I know are not “spotted” (which is how a significant number of pictures from thailand turned out to be). I have hence been postponing my vacation for the last 5 months as a result. Would you be willing to tell me how long this has to continue?

    7. In trying to validate that the camera has been fixed (which obviously isn’t), I have expended about 10% of its rated life. After an inspection/repair, chances are I would potentially expend another 10% before I take it out to do some real photography. Explain to me exactly why this is fair to me? A camera that is out of warranty that has expended 20% of its life simply by testing it for no fault of mine? While you might argue that the shutter has been replaced, there are other moving parts, isn’t it?

    8. Given that this is no D4s or D800, I am sure trade-offs were made to bring it under the price-point. Nothing wrong with that and I personally deal with such situations everyday. What is important is that the right compromises are made. Not ones that ruin customer experience. The “spotting” is definitely one of them.

    Effectively, how do you expect my continued cooperation when an ETA to this issue has not even been well-established (as if 5 months weren’t long enough) when a much simpler solution is available that will result in customer delight (refund the money or replace it with a D610).

    I received the UPS label and thanks for that. I have no issues returning the camera for sure but I do not want this game to continue because all it has managed to do is increase my frustration levels. Please keep it. I do not want it back. I sincerely request you again to refund my money. I am not even asking that you compensate me for the lost time. I will wait until you respond before I send my camera.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Harish Natarahjan

  • Saptan

    My D600 is given for the free service with Nikon Canada. It will take around 2 weeks for me to get it returned, they are waiting for the replacement parts. As an early D600 owner, I feel sad, who will pay for the price drop?

    • Quigz

      2 weeks unlikely based on my experience… I sent mine in Feb.18 to the Vancouver Canada service location for a shutter replacement. I found out today that they didn’t order the parts from Japan until yesterday! Now they’re telling me it’s gonna be another 3 weeks for the parts to arrive before they can even start the repairs. Horrible customer service!!!

      • Quigz

        Just heard back from Nikon with an explanation for the delay. Apparently the procedure being done post service advisory release is different from what was done prior to Feb.25th. The delay was because they had to change the procedure for repairing my camera shortly after I sent it in. Apparently this new procedure is more comprehensive than what they did prior to Feb.25 and is expected to 100% fix the issue!

  • Greg Heller

    I received my D600 back from Nikon today and all they did was clean the sensor, took about 50 shots, and sent it back. When I bought it in January it was a refurbed unit the sensor was filthy out of the box with one spot that was visible with the naked eye, That one did not blow off, some of the spots did. There was no explanation that they could not find anything wrong with my shutter, or that perhaps it already had the new shutter assembly in it; nope nothing at all. So perhaps everyone thinking that Nikon was going to do the right thing and put new shutters in all of them, well maybe that was not their intention at all. As of now I’m more disappointed in them than I ever have been, I will call Nikon Monday and see why there was nothing done to it.

  • Quigz

    I spoke with a Nikon Canada rep today after complaining about delays with my d600 shutter replacement… He says that the shutter replacement procedure has changed since the service advisory was issued. The ‘new’ procedure apparently involves replacment of the entire shutter mechanism and some additional steps. If you sent your d600 in prior to the service advisory, the shutter replacement procedure was apparently less comprehensive and not always effective. This new procedure is supposed to be a true ‘fix’ to the issue. I’ll reserve judgment until I get my camera back, but the delay was apparently caused by the service advisory (they were gonna use the old repair method, then changed to the new method while my camera was in the shop). FYI, my camera was dropped off on Feb.18th, 2014. So, if you sent yours in prior to me, your camera probably got the standard, less-comprehensive shutter repair procedure. I guess time will tell ;)

    • Greg Heller

      Quigz – The Melville, NY facility received my camera on the 2/28 went into the shop on 3/3 and I got it back today 3/7. The only thing they did was clean the sensor. The service advisory says that the shutter and related parts will be replaced. The paperwork with it just said cleaned sensor. I don’t get it they didn’t use the old or new procedure. It’s battle time with Nikon Monday i guess. I sure hope yours gets fixed correctly.

      • Quigz

        Was this the first time your sent your camera in? The first time I sent my camera in, they only cleaned the sensor for me too. I brought my camera back again, this time receiving assurances that they’ll replace the shutter mechanism.

        • catfish252

          Yes it was, however reading the advisory they didn’t put any stipulations on replacing the shutter, it seemed to me that since they are in a round about way acknowledging the problem they would just put the fix on all the cameras they receive and not jerk the customers around anymore. Otherwise it would have been nice to have had some sort of explanation sent back with the camera. So I could perhaps look forward to having to send this puppy back 2-3 more times, NICE

      • Harry

        Greg, the following is a petition asking Nikon to refund D600 users with repeating failures. Would you please sign and pass on anyone that you might know.

        http://t.co/Lkmx9RAFwr

        My case has been escalated to the Senior General Manager for Customer Service and all I have received until now is still dilly-dally techniques. Apparently, in his own words, the camera is only designed to work 99% of the time and has limitations that were not advertised :)

        verbatim from his email:
        ————–
        I’d bet that in 99% of of regular photos you’d never even see any dust, normal or that which the Service Advisory addresses.

        Our goal is to deliver camera’s which provide great images, are easy to use and require minimal maintenance. Dust is always going to be a fact of life with a D-SLR and since newer cameras have larger sensors and smaller pixels it’s likely you’ll see more dust in normal operation. If dust appears during normal operation we provide instructions on how to clean it yourself and also recommend periodic professional maintenance and cleaning. If you specifically test for a products limitations it’s often easy to reproduce what wouldn’t normally be an issue.

        • Greg Heller

          I signed it Harry that is quite a statement he made in that email. Dust maybe normal, however a substance that sticks to the sensor and will not blow off is not especially when your camera comes straight out of the box from being refurbished at Nikon. Dust normally isn’t visible to the naked eye on a sensor. Good Luck on the escalation.

  • Ptluzzi59

    i bought mine a month ago with 36 clicks on it for $1310.00 and $15.00 shipping. i did have the oil issue with it but was just cleaning it myself. I just hope they won’t have my camera for to long!

    • Harry

      happy? :). This is an unedited shot.

      • Ptluzzi59

        Mine is much worse i assure you but do you know what i do? I clean it!

        • Harry

          wow, you must be one skilled person. all of you please applaud Ptluzzi59 for being the greatest cleaner mankind has ever seen! My point is, you shouldn’t be for a manufacturing defect and you just dont seem to be able to get it! Sorry, it is very difficult for me to speak to people with such intellectual levels :)

  • Harry

    started the following petition. Please sign.

    http://t.co/Lkmx9RAFwr

  • Harry

    Nikon Sr. General Manager (customer experience) David Dentry admits that the D600 has some “limitations”. Will not specify what they are. In fact, it is not even clear if they did anything with my camera the second time it was sent for repair. I have asked him and he has not responded. Their notes (and the documentation I received) states that the shutter was replaced as part of the service bulletin but he only speaks about the first service in Oct 2013. This was a timeframe that was before the bulletin was announced. Now, with a deluge of D600s, I wonder if most of you will simply get a cleaning and be told that the shutter was replaced.

    Following is a back-n-forth correspondence with the CSR and David D. Note that a CSR by the name Julien clearly stated that they would be willing to work on a replacement to D610 or refund if I show the problem again.

    For the record, I did shoot a real world picture and processed it as I normally would and still saw “spots”.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P5VAXnDor4o30VPJk9VtAr8RJ2Z3GG0URUmP40gVz60/edit?usp=sharing

  • Harry

    Just got this email and I was so pissed off. Apparently my camera NEVER got a shutter replacement when I sent it in Feb although their supervisor confirmed that it was. See that below David’s response. Check your service note when you get it back. If it says “CK”, I assume all they did was check and clean. It appears that when they had time, they did a poor job. Now they have a deluge to deal with, guess what they will do!

    ——————————–

    Our Service Advisory procedure replaces the shutter mechanism and associated parts to correct the issue, we did this when your camera was in last October. When it came back in February it was cleaned and checked and no issues found. Since your sample image seems to illustrate some continuing problem our technicians need to study camera to determine the cause. We would appreciate your continued cooperation in resolving this matter.

    Please use the web form to get a new shipping label and let me know the tracking number so we can watch for it. We do not offer upgrades or exchanges. Again, I do apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

    -David

    David Dentry
    Sr. General Manager, Customer Experience
    Nikon Inc.

    —————–

    Response Chuck D. via Email 02/26/2014 03:02 PM

    Your camera has been shipped back to you under tracking number

    You camera was repaired under the just announced Technical Service Advisory – which addresses the issue of dust that you had been experiencing with your D600.

    The camera was fully tested to be free of dust after we had completed the repair – which included the replacement of the shutter mechanism in the camera.

    Should you experience any issued with your camera once you receive it back – we would like to see unedited image samples that detail any problems that you are experiencing.

    Many thanks,
    Chuck
    Supervisor
    Nikon Customer Relations

  • Just Another Unhappy Customer

    I got this message by email from Nikon couple weeks ago. I, myself considering filing a small claim at the local court house.

  • EvaK

    Nikon offers the same service in Germany. I sent my D600 in last week and got it back yesterday. They replaced the shutter, cleaned the sensor and mirror box and tested it with ~500 clicks. Hopefully the oil problem has gone now.

  • Andya1

    I just received notification that my D600 is done. I can’t wait to get it back.

  • JPS

    Just a quick question. I live in Canada and just had my D600 return to me post recall and shutter replacement from Nikon. I sent it in with 2691 shutter actuations and received it with 3800 shutter actuation. Is this number of actuation from a repair normal?

    • Andya1

      For this repair probably. If they replaced the shutter, they probably tested the new one to make sure there was no dust or oil after the repair. And if it is a new shutter, then i’m guessing it only has 1109 shutter actuations. I get my back tonight.

  • Andya1

    Just got my D600 from UPS.
    Service report said: service repair bank B2. RPL Shutter, general check and clean, cln low pass filter.

    Impressions:
    1. The camera was cleaned. I never clean my camera. To me it is a tool like a hammer. The left the menu in mirror up. If I did not know where the scratches were that I put in it, I’d think it was new out of the box.
    2. The lens mount ring looks brand new. I’ve got a load of lenses, and I change them often. Either they buffed the heck out of it or they replaced it. Unexpected but welcomed.
    3. No dirt on first test shot.
    4. Focus is spot on.
    5. Shutter seems faster. May be because I’ve been using my D90. I’ll have to try and time it.
    6. Took a bunch (1-200) pics of some distant black faced vultures with a 70-200 with TC-111 at 240 mm, and the only dots I saw were birds. (Like I said they were distant.)

    Let me know if you have questions, I’m going out to take some pics.

    Best,

    Andy

  • Mateo

    Nikon Croatia won’t change my shutter. What can I do?

  • Kristi

    Just a few comments regarding the service advisory from a D600 owner who sent a camera in:

    –> “Nikon will notify you by email when your D600 has been received at
    Nikon’s repair center.”

    No they won’t. At least they didn’t when I sent in my D600 last week. I had to open a support case and provide them with the tracking number to get them to verify that they did in fact have my camera. I knew they had it, (I had proof of delivery from UPS,) but they never sent any communication regarding receipt or repair process. Giant silence.

    –> “Nikon will notify you by email when the service
    is complete and ship your D600 back to you free of charge via UPS
    Ground.”

    In all fairness, they did let me know the service was complete and provided me with a tracking number, but it was all done through the support case. Makes sense I guess to do it that way once the case was opened, but I wouldn’t have pursued the support case if they had communicated in the manner they described in the service advisory.

  • Dearth

    Any word on how long Nikon is holding these cameras?

  • Don Wood

    Unpleasant situation happen to me with Nikon and a year old D600. I couldn’t stand the spotting situation any longer. In January of 2014 I sent Nikon in Melville, Ny my working D600 for cleaning and asked them to review my camera for a spotting problem. I ended up getting a refurbished D600 after Nikon totally mishandled the original request by sending it back to me inoperative with an estimate of $1400.00 repair bill claiming that I sent them a damaged camera. When I called them I was told that if I didn’t like it I could write the president of Nikon. After creating a huge stink with the repair center they agreed to replace the camera with the refurbished unit. Subsequently I did write Nikon a snail mail addressed to the “President of Nikon”. Two weeks later I was notified about the recall. Today (6/3/2014) I still have the refurbished unit and I have put less than 4000 snaps on it and there’s spots along the left hand side of ever photo I take. Since you can’t clean these cameras without an act of congress from Nikon I guess I will be without my camera for several week again. I’m hoping to get better service this time now that the recall has been issused.

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