I have four pairs of skis with Salmon's Z12 Ti bindings. I have also used this binding on another pair of skis I have since sold. I am 150 lbs, and although I am not a hucker or a park guy, I am a very aggressive, expert free skier.
Several years ago, I broke both heel base plates (on separate days) on a pair of skis that had seen several seasons of hard use (no longer have these skis). I wrote it off as the bindings being beat up after so much use. Well, I just broke one on a set of bindings that were less than one year old. I inspected the other ski's base plate and it has significant cracking and is about to go as well. I inspected another pair of my skis and both base plates have the same cracking and are also about to let go.
They all crack laterally from the outside in near the brake attachment screw hole near the forward end of the plate. I believe the plates are aluminum. You can see some pictures at my TGR post on this topic: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/262328-Salomon-Z12-Ti-Heel-Base-Plate-Cracking
Talking with shops and doing some Google searches I find that this is a very common problem with this binding.
First, let me say that I now know that the Z12 is obviously not the binding I should be using. It is a completely flawed design. I will never buy another one. However, none of Salomon's specifications on the binding would have told me that.
So, here I am with multiple pairs of skis with these bindings (some only a few months old). I use all of these skis and I looking for a cost effective means to solve this problem. I am trying to avoid replacing all of the bindings as the brute force solution.
I have been attempting to work this through a couple of local Salomon dealers, but they are saying the best they can do is get me another set of base plates with the same (inadequate) design. Their recommended option is to just replace all of the bindings with new, stronger bindings. That is great for them, but not very cost effective for me.
I did see one post on another forum where Salomon sent the guy a new set of stronger base plates. He said "the new mounting tracks arrived this morning and are clearly a heavier grade of steel. They are also silver in color rather than black." The post can be found at: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=96706. I also posted to TGR's forum and got a reply telling me to replace them with the steel version.
I'm looking for some input from the EPICSKI forum. Anyone else heard of a definitive fix for this issue (other than replacing the bindings)? Does Salomon really make an all steel version? How do I get replacements from Salomon if my local shops seem to not know what they are doing?