Update: They agreed to replace the front frame and deck on the mower. Took it in on Thursday afternoon and the Exmark tech looked at me with a straight face and said " when we replace this you are going to be right back where you were." My response " Measure every deck in here and find me one that works, otherwise we won't take it". So much for customer service. Went back Friday to pick it up, surprise , surprise, we got a brand new 2013 mower.
On a side note, we purchased this mower brand new in Feb. From the look of the new mower, we bought a 2012 model. Not that big of a deal, but still annoying. Still have the plastic idler pulley. I would venture to guess that if Toro comes out with a floating deck hydro walkbehind, this will be our last Exmark purchase. I can understand cost saving, but when your quality goes to hell and you are charging more, that's a bad combination for the end user.