Chris. As Mark says the original 'Technical Update' was rom the chilled cast iron to the DLC coated forged steel tappets and unfortunately this did not effect a cure. In a way I feel partly responsible for the problem dragging on as, quite simply, for years I was hearing hand-wringing and complaining of persistent failures but quite simply I kept defending the design because in my experience 1.) I couldn't get a top end to obviously fail in my workshop and 2.) I did know that there are a VERY large number of shops out there who don't service the bikes correctly, don't use suitable lubricants and couldn't tune an anvil.
Unfortunately I was proved wrong but only very small people are afraid to admit when they are wrong and keep on defending the indefensible.
The simple truth is that since I did start seeing failures on bikes I knew had been serviced, or in some cases over-serviced, by myself or people I trust I've introduced a 'Zero Tolerance' policy on any flat tappet bike that comes into my shop. They all get inspected or I refuse to work on them. Its that simple.
If you have a look at the video posted in the tech section you will see that inspecting the tappets is NOT a big job. It has to be doe by an authorised workshop, yes, but that is not unreasonable from Piaggio point of view. While it may be daunting to some pulling the cambox off an 8V is scarcely difficult or arduous or at least it shouldn't be to anybody who is working as a mechanic in a professionally run workshop. Even if both sides are inspected, (Usually one is sufficient to tell the story.) it should take no more than an hour and a quarter. I will pretty much guarantee that the tappets will be showing wear. Catching it early, (The earlier the better!) will greatly reduce the risk of more serious damage to your engine. That is why Mark and I, plus anybody else who has torn into their engines, will advise paying the paltry amount of cash needed for the inspection and as long as your books are in order your dealer should be able to claim a kit for you. Hooting and shouting won't help. Remember you'll catch a lot more flies with sugar than with vinegar. Work WITH your dealer rather than against them and you'll find things a lot easier.