Well, this story beats everything I've heard. OP, certainly Remington is capable of producing an acceptable product as many members here will attest. Yet, they are equally capable of putting out utter turds when the assembly pod only gets 2.5 minutes to assemble one. Consequently, new Marlins amount to a roll of the dice and that is unfortunate. I'm not one to gamble and for that reason, I have nothing but JM Marlins or Henry's.
FWIW, if this happened to me, I wouldn't be sending it in for repairs, nor would I accept a new Marlin. It's be returned for a dammed refund and buy a JM Marlin or a Henry.