We may have stumbled upon a trend here, is it a Halley's comet type production episode, this time under the disguise of a covid recovery programme?
In contrast to several comments regarding Celestron QC, I have to say that my experience thus far with the folks in Torrence has always been very good.
I think that there might be some truth in the possibility that the equipment being QC'd and shipped directly from China through retailers may be suffering.
I worked for a company that was an OEM of several stainless steel and other product assemblies that were being outsourced to China for manufacture. If we didn't have folks right on their backs all the time, the quality coming over dropped fast.
It would be nice to see all those products come through a stateside QC division. Might make a difference.