I know a lot of you are into Penn products. I was too, I still like their rods and will still swear by Penn International Big Game Rods and Reels and Fly Reels.
Since of late I have been skeptical about their spinning reels because I heard from reliable sources about them being manufactured in China where the way to Identify the China Made reels I was told was, if the reel seat said "Penn USA" it was China Made where as if it said "Made in USA" iit was US Made. However, I wonder now if even the reels that I believe are made in the US may only have been assembled there and all parts made in China. See attached pictures of the reel below, happened recently while fighting a Large GT. The reel is supposedly USA made, just over a year old and sparingly used.
Over the last few years I have heard from very reliable sources and from personal experience of Penn Spinning Reels faltering in following ways:
1) Hard Plastic Drag Knobs Cracking
2) Caps (handle caps) falling off
3) Silent/Alarm anti-reverse switch on the underside come loose
4) Anti-reverse on/off switch coming off or coming loose.
5) Bail Springs failing
6) Drag washers failing
7) (Now) handle breaking
On the good side, I have never come across a company in the Angling Industry with better after sales service and Penn have always responded very positively whenever I have had a problem with my reels.
What I have noticed, is that reels made in China really suck (does not matter which brand) on the other side reels made in Thailand and Korea are of a much better quality than those made in China, again irrelevant of the brand.
As far as spinning reels go, I have gone back to Daiwa Japanese Made and if I am looking at saving a few bucks go in for Thai made Daiwa.
I have related this from what I have experienced and this only on their SS spinning reels, hope this helps.