Fleetwood Gets Caught in Alleged Large-Scale Misrepresentation of Towing Weight Capacity on its 2005 and 2006 Motorhomes

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Two lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court reveal that Fleetwood allegedly misrepresented the towing capacity on many of its 2005 and 2006 motorhomes by 5,000 pounts. Rutherford v. Fleetwood, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 351 867, and Kolenic v. Fleetwood, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 346 761.

To people unfamiliar with “the RV lifestyle”, towing capacity may not seem all that important. However, to regular RV’ers, towing capacity is a big part of “the RV lifestyle”. After all, companies like FLEETWOOD persuade consumers to part with large six-figure sums not just based on buying a particular vehicle, but also on buying the whole supposed lifestyle that goes along with it.

For many Americans, “the RV lifestyle” is their dream retirement, traveling wherever they would with no time constraints, meeting both new faces and old friends along the way, spending months at a time with grandchildren or favorite nieces and nephews…It sounds all so leisurely.

But there’s one very important ingredient to this “RV lifestyle”: you need a car, which you tow behind your RV. RV’s cannot run downtown for a quick cup of Starbucks or a stop into Pollo Loco—they’re too big and there’s nowhere to park. You cannot park at a theater or most restaurants with an RV. Other than WalMart and a few others, there are few retailers with parking lots big enough for RV’s. Thus, almost all RV’ers park their RV’s at RV parks and jump into passenger cars or pick-ups for a night on the town, or just about anything other than driving on the highway.

This is where towing weight comes into play. Most or all Class A RV’s come with a tow hitch so the owners can tow a their pick-ups or passenger cars behind them as they drive down the highways. (“Class A” refers to the “bus” style of RV, where the engine and drivetrain and living compartment are all a part of one big bus-sized unit. In contrast, Class B RV’s are usually “fifth wheels” which are towed behind, or sometimes on top of, a pick-up truck, and a “Class C” RV is more of a sleeper van conversion, much smaller than a Class A.) So, Class A RV’s need to be able to tow the types of vehicles which RV owners use when they’re not driving their RV’s.

FLEETWOOD’s 2005 and 2006 Providence, Discovery, Excursion, Expedition and Bounder Class A RV’s all were sold to consumers with a sticker advertising a towing weight capacity of 10,000 lbs. A 10,000 lbs. capacity would allow towing not only of smaller cars but also larger sedans and small- to mid-sized pick-up trucks.

Now, suddenly, FLEETWOOD has issued a “recall”, telling consumers that the 10,000 lbs. towing capacity was a mistake and offering a new sticker, to be placed over the old sticker, indicating a tow limit of only 5,000 lbs.

“This is not a recall; it’s a cover-up,” comments prominent consumer protection attorney Robert F. Brennan of the La Crescenta, Ca. law firm Brennan, Wiener & Associates. “A recall is used where the manufacturer can do something to fix the problem. Putting a sticker on the RV, stating that it now has one-half of the towing capacity that was represented when it was sold, is more of a fraud than a fix.”

Brennan’s firm represents two consumers who have RV’s covered by the supposed “recall”. Each has had a lot of coach problems in addition to the misrepresentation about towing capacity. Both cases have been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Rutherford v. Fleetwood, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 351 867, and Kolenic v. Fleetwood, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 346 761.

“If FLEETWOOD wants to do nothing more than issue stickers for its defective RV’s, FLEETWOOD should just issue stickers which look like lemons, to be placed over all of the Fleetwood decals on the coach,” quips Brennan.

About Brennan, Wiener & Associates: Brennan, Wiener & Associates of La Crescenta, Ca. is widely considered the best, smartest and most aggressive car dealer fraud, lemon law and wrongful credit damage law firm in greater Southern California. Its lawyers have over 40 years of experience and have received an “AV” rating, the highest possible rating, from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating agency. In 2006, the firm’s founder, Robert F. Brennan, was honored by being selected as a 2006 Southern California “Superlawyer”, an honor reserved for the top 5% of practicing attorneys in a given geographical area.


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