In San Diego Lemon Law Case, Winnebago Execs Admit Bad Batteries Installed in Motorhomes—Never Told Customers

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San Diego Lemon Law lawyer Doug Sohn announced today that he has obtained sworn testimony from two Winnebago Industries executives admitting that Winnebago installed batteries in their motorhomes that had a high failure rate, but that they did not notify the owners of the motorhomes of the problem.

lemon law, Winnebago

Winnebago Vectra

What they didn’t bother telling my clients was that, by then, Winnebago had started including these devices in their newer motorhomes. My clients had to pay for one.

Doug Sohn, San Diego Lemon Law lawyer, has filed a Lemon Law lawsuit on behalf of a California couple, against Winnebago Industries. The subject of the lawsuit is the couple’s 2005 Winnebago Vectra, a $200,000 motorhome. During the course of the litigation, Sohn has taken the depositions of Ron Post, Winnebago’s Product Compliance Manager, and Dick Higdon, Winnebago’s District Service Manager for the Southwestern United States.

In those depositions, both Post and Higdon admitted that the batteries which Winnebago installed in all their motorhomes for a number of years had “a high failure rate”, meaning that the batteries would prematurely die in normal use. Post and Higdon also admitted that Winnebago customers were not informed of the problem. Instead, Winnebago eventually changed to a different brand battery, without saying anything to their customers.

According to these depositions, the affected model years included the 2005 Winnebago Vectra which is the subject of Sohn’s lawsuit. The “coach” batteries in Sohn’s client’s motorhome had to be replaced three different times in only 1,575 miles. “With a motorhome, you’re not talking about just one battery,” Sohn explained. “Coaches like this have three ‘coach’ batteries that power the motorhome and two ‘chassis’ batteries that are used to start the engine and power other items in the chassis part of the motorhome.”

According to court documents, when the batteries kept dying, the Winnebago dealer charged Sohn’s clients to install a charging device, called a “Trik-L-Start”, telling them that this would help keep the coach’s batteries from dying. “What they didn’t bother telling my clients was that, by then, according to their own newsletter, Winnebago had started including these devices in their newer motorhomes. My clients had to pay for one,” said Sohn. “They also didn’t tell my clients that they had started putting a different brand of battery in their new coaches because the old brand had too high a failure rate.”

The lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court, Southern District of California, Case No. 11-CV-370-JAH(BGS)

About Doug Sohn

Doug Sohn is a San Diego, California attorney emphasizing California Lemon Law cases. He assists Californians who have bought a car, truck or RV that proves to be a lemon, and has forced manufacturers to buy back hundreds of vehicles. His slogan is "When Bad Cars Happen to Good People." For more information, visit San Diego Lemon Law.

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