A proposed class action claims that Yamaha WaveRunners are plagued with defects that cause the fuel gauge to falsely report low fuel levels—making it impossible for a rider to accurately gauge how much range the watercraft has left.
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The 11-page lawsuit says that although defendant Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA markets WaveRunners as fuel-efficient “luxury” personal watercraft meant for touring larger bodies of water, the products can safely be used for only about one-half of their designed range because their fuel gauges behave “erratically.”
The plaintiff, an Illinois man who purchased a new 2022 Yamaha FX1800F-XA Triton for $23,190 last year, says that the watercraft’s fuel gauge will read “full” for about one to two hours of riding and then drop down to near zero when the tank is still approximately 50 to 55 percent full.
According to the plaintiff, the fuel gauge will plummet to “empty” when the gas tank is still at about 40 to 45 percent capacity, which triggers an “extremely annoying and disconcerting” low fuel warning alarm.
“There is no way to silence the fuel alarm for the return trip back shore,” the complaint says. “Once the fuel alarm sounds, the computer software for the dash locks out the touchscreen if there is any throttle input.”
Per the complaint, the alarm will turn off and the fuel gauge will turn to “normal” when the watercraft is idling, but the noise will restart and the fuel gauge will jump down to empty once the engine is throttled.
The filing further contends that the WaveRunner’s trip computer screen, which is meant to display how much fuel a rider has used, resets this amount to zero each time the watercraft is turned off for a short period of time.
The plaintiff contends that the defects “substantially impair the use and enjoyment of the watercraft,” especially since he is unable to safely journey too far from the shore.
Yamaha’s alleged knowledge of the issues
According to the suit, Yamaha has long been aware of the products’ fuel gauge problem but offers no remedy for the alleged defects.
After complaining about the issues on the Better Business Bureau’s website, the plaintiff received a response from Yamaha informing him that it was “working diligently on a fix for the fuel gauge concern” and that “[o]ne of our Yamaha representatives will make contact with you to discuss your concerns more in depth,” the case relays.
However, this message was “false and not made in good faith,” given that no one from the company has reached out to the plaintiff, the lawsuit claims.
The plaintiff also says that when he requested repairs from Nielsen Enterprises, an authorized Yamaha dealer from which he purchased the watercraft, the company said “it was familiar with the problem” but that Yamaha “had no solution.”
The filing argues that the plaintiff and other WaveRunner owners, many of whom have voiced similar complaints online, would not have bought the watercraft, or would have paid much less, had they known they would be unable to tour larger bodies of water due to the fuel gauge problems.
Who’s covered by the lawsuit?
The case looks to represent anyone who purchased a Yamaha watercraft within the past four years.
I own a Yamaha WaveRunner. How can I join the lawsuit?