In a proposed class action lawsuit filed on Friday, consumers allege shingles manufacturer Maibec Inc. falsely advertised that its wooden shingles were guaranteed to last 50 years, yet were prematurely degrading due to low-quality manufacturing practices.
Maibec failed to adequately test the shingles in real world conditions.
Maibec’s wooden shingles have a reputation as a high quality product, according to the lawsuit. The company advertises that the wood is treated for endurance and that the products carry a 50-year guarantee against wood decay; however, the plaintiff alleges that the shingles used on her house were prone to premature failure well before their expected 50-year lifespan, and others reported that their Maibec shingles have warped, peeled, cracked, and curled.
The lawsuit claims that despite advertising that the shingles are safe and reliable, Maibec failed to adequately test the shingles in “real world” conditions. Maibec’s deceptive advertising has lead consumers to pay a premium price for the shingles with the belief that they were receiving a premium product, according to the complaint.
An investigation into the wooden shingles installed on the plaintiff’s house found that the grain orientation ran perpendicular to the edge of the shingles – rather than parallel – and perpendicular grain orientation is usually found in lower-quality shingles. According to the lawsuit, a shingle’s grain orientation can determine resilience, dimensional stability, and functionality of shingles.
“It is inconceivable that Maibec, a premier Canadian and leading North American manufacturer of shingles, would not have known that the grain orientation of its shingles made those shingles susceptible to failure far sooner than 50 years Maibec represented in its warranty,” the lawsuit said.
Maibec is facing a similar lawsuit in New Jersey federal court, which was filed by consumers who accuse the company of installing defective wooden shingles on their homes and failing to honor the product’s 50-year warranty when consumers reported premature warping and cracking. In court last month, a judge denied Maibec’s motion to dismiss the putative class action.