The frames of 2012-2016 model year recreational vehicles (RVs) made by Eclipse Recreational Vehicles Inc. are prone to fracture under ordinary use given they’re “too thin and/or composed of poor-quality metal,” a 24-page proposed class action lawsuit alleges.
According to the complaint filed in California’s Central District, Eclipse has “long known” that the frames/chassis of certain RV trailers were made with inferior metal that lacked sufficient tensile strength yet has failed to acknowledge the existence of the problem. The plaintiff stresses that the apparent frame defect poses a serious safety hazard to occupants of the defendant’s RVs and anyone in the vicinity of the campers, as well as costly problems with the RVs themselves, due to the alleged risk of fracture.
Weakness in an RV’s frame can cause control issues resulting from uneven weight distribution and alignment issues, the case explains. The potential also exists for a frame to break completely during use, according to the lawsuit.
The specific model Eclipse RVs the case claims suffer from the frame defect include:
Attitude Series 2012-2016;
Stellar Series 2012-2016;
Evolution Series 2012-2016;
Milan Series 2012-2016; and
Iconic Series 2014-2016.
Moreover, the alleged frame defect has severely impacted the value of Eclipse RVs, according to the suit. As the lawsuit tells it, the apparent weak frame issue has lowered the vehicles’ resale value by “30 to 70 percent” compared to an undamaged model.
With the submission of customer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and various online forums, not to mention quality control testing, Eclipse has known since at least 2015 that the frames of some of its RVs can experience fracturing, the lawsuit asserts. The complaint adds that the federal TREAD Act mandates that manufacturers such as Eclipse monitor the NHTSA database for consumer complaints, as well as remain in close contact with the agency with regard to possible defects and the disclosure of issues and related data.
Notwithstanding the volume of consumer complaints, Eclipse has never issued a recall of the 2012-2016 models alleged to suffer from the frame defect, nor disclosed the problem to potential buyers, the suit says.
“Instead, Eclipse concealed this information from buyers, including Class Members, so that the Class Members could not make informed purchase decisions,” the lawsuit alleges.
The plaintiff claims that after discovering cracks in the frame of his Eclipse Attitude trailer in January 2019, the defendant “refused to help” and instead directed him to the frame manufacturer. Per the case, the company offered to send the plaintiff gussets that could be attached to the frame, yet the man declined considering the remedy would have been, at best, “temporary and inadequate.” The plaintiff says that due to the severity of the frame cracks, he is unable to use his RV, which has been rendered “useless and nearly worthless.”
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