Grand Design RV’s Imagine model of travel trailers suffers from a defect that can cause water intrusion, damage and ultimately mold growth, a proposed class action claims.
The 60-page case alleges the RV’s slide-box, which extends outward to create more room inside the travel trailer, has “for years” been plagued by a defective seal that fails to keep out water in the course of ordinary use. The apparent defect poses a safety risk in that the presence of mold can be detrimental to health, the suit asserts.
The lawsuit says the slide-box exterior seal defect “substantially decreases” the RV’s ability to protect against the elements. Per the suit, defendant Grand Design RV “systematically denies warranty coverage” for those looking to address the problem and “will continue to hide the Defect absent intervention by this Court.”
“This is a simple case of Grand Design manufacturing the RV with poor materials and/or a design defect and compounding that failure by refusing to properly repair the Defect in the RVs for Plaintiff and members of the Class,” the lawsuit in Florida’s Middle District Court alleges. “Plaintiff and members of the Class have experienced a standard product defect: Grand Design failed to use proper materials to design its product and/or manufactured a product that suffers from the Defect.”
According to the complaint, Grand Design has possessed “actual knowledge” of the slide-box exterior seal defect yet has chosen to “pretend” that certain “superficial repairs” will cure the water-intrusion issue. If a customer complains about the apparent defect within the warranty period, Grand Design, the lawsuit alleges, will cover the cost of repairs that only “hide and potentially delay, but not resolve,” the problem. Once a customer’s three-year limited structural warranty period is up, Grand Design “strictly denies” any additional repairs, the case claims.
“As a result of their purchase of the RV, Plaintiff and members of the Class were damaged, in an amount to be determined at trial, because they paid valuable consideration for a product that was not as advertised or warranted, and was, as a result, worth substantially less,” the lawsuit contends.
The case goes on to allege that Grand Design RV, rather than adjust its manufacturing process or redesign and replace the apparently defective seal in its Imagine travel trailers, has continued to sell and lease the product. Per the suit, Grand Design RV’s attention to potential water intrusion points is noted in the company’s marketing, including in a YouTube video in which an employee says the defendant “wrap[s] all of these seams where water could potentially come in to ensure water does not.”
The plaintiff, a Duval County, Florida resident and the original owner of a Grand Design RV travel trailer, claims to have noticed “pink discoloration” on the floor of his RV less than a year after it was purchased from an authorized dealer. The lawsuit says the plaintiff, at the time, did not notice any visible leaks or water intrusion, and the dealer determined the floor discoloration was due to the glue used by the defendant for its flooring.
Less than a year later, the plaintiff brought his RV back to the dealer after noticing the pink discoloration had increased, the suit says. The dealer’s investigation revealed “a saturated floor, water intrusion, and mold damage, as well as compromised protection from the defective Slide-Box Exterior Seal,” the lawsuit says. In October 2019 and again in July 2020, the mold returned to the plaintiff’s RV despite previous repair efforts, including deep-clean work from ServePro, paid for by the defendant, to remediate the mold growth and restore the flooring, the suit says.
In December 2020, mold reappeared “in droves” through the plaintiff’s RV, according to the lawsuit. From there, the plaintiff demanded from the defendant a full refund on the purchase price of his RV before initiating legal action, the case relays.
“At no point did Plaintiff know or anticipate that Grand Design would sell him a defective RV, fail to cure the Defect that it created, and then deny coverage under the Warranty,” the complaint says.
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