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Old 01-05-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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Default Bluebird made overloaded rv's? Shocking.

I copied this from another rv website. I wonder how many other rv's are overloaded when they roll out of the shop? My neighbor just bought a brand new Winnebago class A and I was checking the door sticker. They only gave him 1000 lbs of available cargo weight! That includes passengers too. So if he put 4 250lb people inside they couldn't bring any food or luggage.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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Woops, forgot to put the legal story in. Here ya go:

Jury finds Blue Bird Corporation liable for fraud, lawyer reports

BY: Greg Gerber posted on November 23, 2010 12:01
RV D@ily Report

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. -- On Nov. 18, an Ottawa County, Mich., jury rendered a verdict that Blue Bird Corporation committed intentional fraud, among other things, in that it knowingly manufactured 57 overweight and dangerous motorhomes and for two years, between 2004-2006, sold them to unsuspecting customers, a law firm representing victims reported today.

Blue Bird manufactured and sold these coaches, designated Blue Bird "Wanderlodge M450 LXi", at prices starting at $700,000 and reaching more than $1 million dollars.

The jury verdict stated that Blue Bird made the fraudulent statements with the intent that the statements be relied upon by its customer and that Blue Bird intentionally created a false impression about its product intending that its customer would rely upon it, said H. Joel Newman, a founding shareholder in the law firm of Hyman Lippitt PC.

The jury verdict was rendered in favor of Anthony McNeal, of Franklin, Mich., on his claims for fraud, silent fraud, breach of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, and breach of implied warranty.

Newman, who served as McNeal's lead trial attorney, said he believes it is critical that this information finally comes to light six years after the first dangerous vehicle was manufactured, because this company manufactures and sells school buses that transport thousands of children every day.

The lawsuit alleged that the defects in these motorhomes, which Blue Bird denied and/or failed to disclose, were known for years, even as it continued to manufacture and sell the vehicles caused, among other things, a disproportionate number of front tire problems, especially on the curb side of the vehicle, said Newman. He believes at least one fatal accident was caused by the same defects the jury found. The fatal accident occurred in October 2007 ,and is the subject of a secret settlement between Blue Bird and the family of the decedent, said Newman.

Shortly after the accident, in December 2007, Blue Bird reported the problem to NHTSA. Customers were notified in March 2008. Blue Bird then conducted a recall which did not resolve the problem, said Newman. Then it conducted a second phase of the recall that resulted in additional problems, he added. Subsequently, a third phase recall was conducted. The jury found that the vehicle was still defective even after the third recall by Blue Bird, said Newman.

"During the trial, company witnesses admitted knowing the coaches were built with tie rods which did not meet their specifications," said Newman. "According to the witnesses, when Blue Bird learned of the tie rod problem, it failed to warn customers or dealers promptly, and continued to manufacture and sell the coaches. They also admitted that failed tie rods could result in loss of steering control.

"Company engineers admitted on cross examination that the company had weighed the coaches at the time of manufacture and knew of the overweight condition since 2004," he added. "Company witnesses admitted on cross examination that the coaches should never have been built or sold in their overweight condition."

Several of the engineers involved testified that the best fix would have been to reduce the weight of the coaches substantially, Newman explained.

According to the lawsuit, that would have been expensive, and was not done. "The lawsuit alleged that in the end, the company opted for a series of less expensive solutions," said Newman. "Hyman Lippitt PC believes in the interim, Blue Bird misrepresented the unloaded vehicle weights and the cargo carrying capacities of the coaches and continued to sell them.

"Months before the fatal accident in October 2007, Blue Bird sold its motorhome division to Coachworks Holdings, Inc.," Newman explained. "Coachworks' president, Dale T. Carson, testified that Blue Bird had not disclosed that the vehicles exceeded their axle weight ratings until after Coachworks had purchased the business. Mr. Carson testified that Coachworks learned of the problem after the purchase and never manufactured a single Wanderlodge M450 LXi. Coachworks is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy."
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:28 PM   #3
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Bob,
A brand new Winny with only 1000# for people and cargo??? What about water, propane and fuel??? One would think 1000# is unrealistic and mfg's should be held more accountable for safty. I am so glad I have a t/c
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
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I think that was after figuring a full fresh water tank. Not sure about fuel and propane tho. I didn't actually write everything down so I could make sure. They were kind of cagey the way the printed out that sticker. I'm going to take a picture of it and post it when I can. He's got it stored for the winter now so I won't be able to until spring I think.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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That is the reason I, and many more people here, have a converted truck - I have about 14,000 lb of load allowance, in my Mack Motorhome, with a 30,000 lb tow ability. Nothing built as an box RV comes anywhere near that.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:08 PM   #6
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I think that this is common with manufactured RVs. I doubt that any of the RVs we see on the highway would scale within the GVW limits. This is where bus and truck conversions shine. We usually carry much LESS weight than the chassis was designed for. As a result we have much safer vehicles.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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All I can say, I feel so much more safe in my rig than I did in my class A.

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Bluebird lawsuit

I don't understand why companies like Bluebird which had a pretty good reputation would nickel and dime on something as simple at tie-rod ends. How much more per coach would have "the right" tie-rods have been? $100 a coach? $500 a coach? Chump change when you think those top of the line coach went for between $500,000 and a million dollars. Its bad enough when they think they are building strong enough, and in actual use it doesn't hold up. But for the staff to know that the tie-rods weren't up to the task, that is downright criminal.

What are companies SO stupid?

I road race a 3400# NASCAR stock car that I haul around in a 24' enclosed trailer with equipment, tools, tires, fuel, and a big generator. I suspect I'm 10,500 or 11,000 fully loaded. I pull it with half ton Suburban, wish I had a three-quarter ton Suburban or 2500HD pickup. I don't run 80mph nor do I go cross country; put I'd like to. When I got into racing in 2005 I wanted a Tahoe and 24' trailer ... but the truck/car/trailer dealer refused to sell me a Tahoe to pull a large trailer with a heavy race car. He said the trailer would push the short wheelbase Tahoe all over the road. I'm glad he "forced" me into the Suburban.

I thought about buying a motorhome on a 3500 or F-350 chassis to pull the trailer with until we rented one in Florida and I drove from Orlando to Sebring and back. NO trailer. Just the two of us, minimal luggage, full of water and propane. I thought ... I would NOT drive this 30 miles with the trailer on back, especially if I had four or five more people in the MH. But I see guys from time to time at the track with that MH on a one ton chassis pulling a 24 to 28 foot race trailer.

This forum and my recent Florida experience have convinced me that a T/C or a Class A (Prevost?) is the way to go; which is why my signature says what it says!
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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For what its worth: If you like busses Prevost comes with a hitch designed for heavy towing. My Dad has Prevost and tells me that they come from the factory with a 20,000 lb hitch. MCI and Eagle really are not designed at all for towing. A toter or HDT may work better for the race track. Those busses are 40-45ft long.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:28 PM   #10
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Again, I learn so much from this forum. Well worth the time spent on the forum!

I like the idea of the strength and power of the T/C, nothing looks better than a Peterbilt 379 or 389. But the room in a 40' Prevost can't be beat.
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