Misstated the horsepower values of their products The lawyers / attorneys at our firm are investigating allegations that lawnmower manufacturers knowingly misstated the horsepower values of their products. Lawnmower horsepower class action lawsuits have already been filed in New Jersey and several other states seeking restitution for this act of consumer fraud. If you purchased a lawnmower that has failed to perform as advertised, we urge you to contact one of our lawnmower horsepower fraud lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case.
For more than a decade, the major manufacturers of lawnmowers have knowingly lied about their product’s horsepower as a way to justify higher prices. Horsepower is one of the qualifications most consumers consider when buying a lawnmower. Most are willing to pay more money for a mower with a higher horsepower. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of lawnmowers know this, and have long manipulated horsepower values as a way to get higher prices for their products. The lawnmower horsepower fraud lawyers at our firm are determined to make sure the lawnmower manufacturers who perpetuated this fraud are held accountable.
If you or someone you know has purchased a Gas Powered Lawnmower, for their own use (not commercial use), from any of the below listed retailers or manufacturers after January 1, 1994, please fill out the form to the right for a FREE Case Evaluation.
Lawnmower Horsepower Fraud Class Action Lawsuit
The defendants named in the various lawnmower horsepower fraud class action lawsuits include Sears, Roebuck and Company; Deere & Company; Tecumseh Products Company; Briggs & Stratton Corporation; Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA.; MTD Products, Inc.; The Toro Company; American Honda Motor Company, Inc; Electrolux Home Products, Inc.; and The Kohler Company. Some lawn mowers are sold under trade names such as Craftsman, Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, Yard-Man, Yard Machines, Bolens, White Outdoor, Lawn-Boy, Exmark, Poulan, Poulan PRO, Weed Eater and Husqvarna. These manufacturers have used fraudulent horsepower values to sell nearly 6 million lawnmowers a year in the United States.
The New Jersey lawnmower horsepower fraud class action lawsuit alleges that in advertising and selling their lawn mowers and lawn mower engines, the defendants have defrauded the public by: 1) misrepresenting and significantly overstating the horsepower produced by such products; 2) concealing, suppressing and failing to disclose material information, including the true, significantly lower horsepower of defendants’ products; and 3) falsely advertising and selling lawn mowers containing identical engines that produce the same horsepower as different products with different horsepower labels or ratings at different prices – higher prices for falsely represented higher horsepower – while concealing, suppressing and failing to disclose material information, including the facts that the engines are identical and the true, significantly lower horsepower of the lawn mowers.
The lawnmower horsepower class action lawsuit alleges that the named manufacturers of lawnmowers were able to perpetuate this fraud by means of a conspiracy. According to the complaint, the defendants were all members of a “‘Power Labeling Task Force,” which met sometime in 2001 and discussed various means by which to conceal horsepower fraud and misrepresent horsepower to the consuming public.
One of the suggestions made by this group was to include a misleading ‘disclaimer’ on the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, (OPEI) Web site. The disclaimer was titled ‘Understanding Horsepower’ and included misleading information on horsepower issues.
The lawnmower horsepower fraud class action lawsuit alleges that on July 10, 2001, William G. Harley and Patrick W. Curtiss of the OPEI mailed to defendants a memorandum listing the uniform means by which the Power Labeling Task Force members intended to misrepresent horsepower testing procedures and to conceal the fraudulent horsepower labeling practices from consumers. The members of the Power Labeling Task Force (who were also members of OPEI) voted in favor of the proposal, and the misleading web page was created.
The lawnmower horsepower fraud class action lawsuit also alleges that the defendants created a “labeling standard” called “SAE J1940” to conceal horsepower fraud. This labeling standard was an attempt to justify the labeling of lawnmower engines with a false horsepower value. According to the lawsuit, SAE standard “allowed for a ‘fudge factor’ of up to 15% to be added to horsepower labels.
Finally, the lawnmower horsepower fraud class action lawsuit claims that defendants compounded the fraud by adopting a “gross horsepower” standard, “SAE J1995,” which uses “the theoretical horsepower that an engine could achieve under ideal laboratory conditions with all of the legally required accessories removed from the engine – such as the air filter and exhaust mechanism.” This “gross horsepower” standard has no real-world application and is therefore fraudulent.
Connecticut Lawnmower Horsepower Fraud Settlement
Already, one state has successfully sued lawnmower manufacturers for horsepower fraud. In July 2008, Briggs & Stratton and MTD Products agreed to pay the state of Connecticut $250,000 and offer $300 to every customer who bought a power lawnmower that was falsely labeled as having a 18.5 horsepower engine, though the true horsepower was only 16.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a press release that the defendants “clipped consumers, using phony labels to deliberately deceive them about tractor horsepower. Facing an engine shortage, the companies mislabeled tractors, misleading consumers into believing they were buying a more powerful product.” According to Blumenthal, 3,948 mislabeled tractors were sold nationwide. The models involved in the state’s settlement include “Yard Man” mowers sold at Lechmere and Montgomery Ward stores in Connecticut in 1996 and 1997.