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Lawn Mower Horsepower Overstated, Class Action Claims
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Eli
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« on: April 08, 2010, 11:58:16 »

Lawn Mower Horsepower Overstated, Class Action Claims

Here is the article, courtesy of www.consumeraffairs.com.

Quote
Lawn Mower Horsepower Overstated, Class Action Claims

Mower manufacturers clipped Texas consumers, plaintiffs charge

By Truman Lewis
ConsumerAffairs.com

September 20, 2008

A class action lawsuit claims that lawn mower companies have clipped Texas consumers by overstating the horsepower of their engines. It seeks damages of $5 million, including refunds for affected consumers.

The suit, filed in a Texas federal court, names Sears, Deere and Co., Tecumseh Products, Briggs and Stratton, Kawasaki Motors, MTD Products, Toro Company, American Honda Motor, Electrolux Home Products, Kohler Company, Platinum Equity, and Husqvarna Outdoor Products. The companies sell about six million mowers nationwide each year, according to court documents.

It alleges that, since 1994, the companies misrepresented the horsepower of their lawn mowers and mower engines in an attempt to charge higher prices.

"The more horsepower generated by a lawn mower's engine, the better and faster the lawn mower is able to perform," the suit charges. Horsepower labels allowed for a "fudge factor of up to 15 percent to be added," the complaint says.

The plaintiffs — Gene Bennett, Clarence Laird and Laci Canion — argue that the misrepresentations allowed the defendants to market and sell identical engines as different products at different prices.

According to the suit, the companies formed a group called the "Power Labeling Task Force," which the plaintiffs allege was used to "meet, discuss, conspire, conceal and further their fraudulent horsepower misrepresentations."

The suit also charges that the task force created a misleading disclaimer titled "Understanding Horsepower" and placed it on the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's Web site.

The complaint argues that the disclaimer purposely misled the public and was an effort to conceal the fraudulent horsepower labeling practices.

Plaintiffs charge that many other labeling methods were used to conceal the actual horsepower generated by the respective lawn mower's engine. These methods included the use of "gross" horsepower, which is the theoretical horsepower an engine could achieve under ideal laboratory conditions. Or the use of the "torque" on lawn mower engine's labels, despite that "engineers assert that torque is not an appropriate quantifier of power," the plaintiffs state.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.
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Eli
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 12:06:47 »

Here is the end result:

Scores of Lawnmower Makers Settle Horsepower Suit
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