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Old 11-17-2017, 09:55 AM   #1
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Lawsuit for Dealer Selling too heavy TT for TV

Anyone hear of any lawsuits against dealers (not manufacturers) for selling Travel Trailers that are too heave for peoples TV?

First, I don't have this problem (thankfully) b/c I was insistent with dealer that I did not want to over-work my TV to the max. Dealer kept telling wife and my inlaws that were with me that my TV could pull another couple thousand pounds (trying to upsell to larger TT).

I did not know much about TT and this was first purchase - and I definitely did not understand tongue weight, GVWR, payload, axle rates, etc...

I just knew what was on the hitch for tongue weight and pulling.

In this scenario IF I had followed the advice of the dealer sales rep I definitely would have purchased a TT that was too big (my current one is just under the max on some of the ratings - thankfully). This still ticks me off.

Where I live this would be a breach of the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and several other possible civil actions.

You can say buyer should research, but a buyer has the right to rely on the expertise and representations of the seller/dealer.

Anyways - has someone heard of any lawsuits - I would be interested in reading the article and sending to my legislature to encourage some regulation in this area.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:20 AM   #2
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I have not heard of a lawsuit specifically against a dealer for this practice. But, I can tell you that it happens all of the time. In all of my years of owning rv trailers and owning diesel trucks, I've heard the "your truck can pull anything I've got on the lot" line dozens of times.

There are even dealers that will "modify" vehicles to tow a larger trailer than what the manufacturers recommendations would be in order to make a sale. I'm not going to get in to the specifics of that one, but when I owned an Airstream and would participate in their forum, I would read of it all the time. Again, I don't know of any specific lawsuit or case regarding that situation, just noting that it goes on in this industry.

Unfortunately, many people who rush in to impulse buys or don't do their research before hand fall trap to these games.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:23 AM   #3
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That would be interesting but I wonder if there are too many variables for the dealer to know everything? Our current trailer was about 400 lbs over my previous trucks GVWR. I could have left my fishing equipment at home and had my family take a different vehicle and I probably would have met the weight limit. The question still would be interesting to have answered


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Old 11-17-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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Let me add that my dealer did not try to get me to upsize another 1000-2000 lbs


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Old 11-17-2017, 10:50 AM   #5
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"You can say buyer should research, but a buyer has the right to rely on the expertise and representations of the seller/dealer."

I don't the buyer has that "right" or even should have that expectation. I agree that a total novice, who for some reason hasn't done their homework (so easy since the internet), might mistakenly rely on a dealer for this. I know I did 17 years ago on my first trailer purchase.

The reality is, I think for the most part, the buyer makes a huge assumption about the dealer's knowledge in matching TT & TV. If it's a service they offer as part of the deal, they sure don't mention it in their brochures or websites.

A buyer has a right to do their own homework when matching trailer to tow vehicle. It's been my own experience, and profoundly so, that dealers lie a LOT. Not just about tow vehicles, but about the trailers they sell, and the bogus miracle spray protectant/warranty products they sell, etc.. If someone tells me they had a good experience with an honest dealer I figure (A) they got fooled, or (B) they found a unicorn.

My dealer told some whoppers when we bought a new 26BH this year. I asked whether the WFCO charger converter was a truly "smart" charger. It was clear to me that the guy who did the buyer orientation with me had no idea what a smart charger is. I said, "you know, the charger provides different voltage levels at different times in the charging cycle...some smart chargers claim more than they deliver, and I'd like to know about this one so I can look into a replacement for serious boon docking". He proceeded to confidently inform me that this charger does all that, and beside's "it's a thousand dollar unit and Jayco uses the best so you'd never need to replace it". Truth is, it's a crappy converter, and is only a tiny fraction of $1,000.00. The good replacement I put in was 200 bucks.

The personality trait that these people seem to share is that they have no problem telling whoppers, because they really don't care if they get caught in a lie. That's the key to successful lying. An absence of conscience.

The best course for the buyer is to believe nothing the dealer says. The truth is only a few keystrokes away.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:18 AM   #6
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Me to from what I see on the road, I don't think dealers are asking to many questions. The ones we like are the front wheel drive SUV's pulling TT!
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:19 AM   #7
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If there lips are moving its not true!
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #8
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you don't need any more regulation..


Easy though for the sale a dealer is required to write down the GVRW of the TV (off the door jam tag picture of it even) and that of the trailer. Then show the math it works loaded to the max and it fits inside the TV GVRW tag. Then it is a binding contract...
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:39 AM   #9
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AFAIK, there is nothing in writing from a dealer stating what tow vehicle a trailer owner will be using or should be using; that part is all verbal. I'm confident a dealer's attorney(s) would not agree to a buyer adding some kind of written stipulation in the purchase regarding the tow vehicle's capabilities etc. and the dealer's liability in case of an accident.

In court after an accident, attorney's may argue facts regarding tow vehicles and trailer weights etc. I doubt they will be trying to find fault with the dealer or the buyer's understanding of what the salesperson had said.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:40 AM   #10
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It's pretty understandable, though. If you're the new salesman at a dealership, you'd better catch up to the other salesman, or you'll be gone.

Imagine that you're the guy that does the entire math process for each buyer. The other guy is handling a least two customers at a time on a busy Saturday, and you're dealing with just one. Gonna be bye bye for you.

Also, have you read enough threads on this forum to notice how many guys post, asking if their existing vehicle will tow the trailer they're considering? And, how resistant some of them are to dealing with the facts? As a practical consideration, why put yourself through it? If you really wanted to help them, and still keep your job, you could mow their lawn after work.

Or, the dealer could offer the service of properly matching tow vehicles to trailers. Next thing you know, they're selling smaller trailers as compared to their competitors, and possibly fewer of them. And, there just might be more legal liability for the dealer if the wrong choice is made.
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