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Old 03-30-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
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UPDATE: Winnebago leaking windshield

Well, my father-in-law has been given the final word regarding any dealer participation: he was offered $500 a couple of weeks ago and said 'no'; dealer said they would mull things over and call him back. They never did, so he called them to find out what had been decided: they told him the maximum they would pay him for reimbursement was $500. He declined.

You can read my original thread (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/2003...lp-115456.html) and decide for yourself if the dealer has any responsibility. I can say that neither my father-in-law or myself could recommend this Winnebago dealer to anyone in good faith, which is a shame because they are a mega multi-state-dealer. The motorhome was purchased used at La Mesa RV in Davis, CA, and the corporate office that made the final decision is located in San Diego, CA.

If they had taken ownership and paid anything reasonable towards the total costs, I'd be here to let everyone know how fair and reputable they are. While we understand that Winnebago likely has a windshield design problem that causes leaks, our issue has been that the dealer replaced the windshield and saw first-hand the damage that had been previously done by rust, and never said a word before my father-in-law took delivery. His new-to-him motorhome leaked like a sieve every time it rained, and La Mesa RV clearly feels they had no obligation to tell him that when making the deal. Cost to my father-in-law for this 'don't tell the customer/buyer' policy: $3,800, and it was not paid by insurance.

Naturally, based on their final decision, I'd have to say anyone deciding to purchase from La Mesa RV: BUYER BEWARE. While their website states ...'complimented by outstanding certified pre-owned RVs' I guess our question is 'certified what?' -RT
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:44 PM   #2
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I sure wish I knew how to start a class action against Winnebago and their windshield rust.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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I've never been to LaMesa, but I know their reputation on the several forums I monitor is very poor...
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:24 AM   #4
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Sometimes when you demand "all or nothing", you get nothing. Of course maybe $500.00 is chicken feed ?

Kerry
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:19 AM   #5
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Maybe if you started picketing their RV dealership their attitude would change. What they did was disgusting.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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I've dealt with their dealership in San Diego and I agree they "suck"
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
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If people only realized what the bad press costs them for their choice to stick to small reimbursement denials. One person not going to their dealership due to bad press has already cost them what they would have paid out. They continue to go deeper in the hole as word spreads - they tell 2 friends and they tell two friends and so on.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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The OP relates a terrible experience with LaMesa/Davis and I would be livid. However just to be fair we bought our first (and it may be our last) RV from them. Except for grossly overpaying for it originally (basically our fault for not using due diligence) we have been treated pretty fairly there during ensuing dealings for any issues. Some of which were under extended warrantee. However we did find it went much smoother when Matt was the service writer than the yahoo they have there now.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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They do "RV Shows" frequently in central Florida. We went to one in Bushnell two years ago still trying to decide whether or not we wanted a fifth wheel or a motorhome. I explained to the salesman that we were certainly not going to buy that day or any time soon but he just would not leave us alone. We finally left because it was impossible for us to discuss what we felt were important differences between the two without his putting in his two cents worth.
They had advertised free coffee cups or umbrellas, neither of which were we interested, in but my wife asked for an umbrella, when the young lady said they were all gone, my wife said "darn that's the only reason we drove 30 miles to come here, we aren't even interested in RVs" she immediately copped an attitude about not being able to bring enough handouts for everyone that wanted one????
After this topic, i'm glad we never visited their dealership. BTW - we purchased a couple of months later at Lazydays.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I sure wish I knew how to start a class action against Winnebago and their windshield rust.

That is easy.. Call Dewy, Cheatum & Howe Attorneys at Law.
(Ok so that's a fictional law frim thank you Mssrs Fine, Howard and Fine, also known as the 3 Stooges)


Seriously.. You start a class action by contacting an attorney, if he or she is interested they will tell you what you need to do next. If you find a sufficent class then the attorney will take the case.. When the settlement is made the Attorney's pay is decided upon by the Judge, You get paid out of what's left and when you cash the check you can take your sweety out to dinner... at McDonalds. cause that's all it wil cover..

(As for the attorney.. He gets to by a new 50 foot Yacht with his check, and funds left over for insurance license and fuel)
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:35 PM   #11
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I have heard of bad experiences with La Mesa. Fortunately, we had a very good one. Our salesperson was great and we only needed the service dept. a couple of times- and they did a good job. I'm sorry your dealings with them were not good- I hope everything turns out ok in the end.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
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You start a class action by contacting an attorney, if he or she is interested they will tell you what you need to do next. If you find a sufficent class then the attorney will take the case..
I would consider just that, or certainly at least help, except it seems that while I've read many threads and posts on the subject in three or four RV forums, no one seems to provide much information, other than acknowledging that it has happened to them. It almost comes across to me that even though people have spent $2,500-$4,000 for repairs, Winnebago owners just seem to accept it as the price to own an RV.

While I haven't taken my motorhome in for an inspection yet, I did go by today and pulled down (but didn't pull it out or remove) the reveal molding running across the bottom of the windshield: rust! I didn't have access to a ladder to check the top, but I'm sure it's rusted far worse, as that's where the water is leaking from inside the top of the windshield area and down the inside of the glass.

I'm guessing that far more people have a problem and just don't know it yet, either because they don't have the information of a potential problem, or haven't taken the time to pull away the molding a little bit to inspect. That's too bad, as collectively we might be able to get help from Winnebago. -RT
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:58 PM   #13
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Sometimes when you demand "all or nothing", you get nothing. Of course maybe $500.00 is chicken feed ?

Kerry
Not sure what that 'reply' is based on, but just for clarification, I have never said anything along the lines of "all or nothing" in either thread. In fact, in the original thread, I clearly stated "My father-in-law, when asked, told the representative that he felt that them paying 50% of the total costs would be acceptable."

I also have stated that it would take more than $500 for my father-in-law to sign off on a dealer liability release, but nothing more should be read into that then exactly what it says.

While $500 isn't 'chicken feed', he would rather take other action then forfeit any of those rights for only $500. -RT
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
That is easy.. Call Dewy, Cheatum & Howe Attorneys at Law.
(Ok so that's a fictional law frim thank you Mssrs Fine, Howard and Fine, also known as the 3 Stooges)


Seriously.. You start a class action by contacting an attorney, if he or she is interested they will tell you what you need to do next. If you find a sufficent class then the attorney will take the case.. When the settlement is made the Attorney's pay is decided upon by the Judge, You get paid out of what's left and when you cash the check you can take your sweety out to dinner... at McDonalds. cause that's all it wil cover..

(As for the attorney.. He gets to by a new 50 foot Yacht with his check, and funds left over for insurance license and fuel)
John,
(I like the size of your glasses, by the way)

I have an easy out. I was a little factious with my post. My son is a lawyer. The only thing he would get from me is whatever he may inherit.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
That is easy.. Call Dewy, Cheatum & Howe Attorneys at Law.
(Ok so that's a fictional law frim thank you Mssrs Fine, Howard and Fine, also known as the 3 Stooges)


Seriously.. You start a class action by contacting an attorney, if he or she is interested they will tell you what you need to do next. If you find a sufficent class then the attorney will take the case.. When the settlement is made the Attorney's pay is decided upon by the Judge, You get paid out of what's left and when you cash the check you can take your sweety out to dinner... at McDonalds. cause that's all it wil cover..

(As for the attorney.. He gets to by a new 50 foot Yacht with his check, and funds left over for insurance license and fuel)
I totally agree with the way you describe the payout.

I was notified of a class action suit of a former employer. They were accused of mismanaging the company 401K plan. The suit prevailed and the company had to payout $10,000,000.00. The first $6,000,000.00 went to the lawyers, $15,000.00 goes to each of the principal plaintiffs initiating the lawsuit, and the remainder will be split between up to 50,000 people who are eligible to join as part of the class.

To top it off anyone who accepts part of the payout also has to sign a release promising no further action on their part. So much for "winning" a class action suit.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:27 AM   #16
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I would encourage all of you with rusted windshields to report it to the NHTSA it. Takes two mins to fill out the complaint and if they feel it is dangerous or a safety defect (windshield falling out while driving) they will recall the coaches in question. If you google "NHTSA+RUST" you will see a ton of safety recalls due to rust and corrosion. Most of the recalls reimbursed owners for any repairs already made for the condition.

I reported my coach and got am immediate phone call. Rust and corrosion is very dangerous and those of you who can't see your problem is very scary.

Take care.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:05 PM   #17
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<snip>I reported my coach and got am immediate phone call. Rust and corrosion is very dangerous and those of you who can't see your problem is very scary.

Take care.
Who was the call from? Did you get any immediate payment or resolution?
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:22 PM   #18
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Who was the call from? Did you get any immediate payment or resolution?
I'd love to know too. I called Winnebago this last Monday and again yesterday with some follow-up questions. I got the same customer service rep both days (darn it! I was hoping for a second opinion or viewpoint) and he has declined my request for any help on reimbursement costs based on one fact: my motorhome is out of warranty. I challenged his view that I was asking for out-of-warranty help, but rather a known design flaw that allows water to get behind the fake rubber reveal molding and then slowly rusts and then rots out the metal windshield frame. I say 'fake' because on any other motorhome or passenger car or pick-up, the rubber molding actually holds the windshield in place and is designed to seal out the elements. That is not the case of the Winnebago windshield installation process, which by the way seems to have been changed with the one-piece windshield. My feeling is that a warranty period covers a part from defects or failure for a specific period of time; no part is actually failing, but rather a design flaw is causing the problem. An example to me might be the Workhorse brake recall: my understanding is that the brake calipers had a design defect and created brake problems, not that the caliper had a sudden failure. To me that means that the part didn't fail, but that the design of it did.

I asked a lot of questions but most were met with silence. He didn't/wouldn't answer if this was a long-term problem, or how many customers have called in asking for help, or how many have shown up while under warranty, etc. I pointed out that a simple 'Google' showed that the problem is all over the United States, not just one area with severe winter climates, per all the posts on four or five different forums. And when I asked what the odds of the exact same problem showing up on two motorhomes built one year apart, in the same family in a mild California climate, the answer was... silence. I told him that the factory-authorized Winnebago dealer La Mesa RV that sold my father-in-law his motorhome claims that this is a known Winnebago problem dating way back. His response? Silence.

On my second call I asked the rep if Winnebago has ever notified customers of a potential problem: 'not to his acknowledge'. I asked if Winnebago has ever notified customers of needing to inspect the windshield for rust: 'not to his knowledge'. I asked him if Winnebago has ever stated the need for some sort of owner-required maintenance: 'not to his knowledge'.

I pointed out that the Winnebago website has 'Service Tips' listed, starting with 1998 and going through 2011, and that while there are tips on inspecting and maintaining a variety of topics, such as the roof, and front & rear cap seams, and the roof/sidewall seams, there is nothing on windshield inspections and/or maintenance. More silence.

I'm not sure what the answer here should be, but it does seem to me that it is pretty unfair for Winnebago to easily dismiss any request for financial help for a known design flaw or deficiency by simply invoking the 'your out of warranty' line.

While waiting more than 30 minutes on both calls to talk to a service rep, you hear over and over the line 'Winnebagos commitment to excellence'. With Winnebago building a brick wall around the issue, I'm not feeling it. And since the windshield glass, according to a service rep, by design is an integral part of structure of the cab and it's safety of the driver and passenger, I feel that Winnebago should rethink their position. Glass companies that I have spoken to claim that with enough rust and frame rot, the windshields could fall out while driving at highway speeds, though I have no personal knowledge of this happening.

I'm going to write a letter, and hope that others that have already incurred the same problem, or are concerned that they may in the future, write a letter also.

Winnebago Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 152
Forest City, IA 50436

Attention: President / CEO

These are strictly my own views and opinions, and yours may differ from mine, but feel free to reply with your thoughts.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:54 PM   #19
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The call was from a man at NHTSA. He was concerned as to why a brand new vehicle (mine) was corroding so fast. I gave him my website address so he could review the pictures himself. He said he would be calling the manufacture and getting more info. Once the NHTSA asks a manufacturer about a problem, they have to give them all the records of the specific complaint they have. Including all repairs and customer complaints. Then they will investigate and force a recall. There are no voluntary recalls. If it is a safety defect including a manufacturing process they will force the recall.

I also mentioned to him about the rusting windshields. He seems concerned about that too. Structural rust. Such as a windshields mounting is considered a safety defect.
If you have no idea your windshields strength is compromised and someone stands up as you happen to brake suddenly they could fall out .
But unless you all report it they have no way of knowing there is a problem and won't enforce an investigation or recall. It takes literally two mins to fill out the complaint form. Also do a google search for NHSTA+windshield+rust. The first thing that comes up is an article from NHSTA about how it could be unsafe.


NHSTA doesn't seem forgiving to structural rust because all auto makers know vehicles will be driving in all conditions and are expected to be protected from rust and corrosion. Auto makers know there is salt, and chemicals on the road and it is their responsibility to protect their customers from the damage it may cause to an improperly coated vehicle.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:42 PM   #20
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Another update:

My father-in-law is in the middle of mediation. While not required in the state of California, it can be part of the process before proceeding to court. He opted to go through the process, if for no other reason than to show that he's made every attempt at resolution before court.

My father-in-law called and requested information on the vendor that did the actual work (for a mediation response letter) and the dealer (La Mesa RV) is refusing to identify the company or individual that did the windshield replacement. They did have a conversation about the problem, with the dealer asking what he wanted. La Mesa RV did not accept and did not make any counter offers, and La Mesa RV told him to go ahead and submit his last response to the mediator at this time, which he has now done. Not sure if La Mesa RV has one last shot at trying to resolve or if it now goes to court. Will post any further developments.

I see in another, newer thread, another Winnebago owner had the same problem, though fortunately, nowhere to the same degree.

Will post when he hears back from the mediator. -RT
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