Posts Tagged fire department sue Pierce Manufacturing over warranty repairs for chassis corrosion

Pierce Manufacturing hit with class action lawsuit (more)

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Last year, Charleston joined several other cities in the area in a class action lawsuit against Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. and Global Fire Equipment, Inc. claiming that they violated the terms of the warranty on the fire trucks they had made for the cities.

Charleston purchased two fire trucks in the early 2000s over a five-year period from the company. 

Tim Meister, Charleston Fire Department assistant fire chief, said at the time that there is a lifetime warranty on the frame of the fire trucks for rust and corrosion damage, and currently, all three have varying degrees of rust on the frame. The city claimed that the company has not repaired or replaced the frames even though it is spelled out in the warranty to do so.

After some back and forth between attorneys involved in the case, a tentative agreement has been made.

Charleston Fire Chief Steve Bennett said one truck would get an entirely new rail and another would get repairs to the existing rail on the truck in the settlement.  Both would be sent in for repair and replacement one at a time with a loaner truck provided. 

Other terms of the agreement include:

  • Charleston paying $13,333 for the frame rail replacement, receiving credit of equal value to be used toward other repairs and trucks from Pierce.
  • Pierce will pickup and deliver the trucks from the city.
  • Pierce will pay attorney costs.
  • Pierce will provide recommended written maintenance practices and service bulletins regarding maintenance.
  • Pierce will continue to honor existing warranties on the trucks

Today, council members will vote on whether they accept the new terms of the agreement at their meeting set for 6:30 p.m. at Charleston City Hall, 520 Jackson Ave. 

The settlement included in the meeting documents did not include that of the other cities involved in the lawsuit. 

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Pierce Manufacturing hit with class action lawsuit (more)

Excerpts from the

Several Illinois cities are banding together to pursue legal action after, they claim, a fire equipment maker stiffed them on warranty repairs.

Bloomington and Normal are among seven cities considering an alliance to pursue any and all legal remedies against Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton, Wis.

Of Normal’s five fire engines and two ladder trucks, six have corroded chassis, including two so badly damaged that they’re out of service. Repairs are estimated at $90,000 per vehicle, which the town wants Pierce to pay for under a 50-year warranty on each chassis offered by the company.

“It is our understanding … that Pierce has been denying similar claims, asserting that the apparatus were not properly washed, considering the salt that is present on our roadways during the winter,” according to the memo. “Our fire department washes each fire apparatus every day.”

In response, the town staff has requested it enter into an agreement with Bloomington, Champaign, Charleston, Decatur, Ottawa and Peoria to fight back. The City Council will consider that agreement when it meets today.


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