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Lawnmower Manufactues Lied About Horsepower, Lawsuit Alleges

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A class action lawsuit alleges that the makers of lawnmowers conspired over the past decade to hide the true horsepower of their products.

The lawnmower horsepower fraud complaint claims that lawnmower manufacturers implemented a number of labeling standards, the purpose of which was to deceive consumers about horsepower valuations. For instance, labeling standard”SAE J1940″ was nothing more than 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.”

Labelling standard “SAE J1995,” used “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.” That standard has no real-world relevance.

According to the lawnmower horsepower fraud class action lawsuit, the defendants were also 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.

Defendants in the lawsuit include Sears & Roebuck Co., Briggs & Stratton, Deere & Co., Tecumseh Products Co., Briggs & Stratton Corp., Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA., MTD Products, The Toro Co., American Honda Motor Co., Electrolux Home Products, The Kohler Co., Platinum Equity LLC, and Husqvarna Outdoor Products.

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