Good Sam Cuts the Red Tape

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August 31, 2013

ActionLineSouthern California Good Sam member Jerry Rutch was steamed when the diesel engine in his motorhome blew two turbochargers in quick succession, but at least they were both covered by his warranty. When the third turbo blew, Rutch wanted Good Sam in his corner, so he turned to Action Line for help:

 We’ve had major problems with the Cummins engine in our motorhome and would like to be reimbursed $3,371.74, the cost to us for replacing the latest turbo. Let me start by giving you a little history.

Back on December 10, 2010, we had a problem with the engine and took it to a Cummins authorized service center where we were told that it needed a new turbocharger. The turbo had a malfunction at 26,840 miles. Cummins installed the new turbo under warranty.

Approximately nine months later, after taking the motorhome to an authorized Cummins center, we found again that the turbo had malfunctioned and we needed a new one. By this time, with only 29,850 miles on the motorhome, I was getting concerned. Cummins replaced the turbo under the warranty, no problem, but made no effort to determine what was causing the engine to malfunction in this way.

On March 30, 2013, with only 40,628 miles on the motorhome—you guessed it—the turbo blew. This time Cummins refused to pay for it because it was out of warranty. We filed a complaint and received an email from a Cummins Customer Care representative asking us to contact the regional manager. On April 9, 2013, we wrote him a letter and have not heard back.

We did receive a customer survey as a reply to our email, which we filled out. Immediately after we sent it back, because it was not very flattering, we received a call from Larry Henley.

He got hold of a young lady in Tennessee, Star Keck, and asked me to call her. I explained the situation to her, and she said she would look into it. At that time she told me she thought she knew someone in our area who is familiar with our engine and would try to set up some kind of arrangement to have him determine why the engine is blowing turbos. She told me she would call me back the next day, but I didn’t hear from her so I called and left a message. She did return my call but didn’t remember saying that we were going to be taking it to someone it inspect it. She asked for all the information, the VIN number and the codes that the computer said were malfunctioning. I sent her what I had, and the Cummins Service Center provided the rest.

It’s four weeks later, and we haven’t heard from anyone. We would appreciate any help you can give in resolving this.

After Good Sam Action Line contacted Cummins on behalf of Jerry Rutch, we received the following letter from Ed Cucchiarella, field service engineer at Cummins Cal Pacific in Irvine, California:

This is in reference to a letter dated June 4, 2013, regarding a turbo failure on Mr. Jerry Rutch’s coach. I did not work directly with Mr. Rutch but with the repairing dealer, McCormick Diesel. A policy settlement was made in the amount of $2,582.95. Mr. Rutch did participate in the cost of the repair, and having done so has a warranty on the turbo. Mr. Rutch has been on a long trip with his coach, and all correspondence has been through the repairing dealer. I waited on sending this email until the customer had received the refund from the dealer.

 Since 1981, the Good Sam Club’s Action Line has helped resolve thousands of disputes between members and businesses. If you have an RV-related consumer issue and would like assistance from Good Sam, contact Action Line.

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