Lessons from the Road
If you’re anxious for more fun and fewer bumps on the road to adventure , we can help!
We bought a used 2017 Thor Axis 25.5 motorhome in 2020 from RV One in Fort Myers, Florida. All systems on the coach were operational and the body was in pretty good condition.
The only flaw we found in the coach were the two Captains chairs. As you can see from the above picture, the seat covering is disintegrating. We thought the previous owners must have been rather energetic people to have worn the seats so prematurely. It also made us wonder about the legitimacy of the miles on the coach, since it usually takes years to wear seats like this. RV One assured us the mileage was correct and they are a legit place so we thought it must have been rough use that caused this problem,
But, the coach only had 21,000 miles on it so we bought it anyway expecting to replace the seats on our own dime. We got a good deal on the coach partly because of the disintegrating seat coverings.
But as the disintegration became worse, we decided that something must be wrong with the original seats from the factory so we called Thor, in fact, twice. As many of you who deal with warranty and repair issues, we got two different answers from two different people at Thor Customer Service. They first told us that the previous owners probably put the wrong cleaning materials on it and that was the cause of the degradation or the sun caused it even thought we have it in covered storage.
We have put all manner of cleaning materials on our 17 year old Corvettes interior seats and they still look brand new. So, that explanation did not wash with us. Upon pressing the Thor service rep more on the problem, he said that I should call the OEM for the seats and see what they said.
We did that, and were told that they knew nothing about this but I could buy new seat covers and pay someone to install them. The second call to Thor Customer Service gave us a different answer. The rep said that the coach was out of warranty, so they couldn’t do anything for us, but they would sell us new covers for $300.00 at a discounted price. He said that this was a discounted price, because they heard from others with bad seats who must have used the wrong cleaning products. It seems most of us Thor Axis owners must shop for substandard cleaning materials.
These seats are clearly flawed from the factory. And Thor knows this because they said that they have had other complaints and accuse the owners of using some cleaning materials that have caused this or it is sun damage.
We have now seen other people on the web who have had a similar problem to ours. This is clearly a product defect and Thor needs to stand behind it. We are planning on taking this matter to small claims court for a remedy. If any of you out there have the same problem let us know and we will use this as further supportive evidence in court.
By the way, small claims does not mean small defendants. We sued GM for a materials defect that they wouldn’t stand behind and we won. You can seek treble damages in many cases and the hearing happens in your town not their corporate HQ.
So Thor, do the right thing and get these flawed seats repaired or replaced! Even though the coach is out of factory warranty, there is a thing called “implied warranty”, which means that a product should perform well for a reasonable period of time beyond the factory warranty.
Please see the definition of an implied warranty below from Investopedia
By WILL KENTON Updated Jun 4, 2020
An implied warranty is a legal term for the assurances—written or oral—that a product is fit for the purpose intended and is merchantable, i.e., conforms to an ordinary buyer’s expectations. The warranty of merchantability is implied unless expressly disclaimed by name, or the sale is identified with the phrase “as is” or “with all faults.”
Certainly, if our Corvette seats have lasted for 17 year in great condition, a Thor Motorhome seat should reasonably be expected to last more than 3 years. And it should be built ruggedly enough to withstand all matter of commercially recommended upholstery cleaners.
We will take one more run at Thor to request in writing that they repair or replace our current seats. If they refuse then we will up the anti and seek a legal remedy if they still refuse to acknowledge the problem. We will keep you, our readers, informed of our progress.