MEXICO — Selectmen have authorized Town Manager John Madigan to contact an attorney in a class action suit against International Truck and Engine Corp., because of engine problems with the town’s newest truck.

The 2012 International has 23,000 miles and is used to plow the Back Kingdom area.

“Basically, on the 2012, they’re having major engine issues because of all the new emissions (standards),” Public Works mechanic Jeff Wade told selectmen at the Jan. 19 meeting. “International decided not to follow suit and they stuck with their normal, everyday stuff and tried to band-aid it, and it’s not working.

“That truck has had major issues since day one,” he said. “I’ve had numerous recalls and it’s just been an ongoing battle.”

Two weeks ago, Wade said he went for another recall and the truck has lost another 10 or 15 percent of its power since then.

“In my opinion, they’re trying to meet emissions by pulling power out of it,” he said. “It’s almost to the point where we can’t plow with it. It’s that bad. Empty, the truck is fine.”

At a board meeting on Jan. 5, Madigan said he saw on the Internet a class action suit against International and that he would contact the state Attorney General’s Office on the matter.

“The town of Union is asking all the towns if any other towns have had similar issues,” he said. 

Madigan said a lawyer in the suit said that if a customer purchased or leased one or more of these vehicles between 2008-13, they were eligible to take part of the suit.

He asked the board if they wanted him to notify the law firm that Mexico has one of these vehicles. He said the town should be a part of the suit.

“I don’t see why that would hurt us,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Richie Philbrick said.

“Isn’t the lemon law still in effect?” Selectman Andy Dupuis asked. 

“Not after 20,000 (miles),” Wade said. “It’s got 23,000 on it.”

Because the problems occurred earlier, Madigan asked Wade to gather all the documentation for the truck, including information on recalls and upgrades.

Selectman Reggie Arsenault said, “But even though it’s got 23,000 miles on it, you’ve got documentation right from the start. Still, wouldn’t that fall under the lemon law?”

Wade said he would provide the necessary documentation and selectmen could decide if the truck could be classified under the lemon law.

Arsenault said, “It still doesn’t matter. … It’s not meeting what we put in for and what they promised us what that truck could do. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a lemon.”

Wade expressed concern that the truck could handle the plow gear.

“Personally, I doubt the thing is making 150 horse,” Wade said. “The problem we have (is,) some days, it’s fine; some days, it’s junk.”

“You said you hauled snow the other day and it worked great,” Philbrick said.

Wade agreed, but said when he took the truck out sanding, it was probably the worst that’s its ever been.

“We’ve tried every additive you can imagine,” he said. “Right now, it’s doing its job, so I just keep making phone calls and trying to get something done.”

Wade said he contacted International “a hundred times,” but has been unable to make any headway on the matter. 

“It’s like talking to a wall,” he said. 

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