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Trane HVAC Unit Defective TXV Valve and Materials Class Action

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John Dippoliti bought Trane US, Inc. heating equipment from C&C Heating and Air Conditioning Company because he believed the equipment was reliable. However, when the system failed, the complaint for this class action says, he discovered that the problem was inherent in the design of the unit—a flawed combination of rust inhibitor, compressor oil, and a particular TXV valve design.

Five classes have been identified in this action, one for each of the separate counts in the complaint. The Breach of Express Warranty Class is all persons who, between June 26, 2014 and June 26, 2018, bought Trane HVAC units with the same combination of rust inhibitor, compressor oil, and TXV valve design as in Dippoliti’s unit, in the US, except Louisiana and Puerto Rico.

The other classes, for Breach of Implied Warranty, Fraud, Deceptive Trade Practices Under Michigan Law, and Deceptive Trade Practices Under New Jersey Law, are similar, with class periods of four or six years, all relating to the combination of rust inhibitor, compressor oil, and TXV valve design as in Dippoliti’s unit.

Dippoliti chose Trane because the company touted the reliability of its equipment. The company claimed to sell “America’s Most Reliable™ HVAC System.” As quoted in the complaint, the company’s website claimed, “We don’t just build our products—we own patents on them. And we don’t just test our products—we push them to the extreme. If our product can’t make it through torturous testing, you’ll never see it in your home.” It added, “It’s that kind of reliability that’s earned us America’s Most Trusted HVAC System, three years in a row…”

On October 9, 2014, Dippoliti bought a Trane furnace and condenser from C&C for $6,495, to heat and cool their home.

In 2018, the thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) in the unit malfunctioned. C&C sent out a technician, who first added MJ-X oil, as per a Trane service bulletin. When the valve still did not work properly, he replaced it with another Trane TXV valve. Although the part was free, because the unit was still under warranty, Dippoliti had to pay $550 for labor.

Eventually, Dippoliti learned that the problem was likely caused by a rust inhibitor reacting with the oil in the compressor, which then forms matter, which makes the valve stick and fail. According to the complaint, Trane had issued at least one service bulletin on the topic, and the Internet shows numerous complaints about this same malfunction. 

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