Monday, July 24, 2006



RV Business
Monday, July 24, 2006

Stamford, Conn.-based Crane Co. acknowledged a "quality issue" in sidewalls shipped to the recreational vehicle sector during a recent conference call on the firm’s first-quarter earnings.

“During the first quarter we … incurred product support costs in conjunction with a distortion issue and a product quality issue some of our RV customers have experienced,” CEO Eric Fast said during an April conference call with analysts.

The Fairfield County Business Journal, White Plains, N.Y., reported that Crane, along with subsidiary Crane Composites Inc. Channahon, Ill., are being sued by motorhome builder National RV Holdings Inc.

Crane spokesman Richard Koch declined comment on whether the company faces lawsuits from other RV makers. Some OEMs have alluded to sidewall defects during recent earnings statements.

The business journal reported that besides reinforced fiberglass panels, Crane produces pumps, valves, sensors and gauges. The company has had a hefty legal bill the past few years due to thousands of asbestos-related claims, spending $107 million between 2003 and 2005 to defend and settle cases.

National RV Holdings, Perris, Calif., reported on July 14 that the use of defective sidewall material at its National RV subsidiary had been corrected, but would impact the company’s second-quarter profits. National RV has terminated its relationship with Crane.

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