When is a truck considered a lemon?


Active Member
Happy Friday Everyone!

So our company breaks the bank and buys a brand spanking new 2018 Peterbilt last December. Since April, it has been in the shop constantly. One of the stacks keeps turning and resting on the bunk...there is a vibration between 15 - 18 revs while under a load...the Bluetooth is so bad, the driver cannot call anyone - including customers/shippers...the paint is peeling on the back of the bunk. And, every time it goes into the shop, they break something - hole in the fender, denting all the hubcaps, broken antennaes... The stack - they keep adding clamps that keep breaking and the stack turns again and rests on the bunk. (and now the other stack is cracking at the bend). The Bluetooth? They have replaced it and now moved it - leaving three holes on the interior wall where it had been mounted...and you still can't hear the driver! Unfortunately, the list goes on.

So my question (thanks for listening to my rant :) ) - at what point is it considered a lemon? The vibration is our main concern. What will happen when the warranty wears out? We keep being told to give the truck back - but it isn't a lease and they don't hold the loan.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
Well, first of all you're knackered now.
Not to add insult to injury, but some pre-buying research would have told you not to go anywhere near a Peterbilt. Research means you talk to the people that actually run them, not the salesman, the trade-rag ads, or even what you read here. You call someone and speak to a real person.
The unfortunate truth these days is that you would have been far better off buying a 2013 Navistar Prostar with a Maxxforce engine than you would have been buying a 2019 Peterbilt. What was once a great truck, is now not even worth the price of scrap.
Now, back to your problem. Escalate this issue well beyond your dealership because clearly they have no idea what they are doing. It is just as evident that the truck was not PDI'd at the factory, at the dealership, or at your shop.
In the meantime, take it to a different dealership site. i.e. if you were dealing with Stoney Creek, change to Hagersville. If you are not happy with Cervus Peterbilt at all ... and I am making an assumption here because in general I have a good relationship with Cervus ... Take it to Hunter Buffalo Peterbilt. Those people are rock stars over there.
Give your dealership empire a day or two to start into this for you, then escalate it to your state/provincial Peterbilt rep. After a day or two without satisfaction, escalate to Peterbilt Canada, then Peterbilt HQ in Texas if it goes beyond that.
Don't forget the power of the press ... facebook, Twitter, Instagram, hundreds of forums like this, etc, etc, etc., and when you write about it, publish the truck's VIN.

I almost hate to bring this up, but prepare yourselves. Problems with this truck are going to haunt you as long as you own it. My personal advice is just to sell it. Take the loss and get rid of it. It will be cheaper in the long run.

Quick story ... I have two 2013 386's here, consecutive serial numbers. Grief trucks is what they are. I kept them too long. I have one driver that drives them both. He takes one out one day and it breaks. While my shop is fixing it, my driver takes the other one and it breaks ... he just keeps swapping them out every day.


Site Supporter
I think your opening line says it all "So our company breaks the bank and buys a brand spanking new 2018 Peterbilt" they have done an amazing marketing job over the years that somehow you've made it when you buy a Peterbilt. We had them years ago and got rid of them after 2 years, you cannot make money with these trucks. We did get 2 daycabs that we are now selling and they have not been bad but everything is double or triple the price of any other truck, which is funny because the radio does not sound any better. Too much down time with these trucks which most times is not taken into account in the true cost of a truck in the garage all the time.


Site Supporter
We had a new 2017 Kw that came with bent frame rails, took 6 months of truck sitting at the dealers lot, all while truck was paid for. Had to put my pit bull lawyer into action. Asked for a new truck, but only got new frame rail's installed. Horrible to deal with Paccar.

Jim L

Well-Known Member
Sell the Peterbilt or burn it. Either way you'll be ahead.

We had so many problems with Peterbilt and we chased it all the way to Denton, TX. Had someone come down and offer us $750 for our problems but no solution.

In the end I hired an amazing young lad who is excellent with computers and he has managed to find a way to keep it running half decently - at a cost of course. As for the Bluetooth, don't use it, buy your driver a parrot headset....