Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "warranty" ...

  • Shoddy Home Construction

    A Boston Globe investigation reveals that "Toll Brothers, the country's largest builder of luxury homes, is plagued by lax supervision, sloppy construction methods and the use of inferior materials, generating substantial ill will among buyers nationwide." The stories focus mainly on problems in Hopkinton Highlands, and report that some luxurious homes built by Toll Brothers have foundation cracks, faulty framing and improperly secured walls. The series also reports that substandard home construction is becoming a national problem, and that the government admits serious lapses in overseeing the performance of home building companies.
  • Windstar Troubles

    WBNS-TV reports on "problems with 1995 Ford Windstar transmissions ... [that] were expensive to fix and pose a safety risk." The investigation reveals that "one of the primary problems concerned aluminum forward clutch pistons, ... [which] can fail in transmissions on 1994 and 1995 Windstars, Taurus, Mercury Sables and Lincoln Continentals." It also finds 521 owner complaints about the questionable part. The reporter uncovers a 1994 Ford Motor Company service bulletin warning dealers and technicians that "the aluminium part may crack, causing gear engagement concerns." The story details several lawsuits claiming that Ford has "told its dealers to replace the aluminium part with a steel part," but has "failed to notify its customers about the defect."
  • Blueprint for Trouble

    A Sun-Sentinel series investigates "construction problems in the City of Pembroke, one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation" in the aftermath of the Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The investigation has found that "every major subdivision built since 1992 had construction defects, and many of those homes had received city certificates of occupancy even though the city could not prove all inspections had taken place." The series details specific cases of homes with leaking roofs and windows, as well as potential safety problems. "Private home inspectors say they still see many of the same kind of shortcomings throughout South Florida that led to the mass destruction of Andrew." The reporters expose the practice of some city inspectors to spend part of their workdays at parks and fitness centers and focus on problems stemming from haphazard recordkeeping at the city building department.
  • Fake Sales Mar Mitsubishi Total

    "The articles detailed the disclosures and admissions by Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America national and regional managers and dealers that the automaker had fraudulently inflated its U.S. vehicle sales numbers, in order to achieve volume targets and overstate the health of the company. The falsifications used actual vehicle identification numbers of Mitsubishi cars and trucks later purchased by unknowing consumers. When the vehicles were legitimately purchased, the original fake sales were not reversed, meaning thousands of Mitsubishi buyers had been defrauded out of months of warranty coverage." This story increased investigation by the Florida Attorney General and lead to a 15-count subpoena against Mitsubishi. In addition, it "lead to several states' opening investigations of Mitsubishi's questionable sales practices."
  • Built to Last?

    Consumers told KARE-TV that the 1995 Ford Windstar is plagued by premature transmission failures. Local mechanics agreed they appeared to be failing at a much higher rate than would be expected from the first 5-star rated mini-van and often right after the factory warranty had expired. Owners were outraged to be paying an average of $2000 out-of-pocket expense to replace these transmissions before they were even done paying for their vans. The authors looked through NHTSA's database and found Ford had predicted these transmissions would fail in a technical service bulletin and had redesigned a key part midway through the fires model year.
  • Iffy Brakes Vex Chrysler

    An investigation by the Post-Dispatch finds that the anti-lock brakes on Chrysler and General Motors vehicles are defective and likely to fail. While Chrysler offered a secret warranty, only if the customer complained, GM was aware of the problem, but told no one. (Aug. 6, Sept. 17, Oct. 20, 1995)
  • (Untitled)

    KGO-TV (San Francisco) uncovered a warranty by General Motors to its customers to re-paint cars that had peeling paint problems due to a manufacturing defect; GM's managers and dealers were not living up to the warranty, forcing customers to spend thousands, May 26, 1993.
  • (Untitled)

    KOCO-TV (Oklahoma City) details how land developers used a series of loan flips and warranty deeds to defraud lending institutions and individuals out of a half billion dollars; the developers are former members of the Ned Warren group, responsible for massive land fraud in Arizona, October 1986.