Lawn care-loving Grandview man can’t get pricy mower to work

Problem Solvers

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — If you shell out more than $1,300 for a top-of-the-line lawn mower, you expect it to work. But this one had issues from the start.

Now it’s sitting in a repair shop, again.

The frustrated owner called FOX4 Problem Solvers for help.

If you’re ever looking for Brandon Barnhart, the best place to start is the yard of his Grandview home.

Two to three times a week, you’ll find him mowing, weed whacking and edging.

“I like to keep the lines,” said Barnhart, who acknowledged he’s a lawn care fanatic and spends from 5 to 7 hours a week tending to his yard.

“I get a sense of pride out of it big time.”

So, it’s not surprising Barnhart decided in May to replace his $300 Kraftsman mower with a $1,300 top-of-the-line Toro lawn mower, which would cut his mowing time in half.

All seemed well the first time he used it until he got ready to put it back in the garage. That’s when he noticed oil trickling down the mower’s front deck.

He figured the oil was most likely the result of  a new seal that needed to be saturated before it provided a tight fit. So he waited a week, but the mower was still leaking oil.

He contacted Toro which advised him to take take his mower, which has a 2-year warranty, to an authorized dealer for a free repair. Barnhart took it to Lumax in Belton. That was in June, and that’s where it’s been ever since. Every time Lumax thinks it has repaired the mower, a new problem pops up.

“They thought the head gasket was the original cause of the oil leak and when they replaced that it immediately blew the head gasket,” Barnhart said. “Then they replaced the cylinder head. Then they replaced the fuel filter. “

And on and on. His mower is still at Lumax waiting for another part to arrive. It’s been more than two months since Barnhart first took it in.

“I’m starting to get really frustrated,” Barnhart said, who has been maintaining his demanding lawn care schedule with his old mower.

Barnhart said he thinks Toro should acknowledge that he was sold a faulty mower and give him a new one. But he hasn’t convinced anyone at Toro to do that.

He said he keeps being referred back to the repair shop at Lumax.

Barnhart’s complaint was the first FOX4 Problem Solvers has ever received about Toro which has a solid reputation in the lawn care industry.

Problem Solvers called Toro’s Minnesota headquarters. That day, a Toro spokesman contacted us. He said Barnhart’s experience should never have happened.

Toro is investigating what went wrong with both the mower and the company’s customer service. In the meantime, Toro has shipped Barnhart a  brand new mower.

“I’m happy,” said Barnhart, who can’t wait to get back out in his yard.

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