The Trex Company is the nation’s largest manufacturer of wood alternative decking, railing and fencing products. It was founded in 1996 through a buyout of a division of Mobil Corporation and has been a publicly traded company since 1999. The company claims to turn millions of recycled plastic grocery bags, plastic film and waste wood into its products each year. It has over 5,500 retail locations in North America.
On May 24, 2004, a nationwide class action suit filed Against the Trex Company in 2000 was certified in a New Jersey court over allegations that its products were defective. The suit covered a class of consumers from 1992 to 2004. The action alleged that Trex and Timbrex products rot, splinter and degrade as a result of defects in the manufacturing process.
It also alleged that Trex conducted a false advertising campaign, allowing it to charge a price 15% higher than alternative pressure-treated lumber products and that its products did not require sealants, although it did recommend application of sealants after the products exhibited mold.
The defective products claims were apparently limited to products coming out of Trex’s Nevada plant and affected only a small percentage of its overall products. Most of the complaints were that the Trex products were prone to flaking and rapid deterioration.
On March 15, 2010, Trex settled the suit by agreeing to replace any defective products and providing partial reimbursement up to $225 for labor expenses although consumers and industry critics complained that such expenses can run into the thousands of dollars.
On January 16, 2009, a Washington homeowner filed a class action against Trex alleging similar complaints against the company for selling flawed wood products. The suit charged the company with violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act for selling products that peel, rot, splinter, crack and flake, swell and degrade. The class representative had claimed that the company refused to reimburse him for costs in repairing his deck including the high cost of labor.