Just to update you all, the transmission belt failure was fixed under warranty. BUT 2 WEEKS LATER I am climbing a steep hill when a pulley snaps off the transmission sending me backwards down the hill. Mind you, the mower had 40 hours on it now, leaving me with 2 transmission failures, a broken ignition key, and broken cruise control spring, not to mention the rubber tread was falling off the rear tires in chunks. I returned the mower and was charged $300 for my use, a small price to pay IMO.
I say stay far away!!