Protecting Your Investment
With such a sizeable amount of money spent, one would expect some level of protection, either through your warranty or through the state lemon law if you encounter problems soon after your purchase. Unfortunately, that protection may be harder to obtain than you think. Clearly, making the decision to purchase an RV is not something you do on a whim, and the last thing you want to have to deal with is making countless trips back to the dealership after making such a major purchase.
There are several issues you should expect to deal with as a new RV owner:
Beware of Taking Out of State Delivery of Your RV
Less than half of the states in the U.S. have lemon laws that cover RVs. Of the states that do cover RVs, some actually only cover the vehicle portion or chassis (engine, transmission, etc) but not the living area. California's Lemon Law is one of the most favorable to consumers. Currently, RV manufacturers are attempting to skirt their responsibility under California law by arguing it doesn't apply in cases where consumers may have purchased the RV from a California dealer and signed the contract in California but elected to take delivery in a different state for tax reasons. Although the tax savings may be huge, the state you take delivery may not cover RVs or is not as favorable. You still may have the Federal RV Lemon Law to protect you but you may not have the benefit of California Lemon Law remedies like repurchase or replacement.
If you took delivery of your Lemon RV in a different state do not despair, we have successfully argued that California law applies to the transaction but it is still an open question that manufacturers will continue to capitalize until higher courts decide the issue. So if you did purchased your RV in California but took delivery in a different state contact an attorney with experience and success in this area
Because RV's are not manufactured in one place and contain different components and appliances there is greater potential for problems to occur. But did you know that you have several different warranties for your RV. And if you have a problem with different appliances and components, you will be required to have brought the vehicle in for repair to the relevant manufacturers. And, if the problems remain unrepaired, you may have to litigate against all the different manufacturers in one lawsuit.
What Kinds of Problems?
Some of the problems typically associated with the manufacture of RVs include:
-Cargo capacity much lower than advertised due to safety standards and weight restrictions
-Vehicle cargo specifications do not match real-world experience
-Your RV received poor or inadequate repairs
-Component issues ranging from electrical inverters to fit and finish problems with furnishings and everything in between
-Poor warranty claims handling
Bottomline: Know your warranties. Both California and Federal Lemon Laws require manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage. In addition, the laws affect both the rights of consumers and the obligations of warrantors under written warranties. So, you should make sure that defect is repaired by the warrantor of the appliance or component, that you get proper documentation of any repairs made to the RV, possess a complete understanding of the warranty and have attempted to reconcile (i.e. repair) any issues with the particular dealer/manufacturer before filing a claim or seeking legal action.