Lemon Law Relating To Motor Homes And Vans – Class A and B Recreational Vehicles
It is common for “Motor Homes” to be referred to class A or B type “Recreational Vehicles” (RV’s). This can be confusing. For purposes of this article, we are using the term “Motor Home-RV” to include either A or B class vehicles.
The popular high-end van is considered a class “B” vehicle. We are not including Class “C” RV’s in this article because they are not themselves motorized. (See definition of RV Classifications.
Motor Home-RV Claims Covered by State and Federal Lemon Law
The laws that protect the buyers of new and used Motor Homes and RV’s from defects is known as lemon law. The key legal issue is whether the law views the mechanical problem in question as “substantial.”
In most states, there is a presumption that if the problem is “substantial” if the buyer can demonstrate there has been an excessive number of repair attempts or that the Motor Homes-RV has been out of service for an extended period of time. Since Motor Homes-RV’s often present mechanically complex repairs, they are often beyond the repair abilities of most dealers of Motor Homes and RV’s.
Lawyers That Practice Motor Home-RV Lemon Law
Most Motor Homes-RV lemon law lawyers will agree to accept and litigate a case only after the vehicle has been out of service for a “substantial” period of time (varies by state) and/or has reached a specific number of failed repair attempts.
One incentive for lemon law lawyers to litigate such cases is because they usually can sue for their attorney fees the motor home buyer win the case. The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act explicitly provides for attorney fees in lemon law cases. While suing under federal law has its advantageous, some states offer the owner of Motor Homes-RV’s even more consumer protections. Some states provide the Motor Home-RV owner with for additional remedies such as mandating that liability be shared between the Motor Home-RV manufacturer and the dealer.
To determine if you are in a friendly Motor Home-RV’s state, you will need to contact a local lawyer that specializes in lemon in order to determine which judicial forum (federal or state) offers you the most consumer protections given the specific circumstances of your case.
The “Final Stage Manufacturer” Rule – Lemon Law
Some Motor Home-RV friendly states require a one-year warranty and make the “final manufacturer” responsible for all of the component parts of the vehicle even if the problem was the fault of another manufacturer or supplier. The reasoning behind this rule is grounded in public safety. Specifically, the last stage manufacturer by virtue of its final position in the production of the vehicle, also has the final opportunity to inspect and repair the vehicle before being sold to the general public.
The “final stage manufacturer” rule requires therefore that the last manufacturer perform due diligence in inspecting the totality of the Motor Home-RV and its component parts to ensure that the vehicle is in safe working order before releasing it for sale.
Some states make an exception to the rule by excluding the actual “living quarters” of the Motor Home-RV, since the rule is designed to focus more on defects and repair problems as it relates to the mechanical integrity and safety of the vehicle to be sold. It should be noted, however, that the final stage manufacturer rule does not prevent the last manufacturer from later taking legal action against the responsible third-party supplier or manufacturer of the problem and obtain reimbursement from them. Legally, this is called the right to indemnification.
Mandatory Disclosure of the Final Stage Manufacture’s Rule – Motor Home-RV
Under federal law, the seller of a Motor Home-RV must expressly clearly disclose the “Final Stage Manufacturer” rule on the seller’s warranty. Failure to disclose this can trigger a separate claim under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act as well as Unfair and Deceptive Practices acts under state laws.