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RV Motor Home Lemons

Under California’ s consumer protection laws, your RV/ motor home is protected pursuant to the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provided it meets certain criteria.

Under this legislation, the chassis, cab and portion of your RV or motor home pertaining to its propulsion are covered but not the living quarters. Your bathroom, generator, suspension and steering system are covered, for example.

Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible for a remedy under Song-Beverly, your motor home must meet certain criteria:

  • The defect occurred within the first 18,000 miles or 18-months, whichever comes first, of your purchase; or the RV/motor home has been out of service for 30 days due to any number of problems.
  • The dealer or manufacturer must have been given a reasonable number of attempts to fix the problem. It is presumed a reasonable number if it includes at least 2 attempts if the defect poses a safety risk or substantially impairs its value or use. For other problems, a reasonable amount of repairs is presumed to be 4 attempts to repair the more standard or routine problem.

What is a Safety Defect?

A safety flaw is any condition that renders the RV/motor home dangerous to drive and which could lead to seriously injuring or killing you. These include:

  • Gas leaks
  • Brake problems
  • Acceleration issues
  • Defective safety belts
  • Automatic mirrors constantly reset to original position
  • Steering malfunctions

What Impairs Value or Use?

Examples of defects that your motor home’s value or use include:

  • Malfunctioning air conditioning or heat
  • Squeaking brakes
  • Loud and annoying noises
  • Stalling
  • Failing to start
  • Brake light malfunctions
  • Batteries that consistently drain

Also, any defect or flaw not common to the vehicle’s make, model and year may qualify. Under the law, a defect is considered to substantially impair its value or use if a reasonable person would think it does, or would pay less to buy the vehicle because of the defect, or would not be able to use it in the manner in which such vehicles are commonly used. The trier of fact can also consider the owner’s physical condition or circumstances in determining if the flaw does significantly impact the vehicle’s use. A poorly operating air conditioner may be a more substantial defect for someone living in Florida than Portland, Oregon.

Used RV/Motor Homes

Your vehicle is still covered under Song-Beverly if the original warranty is still in effect regardless if you bought it from a dealer or third party. If not, if the dealer made certain representations to you that were false or misleading or failed to disclose material information, then you still can purse a claim under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Under this legislation, the dealer cannot have falsely represented that your RV was of a particular quality or standard or have misrepresented its source or sponsorship.

Your remedies under Song-Beverly includes either receiving a replacement vehicle or:

  • The full purchase price
  • Sales taxes
  • Finance charges
  • Towing and vehicle rental expenses
  • Attorney’s fees

Your compensation will be reduced by your usage. Under the law’s formula, this is calculated by dividing the miles driven before the first repair by 120,000 miles and multiplying that figure by the purchase price.

Contact a California lemon law or consumer law attorney if you have questions about your RV/motor home and the problems you are experiencing in having it repaired. Be sure to retain all paperwork pertaining to the vehicle including repair invoices and estimates, reports, and documentation of incidental expenses