Is Your New RV a Lemon?
What are your options if you purchase a new recreational vehicle (RV) in the State of California, and that RV turns out to be a lemon? Will you have any legal recourse? How will a San Diego RV Lemon Law attorney help you?
The 1970 Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, better known as California’s “Lemon Law,” is among the most extensive consumer protection statutes in the nation, but how does the Lemon Law apply to recreational vehicles in this state?
If the RV that you’ve purchased turns out to be a lemon while it’s still under the manufacturer’s warranty, you will need a lawyer’s help to exercise those rights.
How Does the Lemon Law Protect RV Owners?
If you lease or purchase an RV in this state, the Lemon Law doesn’t offer you the same protections that it offers to automobile, SUV, and truck owners, but the law does provide considerable consumer protection.
California’s Lemon Law protects consumers who buy “new motor vehicles,” but how does the law define a “new” vehicle? Because the propulsion system, the chassis, and the chassis cab of a recreational vehicle function as a “motor vehicle,” these parts are covered by the California law.
Several manufacturing defects can make your recreational vehicle into what California law considers a “lemon.” If your RV is a lemon, you must have sound, personalized legal advice and hard-hitting, effective representation from a Southern California RV Lemon Law attorney.
Are Other Recreational Vehicle Parts Covered?
California’s Lemon Law doesn’t specifically cover a recreational vehicle’s living area, but if a manufacturer offered a factory warranty for that part of your RV, you may seek compensation under the Lemon Law.
You’ll need legal help from a San Diego RV Lemon Law attorney to determine how extensively your RV is covered and if you qualify to seek compensation – with a replacement or a buy-back – under the Lemon Law.
Almost all recreational vehicles are covered under the Lemon Law, including Class A, B, and C motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel trailers. The law even offers some protection to the owners of boats and jet-skis.
What Types of Defects Does the Lemon Law Cover?
To be eligible for Lemon Law protection, a new recreational vehicle must have a substantial defect that significantly impairs the RV’s safety, inhibits the RV’s use, or lowers its value. The most common defects found in new RVs include:
- steering and braking problems
- frame and chassis defects
- problems with the electrical system
- engine malfunctions and failures
- malfunctions of the “slide-out” components
- malfunctions of the hydraulic leveling system
- leaks in the sides or roof
- transmission failures and malfunctions
If a recreational vehicle has at least one of these problems, it may be a lemon. However, at least two tries must be made to repair the problem to be legally considered a lemon.
What Should You Do if Your RV is Defective?
If you think your new RV is a lemon, your first step is to gather the repair and sales receipts and other pertinent paperwork. Your next step is to contact a Southern California RV Lemon Law attorney.
Your receipts and other documents are essential if your Lemon Law claim is to prevail. Those documents constitute the evidence you must have to oblige an RV manufacturer to replace your recreational vehicle or to buy it back from you.
When you look for a Lemon Law attorney, don’t pay any cash in advance for your initial case evaluation. The best California Lemon Law attorneys offer a free case evaluation that provides personalized advice and explains how the Lemon Law applies to your own circumstances.
How Are Claims Settled Under the Lemon Law?
Most Lemon Law claims in California are settled privately and outside of the courtroom, so most RV owners who file a Lemon Law claim aren’t even required to make a court appearance. Most recreational vehicle manufacturers settle these claims quickly. Others, however, do not.
While most Lemon Law claims can be resolved in ninety days or less, some claims are contested. If a manufacturer challenges your claim or will not negotiate, you may have to bring a lawsuit against that manufacturer, and a Lemon Law attorney will handle that lawsuit on your behalf.
You should genuinely consider your attorney’s suggestions and recommendations, but the final decisions about your claim will be yours and yours alone.
Is a Manufacturer Required to Replace a Defective RV?
If your RV’s manufacturer agrees to buy back your recreational vehicle, your lawyer will receive an itemized offer for you to consider. If you take the offer, you will return the RV, and you will receive a buy-back check in about six more weeks.
Manufacturers aren’t required by law to replace recreational vehicles, so if you want a replacement, your lawyer will have to negotiate with the manufacturer for that replacement.
The manufacturer’s sole legal responsibility is to buy the RV back from you if your Lemon Law claim prevails. If the manufacturer agrees to replace your RV, it becomes the manufacturer’s responsibility to pay the registration fee, licensing fee, sales tax, and other upfront costs.
Your attorney will make sure that you’re treated fairly from the beginning of the Lemon Law claim process. Access to the advice and services of a California Lemon Law attorney – who will fight for justice on your behalf – is your right.
How Can You Find the Right Lemon Law Attorney?
California attorney Doug Sohn, a native of San Diego, exclusively represents Southern California consumers who need a skilled and experienced Lemon Law attorney. He has more than forty years of legal experience and more than two decades of Lemon Law experience.
Along with the San Diego Lemon Law team, attorney Doug Sohn will hold your new RV’s manufacturer accountable and will see to it that your Lemon Law claim is resolved rightly – with a replacement or a buy-back, and with your legal fees – as required under the Lemon Law.
Most Lemon Law claims are settled out-of-court, but if an RV manufacturer disputes your claim, the San Diego Lemon Law team will seek justice for you in a California courtroom. Learn more, or schedule a free case evaluation now by contacting San Diego Lemon Law at 619-434-0819.