Recreational vehicles can be lots of fun! Camping on summer vacations, spending a week by the lake, and hitting the road to explore America all come to mind when you think of RVs. But what happens if that shiny RV you’ve just purchased begins having mechanical or electrical problems? That’s when you want to find out if you’re protected by California’s RV lemon law.
Industry estimates show that between 565,000 and more than 586,000 RVs were sold in the U.S. in 2021, surpassing sales in 2020. Going RVing is becoming increasingly popular – that is, if your vehicle is in working order and not defective. RV lemon law in California provides protections for residents who buy RVs and other vehicles that have chronic defects. RVs covered by the law include motorhomes, campers, fifth-wheels, travel trailers and other similar recreational vehicles. Problems can include defective engines, plumbing problems, windows and seats that don’t work, brake and steering issues, leaks, broken slide-outs, rattles and pings, and a multitude of other malfunctions. These can result in countless trips to the mechanic, mounting repair bills, and more than a few headaches.
If this describes your situation, then an RV lemon law attorney can help. At Neale & Fhima, we’ve helped hundreds of clients just like you who purchased a defective vehicle. Our attorneys are tough and aggressive, and we have a winning track record. To find out more about how we can solve your RV lemon law problem, call us at 888-407-2955. The initial consultation is free.
California’s RV lemon law (technically known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act) is designed to protect consumers who inadvertently buy defective products. A lemon RV rarely seems to function properly, no matter how many times you take it in for repairs. To determine whether you qualify for RV lemon law protection, check to see whether your new RV is still under the original manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, you probably have a claim. If you own a used RV, you may still have a claim, provided you have one of three used RV warranties, which are discussed in greater detail in a separate section below. Either way, you need to have made a “reasonable number of attempts” to get your new vehicle repaired before filing a legal claim. Find out more in: Do You Have a Lemon?
There are a lot of attorneys in California to choose from, but we think our legal team is among the best and the brightest. Attorney Aaron Fhima is a tough negotiator and brilliant litigator when it comes to winning RV lemon law claims. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in lemon law cases, and we have an outstanding 99% success rate. Few law firms can top that! You can read what our satisfied clients have to say to learn more.
Consumers represented by RV lemon law attorneys often get a faster response and larger amount offered from manufacturers than do RV owners going it alone in court. That’s because an attorney gives you negotiating power. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) acknowledges that hiring a skilled RV lemon law attorney can make a big difference when it comes to the financial amount a person might receive from a manufacturer.
Here are more reasons to choose us:
The RV lemon law in California refers to “nonconformities,” which are defined as any defect or malfunction that is covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty. Nonconformities compromise the use, value or safety of the vehicle. There are many defects that could affect the RV’s safety, but there is no requirement under the law that the defect actually endangers you.
Common defects that give rise to RV lemon law claims include:
Whatever the defect in your RV, if it reduces your ability to use and enjoy the vehicle or if it compromises the vehicle’s safety and value, then you may have a successful RV lemon law claim.
The “reasonable number of attempts” requirement is a bit subjective, but the statute does give us some guidance. You must schedule repair appointments with a manufacturer’s authorized dealer (not with a local neighborhood mechanic). To prove you’ve attempted to get your RV fixed, keep all receipts, work orders and used parts from each one of your repair appointments. The California RV lemon law says your vehicle may qualify in the following circumstances:
If your RV falls within any of these guidelines, then it’s time to talk to an RV lemon law attorney at Neale & Fhima. Call us at 888-407-2955.
There are some cases when the California RV lemon law does not apply. These include:
As you can see, there are some cases when the lemon law may not apply. The best way to find out if you’re protected is to speak to a qualified RV lemon law lawyer.
The process starts by filing a legal claim against the RV manufacturer. Our attorneys can do this for you. We expect resistance, because RV manufacturers work hard to defeat lemon law claims and reduce financial payouts. But we are tough and aggressive, and we know how to win. We are not intimidated by the manufacturers’ attorneys, and we are determined to secure the best possible outcome on behalf of our clients. Here are the two primary remedies:
Option A: Repurchase
The manufacturer will take possession of the RV and issue you a refund of the purchase price (reduced by the value of your use of the vehicle prior to the first repair attempt). If you financed the vehicle, the manufacturer will refund the payments you’ve made, the down payment, and pay off the loan. You will also receive a refund of registration fees, taxes, etc.
Option B: Replacement
The manufacturer will take possession of the RV and provide you with a new one. It must be an identical or substantially similar RV. The manufacturer will pay the registration and taxes on the new RV, but you will not receive a refund of fees or finance charges paid on the original vehicle. This option requires the consent of both parties.
In some circumstances, we may be able to negotiate an additional option called a “cash and keep.” This would allow you to retain possession of the RV and receive a cash payment to compensate for the defect.
Some used RVs are covered under California’s RV lemon law, depending on whether your vehicle has a warranty. If you have one of three specific warranties, then you may be protected and have a claim. An RV lemon law attorney can help you determine whether you have the right kind of warranty to proceed with a claim. Here are the three types of warranties that qualify:
TRANSFERRED NEW RV WARRANTY
As a buyer of a recent model used RV, you may have a copy of the manufacturer’s new RV warranty. When a titled vehicle is sold to a new owner and the vehicle is still under its original warranty period, the warranty protections transfer to you for the duration of that period.
CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED (CPO) WARRANTY
“Certified Pre-Owned” RVs have more protections than typical used RVs. Only authorized dealerships can sell CPOs, so if you bought your RV elsewhere, this warranty will likely not apply to you. Certified Pre-Owned means that these used RVs have been inspected, repaired, refurbished, and resold, and therefore they come with a CPO warranty.
LEMON LAW BUYBACK WARRANTY
If you buy a used RV that was once a lemon (but the manufacturer repaired it and resold it), then you should have received a “lemon law buyback warranty.” Manufacturers are required by law to provide new owners of these buyback lemons a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty covering the lemon’s defect.
The statute of limitations for filing an RV lemon law claim in California is four years from the date you knew or should have known that the RV was a lemon. This does not mean that if you have had your RV for more than 4 years, you cannot bring a lemon law claim. Our attorneys have successfully “lemoned” RVs and vehicles that are more than 10 years old. If you have purchased or leased a lemon, you’ll want to start the buyback process as soon as possible. After the statute of limitations has passed, a judge may dismiss your case. Don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have questions about the statute of limitations. Collect copies of your repair bills, work orders, and receipts and call a skilled RV lemon law lawyer today.
If you’re tired of planning camping trips only to have your RV break down and sideline the vacation, it’s time to call an RV lemon law attorney at Neale & Fhima. If it seems like no matter how many times you take your RV to the mechanic for repairs it’s still broken, then it’s time to take action. California’s consumer-friendly RV lemon law provides you with a legal solution. To find out more about how we can help you get the justice you deserve, contact an RV lemon law attorney at Neale & Fhima today. Call us at 888-407-2955. We’ll get you back on the road!