We have seen a spate of recent lemon RV inquiries where the owners kept believing the factory and their dealer could get their RV’s defects fixed and giving them more and more time to get the repairs done. Sometimes the would go back for additional repairs again and again, and other times just letting it sit in the shop for weeks and months at a time, waiting on parts or waiting for the technician to get to it. And if your RV doesn’t get fixed in time, or defects just come back later, you can find yourself and your family stuck with a bad and busted RV.
No one wants to file a lawsuit too soon, but waiting too long can leave you stuck with no legal recourse at all! When that happens, you are at the mercy of the factory — the ones who built it wrong in the first place!
Be careful out there or you
could end up stuck having
to pay for your own repairs!
It’s all because most RV factory warranties have a clause in them that says there is a time limit on your legal rights against the factory, and it is very often just 15 months or less from when you bought your new RV. In some cases it is only 90 days and how long your warranty is for doesn’t matter! Worse yet, if you go over the time limit without filing a formal claim in court — you can be stuck with what you bought.
We all want to give the dealer and the factory the benefit of the doubt, but be careful out there or you could end up stuck having to pay for your own repairs!
So what can you do? Three things, but remember that this is like “Murphy’s Law” — as sure as you follow these tips everything will turn out okay, and as sure as you don’t you will later on wish you did.
Always remember your deadline
First, always keep in mind your deadline to file a formal claim and if you are still having problems when you get within 45 days of the deadline, call an RV Lemon Law lawyer for help. If you wait too long, you may end up hearing the lawyer say you are too late to do anything about it.
Second, make notes of what is going wrong with your RV and before you take it into the warranty repair shop. And never take it in without giving them a written and dated list of what is wrong. Keep a copy of that list at home and before you take it into the repair shop send a written letter to the factory (at the address listed in your warranty – any other address doesn’t count, legally), telling them you are not happy, what is wrong with your RV, that you think it is the factory (or dealer) fault, and the date you are taking it in for warranty repairs (most warranties require you to send a written notice to the factory when you go in for warranty repairs).
Also, when you arrive at the warranty repair shop, make a note or take a photo of the date and time and mileage on the RV (if your RV is not a towable or 5th wheel). That’s so when you get it back, you can see if they really took it on that test drive after repairs were done or if they let it sit out back, getting the “sunshine treatment.”
Were the defects fixed?
Third, when you pick it up, always ask them, “Did you fix it?” When they say, “Yes,” then ask them, “Is this problem going to happen again?” And make a note of what they said and who you talked to, in case you need it later.
And when you get in your RV, before you drive away from the repair shop, make a note or take a photo of the odometer reading. And then when you get home or to your storage unit, go over the whole RV and make sure there is no damage that has occurred and try to figure out if they actually fixed everything, making a list. If you find anything wrong, call the dealer, from your home, and tell them you need to bring it back and why, and make notes of what was said in the call.
Remember: The key to getting repairs done right is to keep complaining when they are done wrong, always send a written complaint to the factory each time before you take your RV into any warranty repair shop for work to be done, and, most of all, if you snooze, you will lose!
Ron Burge can be reached at Burge Law Office, Ron@BurdgeLaw.com or (937) 432-9500.