The United States District Court for the District of Oregon has awarded a partial judgment for an RVer client against Newmar Corp., now part of Winnebago Industries, Inc.
In Roblin v. Newmar Corporation, the plaintiff sued Newmar under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Oregon Lemon Law Act, the Oregon Consumer Warranty Act and the California Unfair Competition Law. The plaintiff alleged that their 2016 London Aire RV, purchased from Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon, had suffered numerous failures of its various systems, including the engine cooling system, the electrical system and the room extension slide-out system.
The RV’s flaws manifested in a pattern of repeated breakdowns, unsuccessful repair attempts and lengthy warranty service periods. The vehicle was presented to dealerships for repairs under various warranties approximately nine times between 2015 and 2017, and it was undriveable for more than 130 days.
The plaintiff also claimed that, during the sales process and in its corporate materials, Newmar emphasized a large service network populated with well-trained technicians, which became a significant selling point of the RV. However, personnel at the various authorized service centers, including service centers in both Oregon and California, continually demonstrated that they were not properly trained and lacked the expertise to provide the high level of service promised.
Newmar Laid Blame on Subcomponent Manufacturers
Roblin repeatedly attempted to obtain a refund from Newmar or have the RV replaced. Newmar and its agents declined to provide such remedies, placing responsibility on subcomponent manufacturers and arguing that the plaintiff did not meet all the conditions for repurchase under the Oregon Lemon Law.
“From a practical standpoint, this decision protects a consumer from having to litigate against each subcomponent manufacturer, while also ensuring that final manufacturers cannot contract around Oregon’s Lemon Law,” said Judge McShane of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.
Not yet determined in this case is the dollar amount to be awarded to the plaintiff, including the repurchase price of the RV and any potential supplemental funds. A decision is expected soon.
Markowitz Herbold PC, a trial law firm, represented Roblin.
SOURCE: Business Wire