Defective Motor Homes

Have you bought a new or newer motorhome that is still under warranty but has defects? If so, you may have a case covered by California's lemon law. The lemon law provides that where a dealer or designated service or repair facility can’t repair the vehicle in conformance to the existing warranty, then it must be replaced or the buyer reimbursed for the price of the vehicle less a setoff for use.

In order to qualify under the lemon law the defects must be covered by the express warranty and have substantially impaired the use, value or safety of the vehicle. The vehicle must be presented to an authorized representative of the manufacturer for repair, and the manufacturer or his representative did not repair the nonconformity after a reasonable number of repair attempts.

You must give the manufacturer an opportunity to repair the problem. Don’t take the motorhome to your local mechanic. Only an authorized dealer can perform warranty work. Be aggressive with the dealer. Make sure the service representative writes down your complaint about the motorhome on the repair order and that you get a copy of the repair order upon leaving it at the dealer. You also need to obtain a copy of the repair invoice upon picking up the motorhome. It is helpful if you get the business card or write down the names of any employees at the dealership you talked to about the problem with your motorhome. If you have communicated directly with the manufacturer you should also obtain documents verifying the information. Keep all the documents involving your motorhome, including purchase documents and repair documents, in a folder at home. Do not use your vehicle’s glove box for your central document filing system.

If the dealer hasn’t fixed the problem to your satisfaction bring the motorhome back for repair again. If, after a few attempts, the dealer can’t repair the problem, you will need legal advice. Our firm does not charge for a consultation and when we accept a case, it is on contingency basis, meaning that we must get our fees from the defendants in the case. If the problem affects the safety of the vehicle, such as with the brakes, air bags, steering, etc. you should seek legal advice immediately.

Note that if your warranty has expired, but you took the vehicle into the dealer to fix the problem before it expired and the problem persisted, you still may have a case covered by the warranty. A number of different problems with the motorhome requiring a significant amount of days in the shop can become a valid lemon law case as well.