RV Lemon Law: What You Need to Know
If you own a new recreational vehicle that has been plagued by manufacturing defects that were not resolved after multiple efforts to repair them, the California lemon law could provide you with help. The law requires manufacturers to either replace an RV that qualifies as a lemon or give you a refund after a reasonable number of visits to the repair shop failed to repair substantial defects
California’s RV Lemon Law
California’s lemon law covers new motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, and certain components of an RV, like the chassis and drivetrain. While the lemon law does not cover your RV’s living quarters, the drivability of the RV would be protected under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act if they are still under warranty.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act covers substantial defects in your new RV that make it less safe to operate, prevent you from using it, or decrease its resale value. Some common defects include:
- Engine malfunction or failure
- Problems with the electrical system
- Transmission problems
- Brake malfunction
- Defects in the frame or chassis
- Steering issues
If the problem with your RV is not considered a material defect, it may not qualify as a lemon. As a general rule, material defects are those that affect the use, safety, or value of your RV.
Common RV defects that are covered by California’s lemon law include: Engine and transmission defects Breaking braking system defects Electrical system defects, or any problem that may affect the drivability of the RV.
There is no specific number of trips to the repair shop for your RV to qualify as a lemon because the law only states that you need to make a “reasonable” number of attempts. However, a number of California courts have established that the law requires an absolute minimum of two repair attempts before an RV owner can bring a claim under the lemon law.
What Types of RVs are Covered?
California’s lemon law covers the following types of motorized and towable recreational vehicles:
- Class A, B, and C motorhomes
- Travel trailers
- Fifth-wheel trailers
- Truck campers
- Toy haulers
How Does the Lemon Law Work for RVs?
For problems that are related to your ability to drive the RV on the highway you have four years from the day you knew or should have known that your RV was a lemon to seek either a replacement vehicle or a refund from the manufacturer. For problems with the RV’s cabin the vehicle must still be under warranty.
If the manufacturer refuses to take action, you can file a lawsuit to force it to comply. California’s lemon law includes a provision that requires the manufacturer to pay the attorney’s fees and court costs when a buyer wins a case brought under the law.