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Do You Have Lemon Law Rights for an Out-of-State RV Purchase?

It’s important to understand that there is a federal lemon law. So, yes, different states have different lemon laws, but the federal statute remains. The term “lemon law” is actually a blanket term referring to a variety of different defective vehicle and warranty enforcement statutes. So, yes, it is true that California’s “lemon laws” only apply to vehicles purchased in retail stores in our state. However, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (commonly referred to as the “federal lemon law”) is in place just for such occasions.

The Federal Lemon Law Applies to All US Automobiles

If the RV you purchased came with any sort of written warranty from the dealer or from the manufacturer, it does not matter what state you bought it in. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, passed in 1975, applies to any and all warranties for consumer goods (vehicles or not). This federal statute requires manufacturers to repair their defective products that are under warranty. The law also requires the manufacturer to give you a full refund if the defect can not be repaired in a few attempts (this process is referred to as a “buy-back”). The federal lemon law also says that you have the right to have your legal fees fully reimbursed by the manufacturer as well.

How California Defines a “Recreational Vehicle”

In the Golden State, an RV is broadly defined as a vehicle designed to be inhabited by humans for recreational, emergency, or other occupancy. “Inhabiting” refers to using the vehicle as a dwelling. California considers all of the following to be RVs:

  • Camping trailers/travel trailers you tow behind your car
  • Truck campers that mount to the bed of a pick-up
  • Motorhomes, large and small, that drive like buses

What Do California’s Lemon Laws Say About RVs?

The California Commercial Code gives RV buyers the right to revoke their acceptance of a faulty vehicle. This acceptance can be revoked on an RV purchased in a retail store in-state if the defect substantially impairs the RVs value or if the buyer received the RV under the assumption that a known defect had been repaired satisfactorily. This particular law also requires that the buyer notifies the seller or manufacturer of their refusal to accept the RV in a “reasonable amount of time.” California also has the Tanner Consumer Protection Act and the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty-Act. This group of statutes says that only the “vehicle” aspects of the RV are covered (so brakes and muffler, yes; curtains and toilet paper holder, no).

RVs That Do Not Qualify Under the Lemon Law

Before contacting a California RV lemon law attorney, here are a few things to consider. If any of these bullet points apply to your situation, you would not qualify under the California lemon law:

  • Your RV’s defect must first be taken to an authorized repair facility and have at least two attempts made to correct the defect.
  • Your RV was purchased used from a private seller and is no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Your RV’s defect is from an aftermarket part, due to improper maintenance, or caused by misuse or an accident.
  • Your RV’s defect must be something that affects the safety, value, and usage of the vehicle, i.e., a “material defect.” So while peeling paint is not a safety issue, it would certainly lower your RV’s value and therefore would be a valid “lemon issue.”
  • You have known that your RV had the defect in question for 4 years and failed to report it or attempt to get it fixed during that time period.

A California RV Lemon Law Attorney With a 99% Success Rate

At LemonLaw123.com, we can review your RV lemon law case for free. With our high rate of success fighting the lemon law in California and the fact that the law requires that the RV manufacturer or dealer pays your legal bills if we win, you have nothing to lose. Chat with one of our California RV lemon law attorneys today!

Do You Have A Lemon?

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  • Free Case Review
  • Have you had multiple repair attempts?
  • Did the problem start in the first 60,000 miles?

    did you purchase the vehicle in CA?

    is your vehicle a 2017 or newer?

    did your problems start in the first 60,000 miles?

    have you taken your vehicle to the dealer at least 2 times, or for one visit that lasted over a month?

    It sounds like your vehicle may not qualify for CA Lemon Law.Thank you for your inquiry. For more information about CA Lemon Law see our FAQ page here.

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