RV News | News article: Motorhome “Lemon Law” Legislation Created

Motorhome “Lemon Law” Legislation Created

By: On: Wednesday September 9 2009

VENTURA, CALIF. (June 10, 2009) – The Good Sam Club, the world’s largest RV owners’ organization with nearly one million member families, today unveiled first-ever model motorhome “lemon law” legislation, developed in conjunction with RV industry officials and the International Association of Lemon Law Administrators (IALLA).

If enacted by a state, the legislation will provide specific rights and remedies for motorhome buyers against product defects if the motorhome does not conform to material provisions of the manufacturer’s warranty. If the motorhome purchaser can demonstrate that a purchased unit does not conform to the statutory standards prescribed in the model law, the remedy available can include replacement or repurchase of the unit by the manufacturer.

Most states currently either provide no lemon law coverage for motorhome purchases, or offer protection that is extremely limited, typically covering only the chassis. The proposed new model legislation would extend coverage to the structural integrity and functionality of major system components relating to the living quarters of a motorhome.

In 2007, the Good Sam Club joined the International Association of Lemon Law Administrators as a corporate sponsor in order to participate actively in this key IALLA project. IALLA presided over a series of conferences and negotiations with key representatives of the RV manufacturing and consumer communities leading to its eventual adoption of the proposed model legislation. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is also an IALLA corporate sponsor.

Pursuant to a series of conferences and negotiations sponsored by IALLA, both the industry and consumer representatives were able to agree on standards that would trigger lemon law liability for motorhome purchases, and provide consumer remedies through alternative means of dispute resolution.

“A new motorhome is a major life investment and new RVs are often used for both transportation needs and as living quarters for new buyers, meaning that any major product defects could present a serious hardship to the consumer,” said Sue Bray, executive director of the Good Sam Club. “It’s imperative that state ‘lemon laws’ protect the rights of new motorhome buyers. The model legislation is the first step in putting those safeguards in place for RV owners.”

The draft recreational vehicle initiative proposed by IALLA and the Good Sam Club acknowledges that motorhomes and RVs have components not common to cars and trucks and therefore should be protected by specific motorhome lemon laws.

The proposed legislation would require manufacturers to repair a new vehicle to the standards of the warranty if the product is defective or nonconforming to the warranty. It also offers a reasonable number of attempts clause, depending on the severity of the defect and/or repair. While the model legislation is designed to protect consumers who use their motorhome for recreational pursuits, full time RVers who live in their motorhomes on an ongoing basis are specifically protected under the model act.

The next step is for those states interested in offering motorhome lemon law protection to their constituents to utilize this model legislation as a template. The Good Sam Club encourages all state legislatures promptly to enact this important new consumer protection for motorhome purchasers.

Led by Chairman Tom Gonser, the Good Sam RV Owners’ Advisory Council, a group of volunteers who assist the Club and its members with RV industry relationships and policies, was heavily involved in resolving issues with both the regulators and representatives of the RV industry.

“We are delighted that the RV industry and the RV consumer were able to work out our differences and develop model legislation that will provide more equitable solutions for both sides,” said Gonser. “It’s most important that state legislators recognize that existing automobile lemon laws do not offer appropriate remedies for the many different working parts of both the living and chassis components of a motorhome.”

For complete text of the proposed legislation, please contact Sara Wacker directly at 619-533-7975 or sara@allisonpr.com.

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About The Good Sam Club
The Good Sam Club, www.goodsamclub.com, is the world’s largest RV owner’s organization nearly one million member families. Founded in 1966, the Club offers member discounts at parks, campgrounds, and RV events, as well as a wide variety of services, including Extended Warranty on RVs (the Extended Service Plan), Emergency Road Service, RV Financing, and RV Insurance. Good Sam Club members also receive a subscription to Highways, the Club’s popular RV travel magazine. Additionally, the Club represents more than 1700 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Extremely committed to its RV members as well as to the environment, the club is a founder of the annual National Cleanup Day program and an advocate of public land access, Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Park programs, to name a few. The Good Sam Club is headquartered in Ventura, Calif., and is a subsidiary of Affinity.

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