Category: RV Biz

Lemon Laws and Mag Moss

Lemon Laws and Mag Moss

Don’t learn the hard way that lemon laws can vary from state to state and not all states treat RV “lemons” the same as cars. In fact many create a very high bar for your lemon to actually qualify as one. Furthermore, lemon laws generally refer to the chassis of the motorhome and not to what some label the “the living quarters”. For the most part – it is the living quarters that house many of the issues in the motorhome. The DMV has a map with lemon laws for each state here.

For example I purchased a brand new Class B in the state of NJ but live in NY. After realizing I bought a lemon I had to determine which state to file a lemon law claim in.

Here is NY:

New York is one of the few states with lemon laws that cover both new and used vehicles.

New Cars and the Lemon Law

In order for a new car to be considered to be a lemon:

  • The defect must substantially impair the value of the vehicle.
  • You must report it within 2 years of delivery or before it passes 18,000 miles.

You may be entitled to either a replacement vehicle or a refund of your purchase price IF:

  • The dealer is unable to fix the defect after 4 attempts.
  • The vehicle has been out of service for repair or other problems for a total of 30 days.

* See additional requirements for motorhomes.

Here is NJ:

In New Jersey, the lemon law applies to only new vehicles you’ve bought or leased. You may receive protection under the law if any of the following apply to your vehicle:

  • The defect persists after 3 attempts to repair it.
  • The vehicle has been out of service for 20 days (cumulative) during the first 2 years or 24,000 miles.

If your vehicle matches the above criteria, the manufacturer may be responsible for repairing the defects under the original warranty. To ensure you’re protected, be sure to report the issues promptly.

The Lemon Law does not cover defects caused by an accident, vandalism, abuse, or neglect. Furthermore, repairs must be done by the manufacturer, its agent, or an authorized dealer.

Keep Records

It is essential to keep on file detailed receipts of all repair attempts and a complete record of your contact with both the manufacturer and the dealer. Generally, a manufacturer’s warranty covers repairs for at least the first year following the original delivery date or the first cited miles, whichever comes first – though your particular warranty may differ, so please check. If you lease a vehicle, check your leasing contract to see who is responsible for repair bills.

* See additional requirements for motorhomes.


There is also a lesser known law called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or “Mag Moss” for short.  The law was created to fix problems as a result of manufacturers using disclaimers on warranties in an unfair or misleading manner.


Satisfying the lemon law and Mag Moss requirements can become quite cumbersome and hard to achieve. For more info about please feel free to reach out. After lots of research plus conversations with numerous attorneys and distraught owners I learned a good amount – which also shaped my preference to not buy a Class B from a large motorhome manufacturer.

RV Industry Death Spiral – 8 part series

RV Industry Death Spiral – 8 part series

There is a wealth of information on the blog The RV D@ily Report with its lead writer Greg Gerber. In the Summer of 2016 he compiled an impressive 8 part series called The RV Industry Death Spiral – and the entire series in PDF can be found here. The blog post version of the 8 part series with comments – starting with the 1st post – can be found here.

Greg was interviewed about his 8 part series after a good amount of press – that interview on RVBusiness can be found here.

Greg’s 63 page editorial is a compelling read and has been reviewed by many in and around the industry. It prompted a response from many including a post from manufactured housing veteran George Allen comparing the RV industry to the MH (manufactured housing) industry and showing its many similarities. George’s response post is somewhere in the August 2016 section of his blog (for the record I am not interested in the MH industry however from a learning perspective George’s blog makes for an interesting read especially since it highlights similarities to the RV industry and because both industries are presently at a cross section involving the next generation of custom camper van and RV owners).