One of the biggest mistakes consumers make is taking the manufacturer’s word for their product. In the case of RVs and trailers, this is a big mistake because the lack of quality in their construction is a well-documented fact. The Smiths found out the hard way.
This is a spoiler alert, the Smiths won their case but it took about 4 years before the case was decided. One would think that manufacturers would step up and fix the problem but the other side of the fence is that manufacturers are sent phony claims all the time.
To learn more about this case, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can avoid being in the Smith’s shoes. Just make sure your claims are legitimate and not your fault.
It is hard to know where to start as this case is more than well-documented. You will find many websites listing the court motions and if they were denied or approved.
You can read about the decision at this link. But be forewarned it is in legal language which may be difficult for some people to follow. You can watch one program about this trial in the YouTube video below.
Here is a description underneath the video “Do RV Manufacturers ever LOSE in a lawsuit? This one did. And for good reason! In this interview, Ken and Linda Smith share the story of their dream RV; that ended in a major lawsuit and a victory against their manufacturer. Lots to glean from this interesting story.”
The video is 27 minutes long so make sure you have time to watch it. It is a good lesson for everyone to double-check all manufacturer claims before the warranty runs out.
Also, make sure you have proper evidence as well as confirmations for dubious claims made by the manufacturer. Here is another link to the case that may be easier to read.
This is a bit of a tricky issue. While we found many articles where RV owners have sued RV manufacturers, not every problem is a breach of warranty or trust. This is where the tricky part comes in.
While you may think or have been advised by your RV friends to sue over certain issues that have gone wrong in your RV or dealing with your manufacturer, don’t listen to them.
You really need to talk to a lawyer who is experienced in this issue and knows the laws surrounding RV manufacturing. They will give you the correct advice on what you can and cannot do.
For example, this link tells you about one situation where you CAN’T sue an RV manufacturer. While there are the following laws:
- Lemon Law claims (where applicable)
- Federal and state consumer protection claims
- Breach of warranty claims and litigation against RV, motorhome, and camper manufacturers and their dealers
Not every situation you experience when owning an RV will fit the criteria governing those laws. This is why when you see ads that say:
“We have successfully sued and prosecuted claims against all the major RV manufacturers, including:
- Forest River
- Grand Design
They do not tell you how many potential lawsuits they have turned down or lost due to the criteria that outline what issues can be used to sue an RV manufacturer.
While those ads and this case tell you that you can sue RV makers, etc., your issues have to meet the legal criteria to make it to court.
Attorneys advertise all the time these days and the one that you are looking to hire should be good and have a great reputation as well as a good track record. You will need to vet the ones you come across and not just look at their ads.
With that said, we have given you three categories of laws above. In our research, we have found that lawyers advertise that they handle those issues. This will make it easier to find a lawyer near you and you need to go talk to them about your problem.
We cannot provide any legal advice beyond telling you that you should contact those attorneys that handle these types of cases. But we can link to an article that provides you with more detailed information to help guide your thinking if you have discovered some problem with your RV and are having trouble with the manufacturer.
Keep in mind, not everyone has a case like the Smiths and not everyone has the time or the money to pursue a lawsuit.
The best and most honest and legitimate way is to trade it in. Some owners have done this and RV dealers take all types of RVs in as trades. The only difference you may experience from some owners is that you may not get full value for the lemon RV.
Or you can sell it to a salvage yard. They would use it for spare parts but do not expect to get a lot of money in this deal. Salvage yards will be cheaper than a trade-in.
There are other options, of course, but that is a topic for another day.
Not everyone will be as fortunate as the Smiths when they are sue an RV maker. It takes time and money to pursue a lawsuit but in this case, they had everything on their side.
Before you think about suing, talk to a qualified and experienced lawyer to make sure you have a case. If you don’t you may have to use one of the many options available to get rid of your bad RV.
Not every case will be successful so proceed with caution.