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Good Sam Club Unveils Model “Lemon Law” Legislation to Protect the Rights of Motorhome Buyers

June 10, 2009 by Sue Bray · 14 Comments  
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

About Affinity
Affinity, www.affinitygroup.com, is the nation’s largest provider of outdoor clubs, services, media and events that service the safety, security, comfort and convenience needs of the North American recreational vehicle (RV) and outdoor enthusiast market. By providing information, insights, and resources, the company champions the fun, freedom, and adventure of recreation in motion. The company works to enhance its customers’ recreational experiences and build the communities that share and promote their fun and adventurous lifestyles.

Affinity is organized into four different business units – Affinity Media, Affinity Clubs, Affinity Events and Affinity Ventures. Their corporate headquarters are located in Ventura, Calif. Subsidiary operations and divisions can be found at multiple locations throughout the United States.

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14 Responses to “Good Sam Club Unveils Model “Lemon Law” Legislation to Protect the Rights of Motorhome Buyers”

  1. Tim Millington on June 10th, 2009 12:57 pm

    There is no use in trying to get this passed thru the Texas Legislature–businesses control the Legislature! The buyer in Texas is at the mercy of each selling business. Texas may have a good environment for businesses but a terrible one for anyone doing business in Texas–I know from personal experience.

  2. Rick Vogel on June 10th, 2009 1:42 pm

    The BIG-3- Had to Obey The Lemon Law! Ford-GMC-Chrysler I cant understand Why these Motor Coach’s are Exempt? Dont Think That is Right! Rick Vogel Retired Army!

  3. R Dible on June 10th, 2009 4:00 pm

    I’m all for it. What about towables, will they be covered under this proposal?

  4. Rick Vogel on June 10th, 2009 7:45 pm

    Cant speak for the foreign Frog’s But the Big-# had had Lemon law’s for year’s! MR. R Dible! Rick Vogel Retired U.S.Army

  5. Rick Vogel on June 10th, 2009 7:56 pm

    MR. R Dible the big-3 auto maker’s had to follow the lemon law dont know about these little Frog’s running around behind Pusher’s? can’t say that would be up to Mazada, ,KIA & Toyota& Honda? can’t answer for them Rick Vogel Retired U.S.Army

  6. Patrick W. Tribbey on June 11th, 2009 2:11 pm

    How about fifth-wheels & TT/campers?? What about a used unit being a lemon? And, what are they going to do about dealers that re-sell these ‘lemon’ units in other states?? To me, they should be painted with flourescent yellow paint, labeling them as LEMONS—BUYER BEWARE! ! ! Perhaps this would cut down the incentive to resell them in other states and markets, even auctions!!!!!
    Purchased a used unit 2 yrs. ago. Was cleaning the roof mid-spring and found a hole in the roof. Maybe that’s why the dealer dropped the price another $2,000.00………………. Ahhhhhhhhhh, such is life!

    Just my comments from another retired military person! :)

  7. R Dible on June 11th, 2009 7:41 pm

    Sorry folks I didn’t make myself very clear. When I refered to towable’s, I meant towable RV”s (trailers).

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