Required Notices to Motor Home Manufacturers for Final Repair
A consumer must send a written notice of the need to repair substantial problems to all manufacturers that contributed to the building of the motor home (see your written warranties). You must allow the motor home manufacturers a final repair attempt if they respond within 15 days (see below). Motor home ‘manufacturers’ include the first stage/chassis builder, the final stage manufacturer and component manufacturers if they provide warranties directly to you (e.g. transmission or engine). Defects in the living space are not covered by the Lemon Law. The manufacturers’ addresses can be found in your owner’s manuals and warranty descriptions, by asking the dealership or searching the Internet. If you cannot locate an address contact the Lemon Law Administration for assistance.
The final repair demand is to be sent after any of the following circumstances:
- three attempts to repair a nonconformity or
- at least one attempt to repair a serious safety defect (a ‘safety evaluation’ should be done by manufacturers in addition to a ‘final repair’) or
- two or more serious safety defects within a 12 month period (a ‘safety evaluation’ is provided by manufacturers instead of, or in addition to, a ‘final repair’) or
- the motor home has been out of service for a cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during diagnosis or repair of nonconformities (including serious safety defects) by one or more of the motor home’s manufacturers.
A motor home manufacturer has fifteen days from receipt of you demand for a ‘final repair’ to respond and inform the you of the location of the facility where the vehicle will be repaired. If a motor home manufacturer fails to respond to you within 15 days, that motor home manufacturer is not entitled to a final repair opportunity. The ‘final repair attempt ends after whichever is longer: 10 days or after the combined days out of service exceed 60 days.
The time period of a final attempt to repair begins when the motor home is delivered to the designated repair facility. A ‘final attempt’ time period may be continued if you agree by signing a writing extension.
Note:If the vehicle is unsafe to drive due to a serious safety defect or if the designated repair facility is more than one hundred miles from the motor home location, the motor home manufacturer(s) is responsible for the cost of transporting the vehicle to and from the repair facility.
Records Needed for a Request for Arbitration
You must submit copies of your purchase or lease agreement and title/registration documents. You must submit copies of your motor home’s repair orders when you request arbitration. If you did not receive repair orders or did not keep your copies, see How to Obtain Documents.
Each time you take your motor home to an authorized service department for warranty services in Washington, the service department must provide a fully itemized and legible repair order or written statement when returning the vehicle to you. Among other requirements, the repair order or statement must identify the problem(s) you are experiencing with your vehicle, a diagnosis, work done, the ‘in and out’ mileage on the vehicle, and the date you took the motor home in for service and the date the dealer notified you that you could pick up the motor home.
You are entitled to receive a copy of any report or computer reading regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test-drive of your motor home by asking the authorized service department or manufacturer(s). In addition, you are entitled to copies of any technical service bulletins (TSBs) upon request regarding your motor home’s year, make and model. Technical service bulletins are notices sent to service departments by a manufacturer. Service bulletins include descriptions of specific problems occurring in a vehicle model, how to diagnose a problem and repair to repair it.
Note: If you are not the original owner, you must also submit a title history for the vehicle obtained from the Department of Licensing and/or the original owner’s documents and prior repair history.
How To Obtain Documents
The Attorney General has authority to issue a subpoena to obtain critical documents and records for a consumer or a manufacturer. The Attorney General does not have the authority to require a person to attend a hearing, provide written statements or to testify at a hearing.
A consumer can only request the Attorney General to issue a subpoena for documents and records when you submit your Request For Arbitration. If you are missing documents necessary to prove your claim(s), you should immediately send a written request to the source (e.g. dealer, manufacturer, etc.) asking for copies of all documents and record relating to your motor home. If you asking for copies of repair orders you should consider also asking for mechanic’s notes, test results, reports and communications with the manufacturer or between manufacturers. Keep a copy of your request letter.
If you do not receive the documents after asking, indicate this on the Request For Arbitration form and provide a copy of your written document request. This will be considered a request for a subpoena.
If a manufacturer responds to your claim being assigned to the arbitration board by sending a Manufacturer’s Statement, you have 3 days from when you receive the statement to ask for a subpoena for additional documents and records.
What Should You Do?
1. Gather all your documents, records, and repair reports and organize them. Evaluate how your motor home qualifies as a “lemon” related to each manufacturer based on your records.
2. If you have not already sent a demand for a ‘final repair attempt’ to all manufacturers, you must send it. To locate the manufacturers’ addresses look in your owner manuals and warranty descriptions, ask the dealership, or contact the Lemon Law Administration.
3. If the manufacturer(s) fail to respond within 15 days after receiving the demand, the manufacturer(s) finish the final attempt to repair but the defect still exist or the motor home has been out of service 60 or more days:
4. You must write a letter asking for repurchase or replacement of your motor home to each manufacturer that contributed components of the motor home that are warranted directly to you. You must include a clear request for replacement or repurchase of the motor home. Your earlier letter asking for the final repair is not the same as this notice asking for repurchase or replacement.
The written request to the manufacturers for repurchase or replacement should include:
- Make, Model, Year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN; 17 digits)
- An explanation of the problem(s) related to each manufacturer
- Name(s) of dealership(s) where diagnosis/repair attempts have been made, including dates of attempts.
5. You should send the letter to the manufacturers by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will verify the dates that the manufacturers received your letters. If you are near the 30 month arbitration deadline you should consider sending your letters by overnight express. KEEP A COPY OF YOUR LETTERS AND YOUR RETURN RECEIPTS IN YOUR RECORDS.
6.The manufacturer(s) should be allowed 40 days to respond in most instances (see Note below). If a manufacturer does not respond or if the response is unsatisfactory, you can submit the Request For Arbitration form to the Lemon Law Administration in the Attorney General’s Office. Unless your claim is near the 30 month arbitration deadline, a Request For Arbitration received during the 40 day period will be delayed until the manufacturer’ 40 day response period has expired.
Note:A Request For Arbitration form must be received by the Lemon Law Administration within 30 months of the vehicle’s original retail delivery date whether or not the 40 day response period has expired.
7. Submit a complete Request For Arbitration with supporting documents to the Lemon Law Administration. Call or write the Attorney General’s Office for a Motor Home Request For Arbitration form or download it from the Lemon Law web pages. Call or write the Attorney General’s Office for a Motor Home Request For Arbitration form or download it from the Lemon Law by clicking here.
Note: The Lemon Law does not allow a consumer to stop making loan or lease payments while pursuing a Lemon Law claim.