Oregon Judge Says RV Manufacturers, Not Suppliers Responsible for Faulty Units

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The trial law firm Markowitz Herbold PC, representing Robert Roblin against Newmar Corporation, has won a partial summary judgement.

The precedent set by Judge Michael J. McShane in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, places responsibility on RV end-manufacturers—not subcomponent manufacturers—under the Oregon Lemon Law.

The ruling had two important facets. First, it is intended to prevent consumers from the need to litigate against individual component manufacturers. Second, it prevents manufacturers from contracting around the Lemon Law in Oregon.

Ohio, New Jersey and Wisconsin have taken the same stance with regard to their respective Lemon Laws.

Roblin’s suit against Newmar came under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Oregon Consumer Warranty Act, the Oregon Consumer Warranty Act, the Oregon Lemon Law Act and the California Unfair Competition Law. Roblin alleges the 2016 Newmar London Aire RV he purchased experienced a variety of failures including the electrical system, room slide-outs and the engine cooling system. Additionally, the unit had experience repeat breakdowns with multiple unsuccessful repairs and long waiting periods for warranty repairs. The unit had been in for repairs approximately nine times between 2015 and 2017 rendering it unusable for more than 130 days. The unit was purchased from Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon.

Roblin stated one of the reasons he chose to purchase the Newmar unit over others was claims in the company’s marketing materials that touted its large service network with trained technicians. The plaintiff alleges that when the unit was presented for service in both California and Oregon, service center technicians showed themselves to lack adequate training or the knowledge to perform the needed repairs.

After repeatedly approaching Newmar regarding a refund or replacement for the unit, Roblin alleges Newmar declined to provide any remedy. It argued the subcomponent manufacturers, rather than Newmar, were responsible. Newmar further said the Roblin did not meet the criteria under the Oregon Lemon Law for the unit to be repurchased.

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