London Aire and Lemons

I love the London Aire. It is a beautiful coach and it sits a class above the entry level of Newmar’s luxury coaches. If you are going to buy into the luxury range of Newmar’s coaches, the London Aire is a compelling model.

A good friend of mine often tells me that it only costs a little more to go first class. In Canada, it can cost a lot more to go first class. A new London Aire would sell for north of $800,000 CAD once all of the discounts and taxes are factored into the final selling price. At that price point, one might expect a very high level of quality.

One might be disappointed.

You should get a good coach from Newmar with few issues but some of their coaches, for whatever reason, turn out to be rotten lemons.

I received a media release from Business Wire about a London Aire. The law firm of Markowitz Herbold just achieved an interesting court ruling. If you are not familiar with Markowitz Herbold, the home page of their website says it all:

From the media alert:

A Danger on the Road

In Roblin v. Newmar Corporation, the plaintiff sued Newmar under the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Oregon Lemon Law Act, the Oregon Consumer Warranty Act and the California Unfair Competition Law. The plaintiff alleged that their 2016 London Aire RV, purchased from Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon, had suffered numerous failures of its various systems, including the engine cooling system, the electrical system and the room extension slide-out system.

The RV’s flaws manifested in a pattern of repeated breakdowns, unsuccessful repair attempts and lengthy warranty service periods. The vehicle was presented to dealerships for repairs under various warranties approximately nine times between 2015 and 2017, and it was undriveable for more than 130 days.

The plaintiff also claimed that, during the sales process and in its corporate materials, Newmar emphasized a large service network populated with well-trained technicians, which became a significant selling point of the RV. However, personnel at the various authorized service centers, including service centers in both Oregon and California, continually demonstrated that they were not properly trained and lacked the expertise to provide the high level of service promised.

Newmar Laid Blame on Subcomponent Manufacturers

Roblin repeatedly attempted to obtain a refund from Newmar or have the RV replaced. Newmar and its agents declined to provide such remedies, placing responsibility on subcomponent manufacturers and arguing that the plaintiff did not meet all the conditions for repurchase under the Oregon Lemon Law.

Yes. Newmar often points to the subcomponent manufacturers. A problem with your engine? Call Cummins. A problem with the chassis? Call Spartan or Freightliner. A problem with your heating system? Call ITR. A problem with your inverter? Call Magnum.

I can understand why Newmar takes such an approach. Newmar basically assembles a motorcoach from a variety of supplier components.

The 2016 London Aire was purchased new from Guaranty RV in Oregon. The coach experienced multiple failures and it was literally unusable for over two years.

The owner made repeated attempts to obtain a refund or to have the coach replaced. Newmar declined, blaming subcomponent manufacturers for the issues.

The Judge in this case ruled against Newmar and held Newmar accountable for the issues that the owner had experienced. He ruled that under Oregon’s Lemon Law Act the end-manufacturer, not the subcomponent manufacturer(s), is responsible for recovery .

This decision protects an Oregon consumer from having to litigate against each subcomponent manufacturer and ensures that a final manufacturer, like Newmar, cannot contract around Oregon’s Lemon Law.

This interpretation of Oregon’s Lemon Law is consistent with recent decisions in other states.

Not yet determined in this case is the dollar amount to be awarded. A decision is expected soon.

In Canada, there are no Lemon Laws to protect consumers.

Buying expensive RVs can be risky.

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