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Maverick
Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 6422
Experience:  20 years of proefessional experience
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Good morning, I purchased a 5th wheel trailer in an "AS

Customer Question

Good morning,
I purchased a 5th wheel trailer in an "AS IS" condition in California. Prior to finalizing the sale, the sales department sent the RV to their service division to be cleaned, conditioned, inspected, and if needed, repaired. The reason they do this is so that all major issues are covered and disclosed. We get an inspection sheet at the end of doing the walk through where we sign agreeing to all disclosed issues with the RV. As explained to me by the sales man and the sales manager, they check for leaks, roof issues, awning issues, water damage, and appliances. They also look for any cosmetic issues. On the first night of getting the RV home, we were awakened by a leak above my boyfriends head. As we were gathering towels to detain the leak we noticed visible rotting on the cabinet framework from where the leak was dripping and spreading from.
I called the RV sales and they said they would have the service manager call me to schedule someone to come out, look it over, and repair it. The service manager failed to call me as promised, so I began calling them daily until I was able to speak with him, a whole 5 days later. I presented him with a sense of urgency since we were expecting another storm and I wanted to prevent further damage. The service manager sent someone out on the same day. The repair man came out, and upon further inspection he pointed out and agreed to further damage in the wooden roof structure as well as the inside cabinetry. He said all he was approved to do was seal the leak. He said if we wanted more done we would have to take pictures, email them, and hope they approve for more repair.
At this point, if they don't take the responsibility to repair the damage, my boyfriend and I, are looking at another $2,000 dollars in repairs.
What can we do?
Is the contract void?
Do I insist that it is repaired since no water damage or roof leaks were disclosed at the sales or in the walk through?
Should I ask them for a partial refund, since we paid above fair market price for a poorly represented trailer?
Please advice.
Thank you, *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 years ago.
Welcome! My name is Maverick. I very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from this information.
An “as is” disclaimer does not provide the dealer with blanket immunity from liability for fraud. For example, a dealership is not allowed to fraudulently misrepresent the condition of a vehicle simply because it puts the words “AS IS” on a sales contract.
Also, the words “AS IS” do not excuse a dealership from failing to disclose known problems with a vehicle prior to a sale. This is especially true in your case where they represented to you that they checked for roof leaks.
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=bpc&group=17001-18000&file=17200-17210
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1750-1756
The links above are the laws that can provide you a remedy for the wrong under CA law. Since the CLRA [section 1780] provides for attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and statutory damages, I would recommend that you make an appointment to speak with a consumer law attorney for a free consultation.
While we are not permitted to refer an attorney to you, you may wish to contact your State Bar:
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx
Before doing any of this, you may wish to send the dealer a certified letter citing the law above and letting him know that if the RV is not properly repaired in the next 10 days, you will have no choice to contact a consumer law attorney and if you do that you will seek the full measure of damages including punitive damages and attorney's fees.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. Best wishes for 2015!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your response. I was able to get the RV company to agree to repairing the framework of the roof. Can I request that they fix the entire roof or just what is visibly damaged? With rv's one bad spot it's an indicator of more bad spots. What can they refuse?
Secondly, they said we have to get the trailer to them for repair. The cheapest company who transport it is $200. When we purchased the RV, the sales department included delivery for free, but was backed up in deliveries for about 2 weeks so we opted to outsource delivery. We are using the RV as our primary residence since we are giving the minimalist life a go, which means that if they take the RV in to repair, we will have to make arrangements for hotel stay. Can I ask them to pay for either hotel, transportation or both?
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 years ago.
As to the 2nd question, since you have potential tort based causes of action you would normally be entitled to recover those consequential damages if you sued them. They would also be recoverable under a breach of contract claim unless the contract states otherwise.
As to the first question, they would be responsible to repair any leaks and do that in a good and workmanlike manner. If you want to try to get them to cover the whole roof, you would want to argue that you would not have purchased the trailer if they had inspected and disclosed to you that most of the roof was rotted out and would need to be replaced in the very near future. I am not sure how far this will get you as it depends on the severity of the roof damage.