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Lemon Law for Boats


widetrack

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Ripper:

If you would quit driving like a wild man in 4 footers you wouldn't have so many issues...

I think Northlander has the right approach, that is what I did with mine, and ended up getting a new boat out of the deal.

Hope you come out alright. It's not much fun going through it. Been there, done that.

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Widetrack, thanks for the kind words. (send me an e-mail about the musky trip) You know as well as I do that my boat can't take 2 footers let alone a small white cap.

The last damage came in the Rainy River and it wasn't in the same place that the console had cracked before.

The dealership does understand there is a problem and they are trying to fix it. The attorney I have talked to said even though there will be costs involved that if there was a case and I came out on top, that the boat company would more than likely have to pay my attorney fees/court costs. When I talked to the warranty guy last week, he said he hasn't heard of one other boat that has had the same problem 5 times. I am just trying to figure out my best options. I would like to get rid of it but to be compensated at the same time instead of wearing the rubber off of the tires hauling it down the road every other month for repairs. Thanks for the advice and I am still open for suggestions. Anyone?

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Ripper:

I'm taking off this Friday, fishing for 9 days. I'll file a report when I get back.

Good luck with the boat!

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I had a gem of a Jeep Grand Cherokee a few years ago. 16 times to the shop within the warranty period. I wanted to go lemon law but was talked out of it by coworkers I respected.

You have to look at how much is invested in the boat. The problem does not appear to be going away. Your rights under the lemon law have certain time limits. Find out how much longer you have lemon law rights and make a decision. Will you give the dealership/mfgr one last chance or go lemon law. I may even see if the attorney could draft something that if you gave them the one last shot, and it failed, you could bypass the process and they would admit to it being a lemon.

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Not bragging but i was in the car business for over 14 years and alot of it was as warranty manager. The lemon laws were put into place to stop new auto screw ups to protect the buyer. It is really hard for the customer to prove the lemon but there are guide lines and they are not put out there for the lawyers to decide. Most lawyers are working for themselves and not you. In all the years i worked warranty i can not remember a lawyer making us replaced a car. I can tell you that the MN Attorney General would scare the **** out of us. So the bottom line would be call the Attorney General and ask them what guide lines are and were can you find them and go from there. Most dealers once the Attorney General calls them they will go back to the manufacture and tell them they need to get this fixed and quit screwing around. I know you can do this with one phone call and not let some Attorney get money for nothing. Good luck

------------------
JIM PAYNE

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Has anyone ever filed a lawsuit against their boat company because their boat has been nothing but a big nightmare? I bought my boat brand new in 2003 and I am having my drivers side console replaced for the 5th time (along with a number of other problems). I talked to head guy at warranty and they are supposedly redesigning the console because of a weak spot. My questions is, I know there is a law called Lemon Law for vehicles but has anyone ever done this with their boat? I have discussed this with an attorney and he says there is a law to protect us against LEMONS. I'm curious to see if anyone has ever done this. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks

[This message has been edited by Lip RIPPER! (edited 10-13-2004).]

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I have a feeling you would spend more time and money in court than it would probably turn out to be worth. I would call their corperate office and talk to the highest level person you can get. Tell them whats up and that people are finding out this particular boat is a LEMON. They dont like bad PR so they may do something. I would try to get at least a great trade in. A new boat wich is unlikely would of course be your best case scenario.
I wish you luck.

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The lemon law was designed specifically toward motor vehicles but I would assume that there is protection for consumers of other purchases. If you don't know or have an attorney, I would call the county or city attorney in your area to help guide you on the right path.

Back in '93, I bought a Geo Metro. Sparing the details, the car had a chronic engine-related problem and was in and out of the dealership several times during a four-month period.

Attorneys where I worked helped me craft a letter to the dealership, detailing my rights and expectations as stated in the lemon law. The dealership was reluctant to give in but didn't want to go to an arbitration hearing they knew I would win. I ended up with full refund on the Geo and a great deal on another car.

On the day of the settllement when the dealership towed my dead Geo back to its lot, they parked it next to about seven others that were having the same problem.

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Ripper:

They are taking a 1/3 if you win.

I'd strongly suggest working directly with the manufacturer, and use this route as a secondary approach.

That is just my opinion though.

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Yes, but I still keep my boat and the warranty it is still under. The manufacturer has offered nothing except to fix it which hasn't worked yet. As much of a headache as it has been, this sounds like my best option so far.

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Be cautious of attorney's.

And, if the boat is a lemon, I would dump it, back to the manufacturer.

I would raise heck with the manufacturer. A buddy of mine bought a 2000 Tuffy 20' tiller. He had it for 1 season. The next season, he was on mille lacs and busted up the hull, by hitting 3' waves. When I say he busted up the hull.......the floor was buckling and the carpet was ripping. He couldn't turn off the bilge pump.

He called the manufacturer and they took his boat back, built him a new 2002, switched everything over from his old rig to the new rig and sent him on his way, without a dime out of his pocket.......

They changed the design, as there were flaws in teh old design and the new boat was the new design......

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Here is the latest situation. I have a retainer agrement in my hands from the Law Firm and they say I have a very strong case. There is an act called the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act Here is how they recommend approaching the situation.

1.Go after a cash settlement with the company. This would entitle me to keep my boat, warranty etc.. and get a cash settlement to boot. The attorney would get 1/3 of the cash settlement.

2. Full refund of the boat. (what I paid for it, boat only)

They made it very clear that this would NOT cost me a dime. Legal fees, litigation costs would be paid by the defendant if there is recovery, and I have no obligation to pay legal fees or litigation costs if there is no recovery.

It sounds like I have nothing to lose. Any other opinions?

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The lawyers always say you have a strong case! Ofcourse they want you do go after some $. What else would they do? They cant get 1/3 of your boat. They want cash!
It sounds like your tired of dealing with the boat company and I dont blame you a bit. Do what you have to and get yourself a NEW boat. Even with the lawyers involved it wont be fast or easy.
Keep us up to date on this please.

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Northlander, thanks for the advice. It probably is going to get uglier before it gets prettier. I've asked to talk to the president of the company 3 different times and they keep giving me somebody else. I am tempted to drive to the headquarters next week to try and get something done.

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Ouch!!!

That is no good..........

Buy ya know........ a buddy of mine went through 3 boats of those in 3 seasons.......He now calls them crinklecraft........They took em back each time, but this was back in the mid to late 90s, when he was on the trail...... The hulls were buckling and "crinkeling" as he calls it......

Sucks dude, and I feel for ya!!!

Good luck!!!

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I know what boat you have LipRipper, and I know the crappy dealer you bought it from. I had problems with my console too, and I repaired it myself to my standards. I litterally re-built my entire console myself, with a whole new console. The rivots holding the console, and the overall support design was quite poor.

I delivered my boat to the manufacturer over the winter and they went through the entire rig and went out of their way to make things right. I was more than satified, more surprised by what they did and the cost was even more surprising (cheap). They knew they had design problems and they fixed it.

I would avoid a lawsuit and attorneys. Have you talked to the warranty dept directly? Stay away from that dealer!! They do not know how to repair anything. smile.gif

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Chuck, I have not been back to that dealership since last November. I did see it on Sat. though and I almost puked. Anway, you mentioned a cost in getting your boat fixed. Is it not under warranty? I have talked to 2 different warranty guys and then haven't offered much of anything. I am going to call this afternoon. As soon as this thing gets settled, I am done with the boat/company. I don't think I would be out of line to ask to have the boat replaced. If not, then I am sending the attorney papers in.

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Chuck, I have not been back to that dealership since last November. I did see it on Sat. though and I almost puked. Anway, you mentioned a cost in getting your boat fixed. Is it not under warranty? I have talked to 2 different warranty guys and then haven't offered much of anything. I am going to call this afternoon. As soon as this thing gets settled, I am done with the boat/company. I don't think I would be out of line to ask to have the boat replaced. If not, then I am sending the attorney papers in.

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I had a couple rod locker support rivots (starboard side) that needed repair and that was under warranty. The factory replaced and beefed up the port side without my request, and that was really nice. They inspected, replaced and rebuilt all structure pins/rivots. They did not want me back there. smile.gif

The console was not under warranty since it had expired. The console issue happened when the boat was 2 years old, it got really bad about 1-2 years after the initial problem, but the hull warranty was 10 years.

They gave me a discount on the console and all the parts to fix the console myself. I beefed it up with steel braces, lag bolts, etc.. and that thing will not seperate from the boat anymore.

Just an FYI, if you are running big water like LOW do not own a tin boat. smile.gif I couldn't be more happy with glass, absolutely no comparison in ride and performance.

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Here is the latest update. The company is picking my boat up on Nov.10 at the marine dealer in Grand Forks and trucking it back to their company to have it checked out. I'm not sure what they are going to do with it. Maybe I should send some gas and match along???

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