RVIA: RV Dispute Resolution Program Leads to Better Outcomes


FAIRFAX, Va. – In 2020, the RV Industry Association collaborated with DeMars & Associates, Ltd. to develop an entirely voluntary and confidential mediation process, available at no cost to eligible consumers with warranty disputes who have purchased new RVs from participating manufacturers, according to a News and Insights article published by the RV Industry Association (RVIA).

The Dispute Resolution Program for Recreation Vehicles (DRP-RV) is administered by DeMars, a leading national alternative dispute resolution firm.

The DRP-RV program affords eligible RV consumers throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada the opportunity to resolve their disputes in a more efficient manner and in a less adversarial setting. The main goals are to help RV owners get back on the road RVing while reducing time-consuming and costly litigation.

For companies interested in participating in the program, a Q&A is below describing in-depth how the dispute resolution program works.

Q: What is the goal of the Dispute Resolution Program for Recreational Vehicles?
The goal of the DRP-RV program is to provide an opportunity for RV owners and manufacturers to find a resolution to on-going disputes; avoiding the need file a legal complaint.

Q: How does the program work?
The consumer reaches out to DRP-RV via email or telephone with their warranty-related claim(s) that have been denied or have not been resolved after a reasonable number of repair attempts. DRP-RV will provide the consumer an application and list of documents needed to complete our eligibility review. The application is also available online.

Once all necessary documents have been submitted and if the case is eligible, DRP-RV will connect the consumer and manufacturer and allow for the parties to work together. If there is not successful communication within five days of opening the matter, DRP-RV works to schedule a mediation for the parties.

DRP-RV works with the parties and the mediator to find a mutually agreeable date for the mediation. DRP-RV also appoints a mediator who is trained on the program and RVs to assist the parties. The mediation conference will take place, virtually or in-person, and the parties will work together to resolve the dispute.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in the program?
A: To be eligible, the consumer must have purchased a participating manufacturer’s RV, still be under an applicable manufacturer warranty, and contend they have persisting warranty issues that have not been resolved after a reasonable number of repair attempts.  Following the warranty’s expiration, there is a 30-day grace period for submission.

Q: How many manufacturers are currently enrolled?
Fourteen manufacturers (including subsidiaries).

Q: What are the benefits for manufacturers who sign up?
This program has multiple benefits to manufacturers. It allows for customer retention, customer satisfaction, out-of-court settlements, decrease in litigation fees, and an alternative avenue for dispute resolution, ultimately providing a cost-effective solution to settling conflicts.

Q: What are the benefits for manufacturers’ consumers who sign up?
This program allows consumers a means to a resolution. Sometimes consumers feel as if they do not have many options when they have a warranty issue that is not being resolved. Through the DRP-RV program, eligible consumers can speak directly with a manufacturer representative who has settlement-making authority and can assist with a time-efficient resolution.

Q: Is there a cost?
There is no cost to the consumer and the program is voluntary. The manufacturer pays a reasonable fee for submitted cases and there is a nominal  annual participation fee.

Q: How can a manufacturer sign up?
If a manufacturer is interested in joining the DRP-RV program, they can contact DeMars & Associates at 262-549-6700 and they will provide additional information and steps for joining.

Consumers can visit DeMars & Associates’ website here, complete, and submit their DRP-RV Statement of Issues/Application to [email protected] or [email protected].

Q: How long does it generally take for disputes to be resolved?
A: The program is designed to be completed within 40 days of the date the application is received. However, it is a party-driven process and DRP-RV will respect the timeframes needed by the parties involved.

Q: Since this program has started, can you tell me about some successes for both the consumer and manufacturer?
The program has resulted in many creative settlements for consumers and manufacturers. Some of the results DeMars & Associates have seen include additional repairs, good-will offers, replacement RVs, repurchase of the RV, or extended warranties.

Many of the cases never reach mediation, as the parties are able to work together beforehand and resolve the dispute.

For additional questions on the program, contact Rylee McCoy, DRP-RV Program Manager, at [email protected]

Source: https://rvbusiness.com/rvia-rv-dispute-resolution-program-leads-to-better-outcomes/