Actionline: Warranty Coverage Unlocked

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November 27, 2012

When Good Sam member Steve Becker’s keyless-entry system failed to unlock the door of his 2008 motorhome, he expected the manufacturer to replace it, as pledged in the company’s warranty. That didn’t happen, so the Kirkland, Washington, RVer sought help from the Good Sam Club’s Action Line consumer advocacy program:

 I’m the original owner of a 2008 Alfa Gold RV that I purchased on July 6, 2009. When the motorhome’s KE-1600 keyless-entry system failed, I was instructed to mail in the defective parts to determine warranty coverage by the manufacturer, Essex Electronics of Carpinteria, California. I did so on November 30, 2011. This required the removal of the keypad, leaving an exposed hole on the door of my RV. The warranty period on the keyless-entry system is three years, as stated in Essex’s policy posted on the company’s website.

To my surprise, Essex did not honor their warranty, stating that the manufacture date of the components had exceeded three years. I was told that each component of the keyless-entry system has a stamp indicating the date of production. I was further told that this is the date the company uses to determine warranty coverage, not the date of purchase. I spoke with Dean Benjamin, a vice president of the company, and explained to him that the language in the warranty states the warranty is from the date of purchase and not the date of production. Initially, Mr. Benjamin said that he would replace the electronic module with a refurbished module but would not replace the keypad. By the end of our discussion, he reneged on that and stated he would be returning both defective parts to me.

Since I had a hole in the side of my RV, I needed to replace the keyless-entry system as soon as possible. I instructed the repair shop to order a brand new system from Essex Electronics to replace the defective one. I paid $316.39 for the KE-1701 and $104.50 for the labor to install it. I also had a $50 surcharge to cover freight. Another $10 for shipping brought the total to $430.89.

This has been an extremely frustrating experience for me. I would really appreciate it if Action Line could persuade Essex Electronics to honor their warranty and reimburse me the amount I paid to have a replacement system installed.

After contacting Essex Electronics on behalf of Steve Becker, Action Line received the following thank you note from Mr. Becker:

 I received a check from Essex’s distributor, and the case can now be closed. Thank you. I have been a Good Sam member since the day I bought my RV and am a religious reader of Action Line. Keep up the good work.

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1 comment

  1. Jim Carden

    Question: While driving down the Alaska Hiway in October, one of our NEW trailer’s wheel bearings went out. It costs us $1,512 for towing and $423.82 for repairs.

    When I say our trailer is “new”, I mean that it had less than 1,000 miles on it when this happened. The mechanic told me that the bearings had “little” grease” on them – on the statement, he wrote “wheel bearings had no grease”. My thoughts are that regardless of grease or no grease, the bearings should have not gone out so fast. Therefore, my question for you is: Do I go to the company I purchased the trailer from (after purchasing it they kept it for 2-3 days to prep it), or to the manufacture. And, do you think I have a valid claim for reimbursement.

    Please note, that because of weather, road conditions and our own time shedule we could not wait for repairs so left the trailer at the mechanics business and will pick up on our return in April – thus had to stay in motels for the rest of our trip.

    Good Sam Says: I am sorry to hear about that. I would recommend contacting the location you bought the RV from. I will send you a claim form to help you with the towing for your membership. I would also recommend that you email [email protected] to look further into the issue should you have any complications with the dealership.