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Anyone know a good lawyer that has dealt with the boat lemon law in NC?

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Old 03-14-2018, 02:29 AM
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Default Anyone know a good lawyer that has dealt with the boat lemon law in NC?

Fellow boaters,
my wife is really getting aggravated at me, as I will not force Tidewater to do something to fix my issues once and for all. I have owned my boat sense it was new in 2013 and over the 5 years, the boat has been to the manufacture 3 separate times adding up to over a year in the shop for repairs on the same issue. It was also at my local dealers 2 separate times for yes the same issue as well.



I have just about hit my limit and I am starting to agree with my wife, as I am having to send it back again for... yes, the same issue. the bad thing about this is that the dealer and manufacture talk about this as it is no big deal.



Anyone know of an attorney around South Eastern NC that has dealt with the boats lemon law issues? I have spoken to a couple and so far no luck, as they state it will be financially easier to sell the boat and be done with it. I do not believe that is the right answer... pawn my issues off to someone else, what would that solve!



any assistance is greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:52 AM
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Don't know any that specialize in lemon laws specifically but here is a quick google search result for ya:

At the Law Office of Richard A. McNeil, I am committed to advocating for North Carolina residents who have purchased a defective vehicle. I have extensive experience in lemon law cases and pursuing compensation and replacement costs when manufacturers fail to cooperate with consumers.

For a vehicle to qualify under the North Carolina Lemon Law, it must meet certain requirements:

The vehicle must have been purchased in North Carolina
The vehicle may not been previously titled (or sold as "used")
The warranty problem must have occurred within two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first
The same warranty problem has to be presented for repair on numerous occasions unless the problem took over 20 days at the dealership to fix
The case generally must be brought within four years of the purchase date
If the above criteria are not met, but the vehicle still experienced manufacturer defects during the warranty period, other breach of warranty claims, including federal law, may apply to your case. Please contact us for more information.

The North Carolina Lemon Law does not apply to boats, motor homes, ATV's, or vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:13 AM
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If you Google nc lemon laws it says boats are covered. So I would ask around or file thru the website for help
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:04 AM
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What is the issue?
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by sp8hardwood View Post
If you Google nc lemon laws it says boats are covered. So I would ask around or file thru the website for help
Not sure what you found, could you link it. I only found boats mentioned in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which would be Federal. State GS20-351 which is our law covering the Lemon Law only looks like it applies to motor vehicles, motor vehicles are described in GS20-4.01 and has no mention of boats.

Guess the easiest way to differentiate this would be who has oversight. DMV = Department of Motor Vehicles which covers trailers, cars, motorcycles, etc. DMV does not cover boats, just the trailer they ride on when using the roadways, WRC has oversight of boat registration.

Finding the correct information and getting it put out would probably benefit everyone if we could find a clear answer, heck I would like to know. Quickest way to an answer I suppose would be to call an attorney.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:59 AM
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The NC Lemon Law does not cover boats. If the boat has or had a warranty and the repairs were not done correctly then there would be a civil recourse. If it is still under warranty and they refuse to repair the boat then it would be a breach of contract, all this would be a civil recourse but there would be no protection under North Carolina Gen.Stat. section 20-351
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:00 AM
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www.carlemon.com/state-lemon-law-statutes/north-carolina-lemon-law-rights-consumer-guide.html


See if this is right. My parents are actually trying to deal with it covering a new camper
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by sp8hardwood View Post
www.carlemon.com/state-lemon-law-statutes/north-carolina-lemon-law-rights-consumer-guide.html


See if this is right. My parents are actually trying to deal with it covering a new camper
The NC law does not cover boats or RVs, the Federal Law (Magnuson Moss Warranty Act) covers anything with a warranty and that's where an RV or Boat would possibly be covered...

Here's a link to Cornell Universities breakdown of Magnuson Moss
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/chapter-50

Visco, They claim a 10 year hull warranty. Best bet would be to read the warranty in depth or contact an attorney who is familiar with Magnuson -Moss to look over the warranty and see if you have a case. Some negative Google Reviews or YouTube Videos may get the manufacturer to take your issue seriously as well. Bad publicity is sometimes more of a motivator than hoping they will do the right thing.

Last edited by REELH00KER; 03-14-2018 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:14 AM
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I will hunt the information down on where I read up on this law pertaining to boats.


to answer the Vehicle lemon law requirements...


The vehicle must have been purchased in North Carolina
Answer: Yes the boat was purchased from NC new in 2013

The vehicle may not been previously titled (or sold as "used")
Answer: one owner on this boat... me

The warranty problem must have occurred within two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first
Answer: first time this issue was found was within 6 months of owning the boat.

The same warranty problem has to be presented for repair on numerous occasions unless the problem took over 20 days at the dealership to fix
answer: it has been in for service at a minimum of 6 times, and I surpassed the 20 days by roughly 340+ days

The case generally must be brought within four years of the purchase date
Answer: on going sense about 6 months after I purchased the boat.


the issues:
The boat came from the factory without the drain plugs inside the center console causing water to sit and mold to grow at a rapid rate inside the CC. Once the manufacture approved for the work to be done, the dealer attempted to install the drain plugs, however... it they were drilled in the wrong location and the hull quickly filled with water in two of the cavities that do not drain out. After they fixed this and repaired the holes, they drilled new holes BUT this is where the issues really started. when they drilled the drain holes, the knucklhead drilled a hole through my fuel tank. This forced the manufacturer to ship the boat back to their factory, cut a large chunk out of the deck and replace the fuel tank. When they cut the deck, they did not cut it in the right area in order to provide support to that cutout once it was put back in place. Now you have the entire center console and all the gear to include 3 deep cycle batteries resting on a cut out piece of fiberglass with no support under it. This causes the deck to crack pretty much instantly once I put the boat in the water and hit my first wave.


other than that... I love the boat, perfect size for when I am fishing without buddies, and excellent fuel consumption. it will hold 60 gallons and I get roughly 260 nautical miles out of a tank of fuel.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:19 AM
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Seems that it is not a lemon law issue, poor workmanship issue from guy/company who drilled the hole into the fuel tank.

Your lawsuit is with the dealer IMHO.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:26 AM
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good luck, that sucks.

When I bought a brand new RV , home and Boat I went through a similar aggravating experience. You buy new and you expect things to be working properly and done right. In each case it was a nightmare dealing with the seller to fix the punch out items.

I did have to get an attorney involved with our built home and after receiving a formal letter with an attorney letterhead they got their Sh1t together and fixed the punch out list. So might be worth getting an attorney to send just a letter and see how fast they take you seriously.

Sadly it appears that buying new is no longer worth the hassle and buying a something a couple years old is the way to go. That way somebody else already took the financial hit and the hassle with making sure things were done right. Plus you won't be as disappointed when finding issues.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ESSRTEE8 View Post
Seems that it is not a lemon law issue, poor workmanship issue from guy/company who drilled the hole into the fuel tank.

Your lawsuit is with the dealer IMHO.
So...

The boat was shipped back to the manufacturer which cut the deck in a spot that gives no support which causes the cracks, but it was done to repair an error by the dealer. The dealer was trying to repair an error from the manufacturer (no drain plugs) but drilled the plugs in the wrong location and hit the tank...

Wow... I would think that if you went after the dealer they would place the blame on the manufacturer (if the drain plugs had been there in the first place they wouldn't have had to drill new ones and then accidentally drill into the tank).

Then the manufacturer would place the blame back on the dealer because if they hadn't drilled into the tank then they wouldn't have had to replace it which is now causing the deck to crack.

But if the manufacturer had done the repair correctly then there wouldn't be any cracking...
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ESSRTEE8 View Post
Seems that it is not a lemon law issue, poor workmanship issue from guy/company who drilled the hole into the fuel tank.

Your lawsuit is with the dealer IMHO.
I agreed to this at first as well... what I was told is that the issue originated as a factory defect, which would then result in the lemon law being a player. We will see, I found a couple of lawyers that deal in these issues, so I will update everyone as this continues.



Originally Posted by alfnator View Post
good luck, that sucks.
I did have to get an attorney involved with our built home and after receiving a formal letter with an attorney letterhead they got their Sh1t together and fixed the punch out list. So might be worth getting an attorney to send just a letter and see how fast they take you seriously.

Sadly it appears that buying new is no longer worth the hassle and buying a something a couple years old is the way to go. That way somebody else already took the financial hit and the hassle with making sure things were done right. Plus you won't be as disappointed when finding issues.

I agree... I stopped buying new with my vehicles some 15 years ago and have had 0 issues. I had all intentions of buying used... actually when I bought this boat, I was looking at Grady white 22' CC for the same price, the GW was an 2002 model BUT had the 250 Yam HDPI motor. I never heard anything good about those motors which was the factor in me going with a much smaller boat and it coming with a warranty.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by REELH00KER View Post
So...

The boat was shipped back to the manufacturer which cut the deck in a spot that gives no support which causes the cracks, but it was done to repair an error by the dealer. The dealer was trying to repair an error from the manufacturer (no drain plugs) but drilled the plugs in the wrong location and hit the tank...

Wow... I would think that if you went after the dealer they would place the blame on the manufacturer (if the drain plugs had been there in the first place they wouldn't have had to drill new ones and then accidentally drill into the tank).

Then the manufacturer would place the blame back on the dealer because if they hadn't drilled into the tank then they wouldn't have had to replace it which is now causing the deck to crack.

But if the manufacturer had done the repair correctly then there wouldn't be any cracking...

see... now you see it from my perspective how does Austin Powers say it...
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by visco View Post
see... now you see it from my perspective how does Austin Powers say it...
Yeah that's a mess, but I would think that it would all fall back to the manufacturer because if it had the plugs installed correctly then this crazy chain of events would have never taken place.

I would think you have a case via the Federal law, hopefully you can get it taken care of without it being long drawn out and expensive. If I remember correctly, there was a provision in the federal law that allowed you to recoup your lawyer costs if you win the case.

(d) Civil action by consumer for damages, etc.; jurisdiction; recovery of costs and expenses; cognizable claims
(1) Subject to subsections (a)(3) and (e), a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other legal and equitable relief—
(A) in any court of competent jurisdiction in any State or the District of Columbia; or
(B) in an appropriate district court of the United States, subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(2) If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection, he may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses (including attorneys’ fees based on actual time expended) determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the court in its discretion shall determine that such an award of attorneys’ fees would be inappropriate.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by REELH00KER View Post
Yeah that's a mess, but I would think that it would all fall back to the manufacturer because if it had the plugs installed correctly then this crazy chain of events would have never taken place.

I would think you have a case via the Federal law, hopefully you can get it taken care of without it being long drawn out and expensive. If I remember correctly, there was a provision in the federal law that allowed you to recoup your lawyer costs if you win the case.

(d) Civil action by consumer for damages, etc.; jurisdiction; recovery of costs and expenses; cognizable claims
(1) Subject to subsections (a)(3) and (e), a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other legal and equitable relief—
(A) in any court of competent jurisdiction in any State or the District of Columbia; or
(B) in an appropriate district court of the United States, subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(2) If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection, he may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses (including attorneys’ fees based on actual time expended) determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the court in its discretion shall determine that such an award of attorneys’ fees would be inappropriate.

Good luck and keep us posted!

will do... thanks again for the conversation as it has given me new hope in this process.


OH yea... forgot to mention, while repairing my boat the first time they also damaged my trailer. They ran into the finder well with a forklift, and there response was to tell Tidewater as they will repair it. Would you believe that the owner of the dealership actually got mad at me for bringing this to his attention that his mechanics drilled a hole in my fuel tank, and damaged my trailer. Tidewater told me not to go back to them, and that they would handle it from there.

Last edited by visco; 03-14-2018 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ESSRTEE8 View Post
Seems that it is not a lemon law issue, poor workmanship issue from guy/company who drilled the hole into the fuel tank.

Your lawsuit is with the dealer IMHO.
This is your answer ^^^^^
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by JoCo34 View Post
This is your answer ^^^^^

slightly different opinion- The initial repair was due to a manufacturing defect covered under warranty. The dealer was acting in his capacity as an authorized service agent to do warranty repairs for the manufacturer. Your recourse is a civil lawsuit naming the manufacturer.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:39 AM
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thanks to all for your opinions... It did make my decision much easier on which way to go. I will keep everyone updated to what happens.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:41 AM
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Dealing with the hassle of it all quite frankly sucks! I applaud your decision in not just selling to let AMF (another mother effer) deal with it. This is definitely a circle jerk of screw ups. My initial question is; was this a missed step in the initial build, or an unknown design flaw that you became the unfortunate guinea pig of? Either way both the dealership and manufacturer will attempt to pass the buck back and forth. From what you have stated this far it seems the manufacturer has dealt with and is tired of dealing with the dealership over issues other than yours. My recommendation is to have an attorney send certified letters to both the dealership and manufacturer.
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