April 2, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. No. l:15-cv-247 -
William C. Lee, Judge.
Hamilton, Barrett, and Scudder, Circuit Judges.
Barrett, Circuit Judge.
and Randy Mathews purchased an RV, which came with a one-year
warranty from the manufacturer, REV Recreation Group, Inc.
The RV was riddled with problems from the time that they
bought it, and these problems ultimately led the Mathews to
sue REV. We sympathize with the Mathews' plight; they
bought a lemon. But because they have not shown that REV
failed to honor its warranties or that the warranty
provisions were unconscionable, we must affirm the district
court's grant of summary judgment to REV.
and Randy Mathews purchased a Holiday Rambler Presidential RV
on May 7, 2014 from Mellott Brothers Trailer Sales, Inc. The
RV came with a warranty from the manufacturer, REV Recreation
Group, Inc., which limited both express and implied
warranties to one year from the purchase date. To take
advantage of the warranty, the Mathews had to notify REV or
an authorized dealer within five days of discovering a
defect. Moreover, the warranty stated that "[i]f the
repair or replacement remedy fails to successfully cure a
defect after [REV] received a reasonable opportunity to cure
the defect, your sole and exclusive remedy shall be limited
to Warrantor paying you the costs of having an independent
third party perform repair(s) to the defect(s)." The
Mathews were told about the warranty when they bought the RV,
but they were not initially given a hard copy.
Mathews say that they encountered problems with the RV almost
as soon as they drove it off the lot. They called the
dealership to report that there were issues with the interior
lights, the refrigerator, and the leveling system. The
Mellott Brothers service manager recommended that they go to
an auto parts store and replace the fuses in order to fix the
issues, which they did. The Mathews say that they also
noticed other problems on this first trip: water leaked from
the shower, and the TV and DVD player didn't work. But
they didn't contact anyone about these issues.
later, the Mathews went on another trip and claim to have had
even more difficulty: the converter was blowing fuses, the
leveling jacks worked only intermittently, the curbside slide
cable broke, and there were still problems with the TV and
DVD player. After calling the Mellott Brothers again, the
Mathews were given the number for REV so that they could
locate an authorized repair center. REV told them that they
could go to a local dealer near them, Johnson's RV, but
would need to obtain approval from REV before the dealer
performed repairs that would be covered under the warranty.
Johnson's RV completed the repairs and told the Mathews
that the repair work was covered, but neither the Mathews nor
anyone from Johnson's RV ever contacted REV about this
work (though notably, the Mathews were never forced to pay
for the repairs). This happened again a few months later when
Johnson's RV fixed the curbside slide cable-no one
notified REV that repair work had been done.
a month later, the Mathews contacted REV to inform them that
they were having issues with the RV. REV arranged to repair
the RV at its factory store. After completing the repairs, it
issued an extended goodwill warranty for "defective
workmanship or materials in manufacturing" -although the
warranty specifically excluded an extension of the limited
warranty "or any other warranties."
March 2015, the Mathews again contacted REV, this time about
problems with the cable for the air conditioning unit, the
main slide, and the sealing tape on the slides. The Mathews
asked REV to buy back the RV, but REV declined to do so and
instead promised to repair the issues pursuant to the
warranty. REV arranged to pick up the RV to repair it and
once again extended the goodwill warranty. In May 2015, REV
also provided the Mathews a copy of the warranty.
returned the RV to the Mathews in June 2015, and the Mathews
never again took the RV to REV or any other authorized or
independent dealer for repair. Instead, their attorney sent a
letter to REV in July 2015 alleging that it had breached its
warranties. Fed up, the Mathews filed suit soon after. In
their amended complaint, they alleged breaches of express and
implied warranties, as well as violations of both the Indiana
Deceptive Consumer Sales Act (IDCSA) and the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act. They claimed that REV had failed to fix
the TV, DVD player, and air conditioning/slide out seals.
They also asserted that in 2016, after they had filed suit,
they noticed problems with the kitchen cabinets, a latent
issue with the water tank, and that the rear of the coach was
falling out. The Mathews conceded, however, that they did not
raise this second group of issues with REV within the
one-year warranty period.
moved for summary judgment on all counts, and the district
court granted the motion. It explained that "while the
facts and evidence support the Mathews' contention that
the RV had numerous problems, they do not support the
allegations that REV failed to honor its warranties."
Because REV was not given a reasonable opportunity to cure
any defects, the court said, REV did not breach its express
or implied warranties. It also concluded that the
warranty's limitations were not unconscionable. And
because the alleged warranty violatins had been the basis for
the Matthews' claims under both the IDCSA and the
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the court held that those claims
Mathews appealed. Although, as the district court rightly
noted, "[t]his case is a cluttered mess of immaterial
factual disputes, unsupportable claims and maze-like
presentation of arguments," we gather that the Mathews
raise the same arguments before us that they did below: that
REV breached express and implied ...