42 U.S. Code § 5414 - Notification and correction of defects by manufacturer
(a) Notice to purchaser within reasonable time after discovery of defect
Every manufacturer of manufactured homes shall furnish notification of any defect in any manufactured home produced by such manufacturer which he determines, in good faith, relates to a Federal manufactured home construction or safety standard or contains a defect which constitutes an imminent safety hazard to the purchaser of such manufactured home, within a reasonable time after such manufacturer has discovered such defect.
(b) Notification by mail
The notification required by subsection (a) of this section shall be accomplished—
(1) by mail to the first purchaser (not including any retailer or distributor of such manufacturer) of the manufactured home containing the defect, and to any subsequent purchaser to whom any warranty on such manufactured home has been transferred;
(2) by mail to any other person who is a registered owner of such manufactured home and whose name and address has been ascertained pursuant to procedures established under subsection (f) of this section; and
(c) Form and requisites of notification
The notification required by subsection (a) of this section shall contain a clear description of such defect or failure to comply, an evaluation of the risk to manufactured home occupants’ safety reasonably related to such defect, and a statement of the measures needed to repair the defect. The notification shall also inform the owner whether the defect is a construction or safety defect which the manufacturer will have corrected at no cost to the owner of the manufactured home under subsection (g) of this section or otherwise, or is a defect which must be corrected at the expense of the owner.
(d) Copy to Secretary of all notices, bulletins, and communications sent by manufacturer to retailers and purchasers concerning defects; disclosure to public by Secretary
Every manufacturer of manufactured homes shall furnish to the Secretary a true or representative copy of all notices, bulletins, and other communications to the retailers of such manufacturer or purchasers of manufactured homes of such manufacturer regarding any defect in any such manufactured home produced by such manufacturer. The Secretary shall disclose to the public so much of the information contained in such notices or other information obtained under section 5413 of this title as he deems will assist in carrying out the purposes of this chapter, but he shall not disclose any information which contains or relates to a trade secret, or which, if disclosed, would put such manufacturer at a substantial competitive disadvantage, unless he determines that it is necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(e) Notice by Secretary to manufacturers of noncompliance with standards or defective nature of manufactured home; contents of notice; presentation by manufacturer of views; notice to purchasers of defects
If the Secretary determines that any manufactured home—
(1) does not comply with an applicable Federal manufactured home construction and safety standard prescribed pursuant to section 5403 of this title; or
then he shall immediately notify the manufacturer of such manufactured home of such defect or failure to comply. The notice shall contain the findings of the Secretary and shall include all information upon which the findings are based. The Secretary shall afford such manufacturer an opportunity to present his views and evidence in support thereof, to establish that there is no failure of compliance. If after such presentation by the manufacturer the Secretary determines that such manufactured home does not comply with applicable Federal manufactured home construction or safety standards, or contains a defect which constitutes an imminent safety hazard, the Secretary shall direct the manufacturer to furnish the notification specified in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.
(f) Maintenance by manufacturers of record of names and addresses of first purchasers of manufactured homes; procedures for ascertaining names and addresses of subsequent purchasers; establishment and reasonableness of procedures for maintaining records
Every manufacturer of manufactured homes shall maintain a record of the name and address of the first purchaser of each manufactured home (for purposes other than resale), and, to the maximum extent feasible, shall maintain procedures for ascertaining the name and address of any subsequent purchaser thereof and shall maintain a record of names and addresses so ascertained. Such records shall be kept for each home produced by a manufacturer. The Secretary may establish by order procedures to be followed by manufacturers in establishing and maintaining such records, including procedures to be followed by distributors and retailers to assist manufacturers to secure the information required by this subsection. Such procedures shall be reasonable for the particular type of manufactured home for which they are prescribed.
(g) Correction of defects by manufacturer; conditions; procedures; contract or legal rights of purchasers or other persons unaffected
A manufacturer required to furnish notification of a defect under subsection (a) or (e) of this section shall also bring the manufactured home into compliance with applicable standards and correct the defect or have the defect corrected within a reasonable period of time at no expense to the owner, but only if—
(1) the defect presents an unreasonable risk of injury or death to occupants of the affected manufactured home or homes;
(2) the defect can be related to an error in design or assembly of the manufactured home by the manufacturer.
The Secretary may direct the manufacturer to make such corrections after providing an opportunity for oral and written presentation of views by interested persons. Nothing in this section shall limit the rights of the purchaser or any other person under any contract or applicable law.
(h) Submission to Secretary by manufacturer of plan for notifying owners of defects and repair of defects; approval of manufacturer’s remedy plan; effectuation and implementation of remedy plan
The manufacturer shall submit his plan for notifying owners of the defect and for repairing such defect (if required under subsection (g) of this section) to the Secretary for his approval before implementing such plan. Whenever a manufacturer is required under subsection (g) of this section to correct a defect, the Secretary shall approve with or without modification, after consultation with the manufacturer of the manufactured home involved, such manufacturer’s remedy plan including the date when, and the method by which, the notification and remedy required pursuant to this section shall be effectuated. Such date shall be the earliest practicable one but shall not be more than sixty days after the date of discovery or determination of the defect or failure to comply, unless the Secretary grants an extension of such period for good cause shown and publishes a notice of such extension in the Federal Register. Such manufacturer is bound to implement such remedy plan as approved by the Secretary.
(i) Defective or inadequately repaired manufactured homes; replacement with new or equivalent home or refund of purchase price
Where a defect or failure to comply in a manufactured home cannot be adequately repaired within sixty days from the date of discovery or determination of the defect, the Secretary may require that the manufactured home be replaced with a new or equivalent home without charge, or that the purchase price be refunded in full, less a reasonable allowance for depreciation based on actual use if the home has been in the possession of the owner for more than one year.
Source(Pub. L. 93–383, title VI, § 615,Aug. 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 709; Pub. L. 96–399, title III, § 308(c)(4),Oct. 8, 1980, 94 Stat. 1641; Pub. L. 97–35, title III, § 339B(c),Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 417; Pub. L. 106–569, title VI, § 603(b)(3),Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2999.)
References to “mobile homes”, wherever appearing in text, changed to “manufactured homes” in view of the amendment of title VI of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (this chapter) by section 308(c)(4) ofPub. L. 96–399requiring the substitution of “manufactured home” for “mobile home” wherever appearing in title VI of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, and section 339B(c) ofPub. L. 97–35(set out as a note under section 1703 of Title 12, Banks and Banking) providing that the terms “mobile home” and “manufactured home” shall be deemed to include the terms “mobile homes” and “manufactured homes”, respectively.
2000—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 106–569, § 603(b)(3)(A), substituted “retailer” for “dealer”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 106–569, § 603(b)(3)(B), substituted “retailer or retailers” for “dealer or dealers”.
Subsecs. (d), (f). Pub. L. 106–569, § 603(b)(3)(C), substituted “retailers” for “dealers ”.
1980—Subsecs. (a) to (i). Pub. L. 96–399substituted “manufactured home” for “mobile home” wherever appearing.
Effective Date of 2000 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 106–569effective Dec. 27, 2000, except that amendment has no effect on any order or interpretative bulletin issued under this chapter and published as a proposed rule pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 on or before Dec. 27, 2000, see section 612 ofPub. L. 106–569, set out as a note under section 5401 of this title.