Sacco Bill To Protect Used Car Buyers When Vehicle Fails Inspection Advances From Committee

Senator Nicholas Sacco, D-Hudson, speaks with a colleague on the Senate floor regarding legislation being voted on.

Bill Would Preserve “Lemon Law” Protections When Emissions Control Equipment Fails

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Nicholas J. Sacco which would prohibit used car dealers from waiving their obligation under the Lemon Law when a vehicle fails inspection as a result of faulty emissions control equipment was unanimously approved yesterday by the Committee.

“When you buy a car from the dealer, whether it’s new off the lot or used, you have an expectation that your car will, at minimum, be able to pass inspection,” said Senator Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen. “While many drivers may be able to spot mechanical issues which could spell trouble down the road, problems with the vehicle’s emissions control equipment may be undetectable until the car is actually up for inspection. Instead of forcing drivers into the difficult position of having to pay for costly repairs to pass inspection, this bill would maintain that dealers have a responsibility, even if the driver signed a warranty waiver.”

The bill, S-437, would amend current law to provide that a waiver of a used motor vehicle’s warranty would not apply to a defect in the vehicle’s emissions control apparatus or related item that would prevent the vehicle from passing inspection. Currently, the purchaser can waive a dealer’s responsibility under the Lemon Law by signing a waiver during the sales transaction. However, under Senator Sacco’s bill, a purchaser who waives the warranty and later discovers the emissions equipment is defective would still be guaranteed protection under the Lemon Law.

“If a used car dealer sells a vehicle which isn’t street legal as a result of faulty emissions equipment, the buyer should still be protected under our State’s Lemon Law,” said Senator Sacco. “This bill is about ensuring New Jersey drivers aren’t stuck with cars which are neither safe nor legal to operate on our roadways, simply because they failed to read the fine print in their warranty waivers. This is an issue of fairness to used car purchasers who may not be able to make the costly repairs necessary to get their vehicles to pass inspection.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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