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 approved by the Senate yesterday by a vote of 37-2.
“Whenever you buy a car from the dealer – new or used – there’s a basic expectation that the vehicle will at least be able to pass inspection,” said Senator Sacco, D-Hudson and Bergen. “However, problems with the vehicles emissions control equipment might never be detected by even the more conscientious of drivers until the car is brought to an inspection facility. Instead of forcing drivers into the difficult position of having to pay for costly repairs just to pass inspection, this bill would create a level of protection and maintain the dealer’s responsibility, even when 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 or malfunctioning emissions equipment, that to me seems like a situation tailor-made for our State’s Lemon Law,” said Senator Sacco. “This bill would make sure that New Jersey drivers aren’t stuck with cars which are neither safe nor legal to operate on our State’s roadways, simply because they failed to read the fine print in their contract. This is matter of simple fairness for car buyers who may not be able to afford costly repairs to get their cars to pass inspection.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.