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Sacco Measure Would Strengthen Lemon Law

TRENTON – The Senate passed a legislation today sponsored by Senator Nicholas Sacco that all used cars be covered by a warranty on their emissions control systems under the State’s Lemon Law.

“Right now, if someone chooses to waive their warranty rights under the Lemon Law, that covers all parts of the car,” explained Senator Sacco, D-Bergen and Hudson and Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “However, car dealers are unable to do the same tests on the emissions control equipment that are done during a state inspection. If the dealer can’t give you a definite answer on a car’s emissions status, it’s unfair to consumers to allow that part of the Lemon Law warranty to ever be waived.”

Senator Sacco’s bill, S-380, 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.

Under current law, commonly known as the “Lemon Law,” when a used motor vehicle is sold, there is a warranty on the vehicle that protects the purchaser of the vehicle in case that vehicle does not pass the State’s vehicle inspection test. A car’s emissions control equipment must be found in compliance and working properly as a prerequisite to passing the test.

There are times, however, when the purchaser of a used motor vehicle waives their right to have the warranty on the vehicle. The amended bill would protect a purchaser who waives the warranty and later discovers that the emissions system is defective.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 38-0. It now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.