HB-26 would extend lemon law protections to motorcycles

The Pennsylvania Automobile Lemon Law provides consumers with legal remedies if they purchase unsafe or defective new cars, but the legislation does not apply to new motorcycles. Rep. Pam Snyder thinks that this situation needs to be addressed, and she has co-sponsored a bill that would give motorcyclists in Pennsylvania the same legal protections that drivers enjoy.

Snyder points out in a co-sponsorship memo that modern motorcycles are sophisticated machines that can be expensive. Motorcyclists in Pennsylvania would be able to seek a refund or a replacement in certain situations if House Bill 26 is passed by the legislature and signed into law. The existing lemon law provides these remedies if dealers are not able to adequately repair or remedy a defect that substantially impairs a vehicle's safety or value during the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of ownership.

The bill, which is supported by several motorcyclist advocacy groups, was passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in February and is currently being considered by a Senate committee. However, that does not mean that its passage is assured. A previous version of the bill was supported overwhelmingly in the House in 2017 but did not even earn a vote in the Senate. If the bill fails once again, motorcyclists in Pennsylvania will have to be content with the consumer protections provided by the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Consumers who purchase unsafe or defective products often feel that the system is against them even when legislation like the Automobile Lemon Law is on their side. Attorneys with experience in this area could help consumers to pursue civil remedies against car manufacturers and dealers, predatory lenders and dishonest salespeople. Attorneys could explain the legal options available and the kind of damages that may be awarded if lawsuits are successful.

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