Bucks County passed used-car lemon law, offers buyers protections


With its clusters of applied-automobile dealerships alongside Lincoln Freeway and Route 13 in Decreased Bucks, Doylestown, and Quakertown, Bucks County has handed Pennsylvania’s first county-stage made use of-car or truck lemon regulation. The new regulation, which normally takes impact Jan. 1, delivers minimum amount assures to consumers who obtain used vehicles significantly less than 7 design several years old and that have much less than 100,000 miles.

Dealers who offer motor vehicles with damaged engine blocks or bent frames devoid of disclosing it to the consumer, or sell vehicles that cannot move point out inspections, will be in violation of the new regulations, officials claimed. Violators can be fined $1,000 through the neighborhood district justice.

Mike Bannon, director of the Bucks County Place of work of Consumer Security, a person of couple county-level consumer offices in Pennsylvania, advocated for the legislation adopted by county commissioners last month.

“I’ve taken hundreds of complaints on made use of cars and trucks over time,” Bannon mentioned. “It’s a typical complaint for our office environment. It’s been a trouble position due to the fact a number of moments the small business has not done the suitable point by the purchaser.”

The legislation does not use to sellers in Pennsylvania outdoors of Bucks County. New Jersey has its personal used-vehicle lemon legislation.

Two utilized-car or truck sellers in Reduce Bucks County claimed they listened to nothing at all about the legislation that passed in mid-June. Anthony Trapani, manager at John’s Route 13 Autos, mentioned on Wednesday, “I only know about a new-automobile lemon regulation.”

Melanie Stine, the spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Automotive Affiliation, stated the organization’s “stance is that the new ordinance reinforces considerably of what sellers are necessary to disclose below the legal professional common laws.”

The association has 950 associates who are new car or truck sellers that also market applied autos. Stine reported the trade team is on the lookout at no matter if the legislation puts Bucks County used-car or truck sellers at a pricing disadvantage in comparison with sellers in encompassing counties who really don’t have to comply with related requirements.

A person provision: A applied automobile with fewer than 100,000 miles has to pass state inspection for exhaust and basic safety within 10 times of the sale. If it fails, the supplier has to fix the vehicle so it passes, or refund the customer the order rate.

Joe Khan, the Bucks County solicitor, mentioned the penalty was crafted as a criminal summary offense with no jail time. The utilized-auto supplier can be fined $1,000 by means of a local district justice office.

Bannon thinks his workplace can get the job done with applied-auto sellers to take care of difficulties ahead of resorting to the wonderful.

Numerous shoppers know of new-car or truck lemon regulations. Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Lemon Regulation covers troubles that happen in the course of the 1st 12 months, or 12,000 miles of ownership, for a new automobile or leased new auto. The law permits the producer three fix attempts for the exact same challenge, in accordance to the Pennsylvania Workplace of Attorney General’s Bureau of Client Security.

But just 7 states have lemon laws for used motor vehicles, in accordance to purchaser details and study agency J.D. Electrical power. New Jersey — right across the Delaware River from Bucks County — is just one.

Bannon claims that is a explanation why the Bucks ordinance will gain area dealerships: it will assist by leveling the participating in subject when they are competing with New Jersey dealers who can tout the protections of their state’s utilised-car lemon law.

Under the law, a made use of-auto seller also has to offer a guarantee of 90 days, or 3,000 miles, for a motor vehicle with 24,000 miles or less. Between 24,000 miles and 60,000 miles, the vendor has to give a warranty for 60 days or 2,000 miles.

For cars and trucks that have a lot more than 60,000 miles but much less than 100,000 miles, the law demands a guarantee for a month or 1,000 miles.

The employed-car lemon legislation does not use to autos offered for below $3,000, or that are additional than 7 years aged. It also will not utilize to a car or truck with more than 100,000 miles or just one that has been “declared a whole decline by an insurance organization.”

A vendor violates the new regulation by hiding a bent or cracked car or truck body, a cracked motor block, a bad transmission, or flood damage.

Bannon, the county formal, explained he would be educating applied-auto dealers about the new regulation. Stine also said the automotive affiliation will advise sellers.

“I haven’t heard about it,” Patrick McCafferty, owner of Low cost Vehicle in Penndel, explained recently. “I’ve been undertaking this for 32 a long time and I never ever read about a used-motor vehicle lemon legislation.”

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