HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Senate proposal looks to add motorcycles to the category of vehicles protected by Pennsylvania’s Automobile Lemon Law.
Senate Bill 155 passed through the Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure committee on Wednesday, and advanced to the Senate floor for further consideration.
Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford, reintroduced the bill from last session. Her bill, as well as a House version, each cleared their respective chambers as well as initial committee assignments, but neither was considered by the full body of either chamber before session’s end.
Pennsylvania’s Lemon Law currently applies only to personal vehicles. It doesn’t apply to motorcycles, motorhomes, off-road vehicles or commercial vehicles.
The law protects against manufacturer defects that materially diminish the use, safety or value of a newly purchased vehicle covered by the law. As it stands, the defect must have occurred within 12,000 miles driven, manufacturer warranty terms or one year from the date the vehicle is delivered to the buyer.
Used vehicles aren’t covered, and the law won’t cover defects from a result of misuse or after-market modifications.
Brooks’ proposal would add motorcycles, but not street-and-trail motorcycles, as protected vehicles.
Motorcycles would be eligible for replacement or refund within one year of delivery or within the warranty term, whichever comes first.
If defects can’t be repaired after a “reasonable number of attempts,” the buyer is eligible to receive a new vehicle or a full refund. Manufacturers can dock the refund at a rate of 10 cents per mile driven or up to 10% of the purchase price, whichever is less.
The law defines a “reasonable number of attempts” as three attempts by a manufacturer, licensed agent or authorized dealer to repair the defect, or 30 cumulative days where the vehicle is out of service. These provisions benefiting the manufacturer wouldn’t apply if the affected vehicle owner isn’t given a vehicle on loan and free of charge.
Brooks’ bill would clarify that for motorcycles, manufacturer-sourced parts are used for repairs and that storage time wouldn’t count against the cumulative days provision. The buyer could waive the minimum day period in writing. Loaner vehicles wouldn’t be required for motorcycles.