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Lemon Law for Emergency Vehicles

A “lemon law” for emergency vehicles. When I first saw the headline, my reaction was: why didn’t I think of that? The concept of a lemon law for emergency vehicles is now a reality in New Jersey, believed to be the first state to adopt such a law.

Typical lemon laws cover non-commercial (passenger) vehicles, and require the manufacturers of covered vehicles to replace or buy-back “lemon” vehicles that have experienced either repeated mechanical problems or long periods of being in the shop. States differ on the specifics of lemon law coverage and conditions.  New Jersey’s law applies to a new vehicle that has one or more defects that continue to exist after three repair attempts or after the vehicle has been out of service for a total of 20 days, during the first two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. New Jersey’s previous “Lemon Law” exempted emergency vehicles from coverage.

The new law was originally introduced in the New Jersey legislature in 2008 after an ambulance purchased by the Flanders Fire Department and Rescue Squad in Mount Olive Township, encountered persistent problems with its drive train, leading to long periods in the shop. Working with legislators, emergency responders across the state rallied the necessary support, and the bill was signed into law by Gov. Jon Corzine on January 19, 2010. The bill covers fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and other emergency vehicles. It includes a provision requiring manufacturers to cover the cost of rental vehicles for vehicles that are out of service for a covered lemon law “nonconformity” (problem).

Congratulations to everyone involved in this effort.

Download NJ Lemon Law Emerg Vehicles

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Comments - Add Yours

  • John Murphy

    The problem with a Lemon Law is the time and reportable events it takes to finally resolving the problem. In Washington State you have to file complaints with the dealer with copies to the Attorney Generals office. The state “reasonable number of reports” which is that gray zone of reasonableness. There is also an arbitration provision to resolve those issues. See RCW 19.118
    I would think that a product liability complaint would drive the process a lot faster. Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. There are no federal product liability laws as they are left to the States to resolve. Responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with all sellers of the product who are in the distribution chain. Potentially liable parties include: the product manufacturer; a manufacturer of component parts; the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the product to the consumer.
    The Emergency Vehicle Lemon Law in NJ, manufacturers of new motor vehicles are required to correct defects that are originally covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. It applies to new vehicles that develop repeated defects or lengthy unusable periods during the first two years or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. A new motor vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if it has one or more defects that continue to exist after three attempts at repairs or after the vehicle has been out of service for a total of 20 cumulative calendar days. This law will ensure that emergency vehicles are covered under New Jersey’s Lemon Law.
    Our problem is that we may only have one or two vehicles. If one is in the shop all of the time, then our communities are in jeopardy.
    As we custom build many of our vehicles for a particular use, a thought for those buying new vehicles is to tighten up the warranty provisions of the contract we use to purchase those vehicles to ensure rapid service and correction of those problems after the vehicle is placed into operation with some penalty provisions for a generous period of time after we receive the vehicle and it is placed into service.

  • http://google.com user

    As we custom build many of our vehicles for a particular use, a thought for those buying new vehicles is to tighten up the warranty provisions of the contract we use to purchase those vehicles to ensure rapid service and correction of those problems after the vehicle is placed into operation with some penalty provisions for a generous period of time after we receive the vehicle and it is placed into service.
    http://google.com