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Large trucks could be given lemon law protection

If SB 713 passes in California, it will expand the states lemon law to include commercial trucks. It would apply to trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds and are owned and operated by a business of any size. The bill was proposed after complaints from the Western States Trucking Association (WSTA). It claimed that new trucks were down for too long because emissions equipment was malfunctioning.

Under the proposed law, the trucks would be covered for up to 18 months or 100,000 miles. To qualify as a lemon, the truck would need to be down for 30 days because of repairs of a dangerous defect that is covered by its warranty. It would also qualify if the manufacturer were notified of the issue and at least four attempts to rectify the matter. If the bill passes, California would be one of just two states that offers protection to large truck owners.

The California Air Resources Board is also thinking about creating expanded warranty protection for emissions equipment. This may also provide motivation to companies that make these parts to create a quality product. However, the expanded lemon law protection may still be the best recourse for those who don't have access to something that they need to operate their business.

Vehicles that have significant defects may qualify for protection under the lemon law. If attempts to work with the dealer that sold the vehicle or the manufacturer have failed, it may be time to seek legal assistance. An attorney might be able to a person take steps to obtain compensation to buy a new vehicle or to cover the costs incurred in trying to fix the defective one. Cases may be resolved either in court or through informal negotiations between the vehicle owner and other relevant parties.

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