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April 3, 2007 > Lemon Law bill passes out of critical committee

Lemon Law bill passes out of critical committee

Sacramento, March 27 - Senator Ellen Corbett's (D-San Leandro) legislation extending protections of California's Lemon Law to members of the armed forces who are stationed in California passed out of a key policy committee today. SB 234 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a (4-0) vote.

"Currently, a loophole in California's lemon law excludes vehicles purchased out of state," Sen. Corbett testified. "This can cause hardship for members of the military who bought vehicles in other states, but are ordered to move to California. They are not in control of where they are stationed and should not be penalized for serving our country."

Specifically, SB 234 extends protections under California's auto lemon law to include active duty military personnel stationed in California, provided they purchased their vehicle in the United States. It improves protection for soldiers and their families, who would otherwise lack protection from seriously defective autos.

"This bill turns our sour deals into sweet ones for our troops," said Rosemary Shahan
President of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.

"Soldiers who serve our nation and protect our freedoms deserve the full protection of our laws when their vehicles are seriously defective," added Sen. Corbett. "California has one of the most comprehensive lemon laws in the country, and we need to make sure that our military personnel are covered."

Senator Corbett introduced SB 234 after hearing testimony from Navy Lieutenant Nathan Kindig, a resident of Arkansas, who purchased a new truck in Washington State and then was ordered to duty in Southern California. He was deployed to Iraq, where he worked as a medic. The truck repeatedly overheated. Despite numerous repair attempts, it continued to overheat and eventually became inoperable. Lt. Kindig was not covered by California's Lemon Law.

All 50 states have an auto lemon law that offer varying degrees of protection. According to a survey by the Center for Auto Safety, California's auto lemon law is the best in the nation. California's lemon law applies to new and used vehicles with a factory express warranty from the manufacturer. Californians purchase approximately two million new vehicles each year.

SB 234 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Lt. Kindig's testimony can be heard on Senator Corbett's Webpage at www.sen.ca.gov.

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