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Sandy Spurs New Type Of Lemon Law Bill [AUDIO]

We’ve all seen the pictures of entire neighborhoods under water following Superstorm Sandy, but if you look closely you’ll see other things submerged, like cars.

David Greedy, Getty Images

One New Jersey lawmaker thinks you have the right to know if the used car you’re buying suffered severe weather damage and he’s pushing legislation to make that the law.

“This is about consumer protection,” explains Assemblyman Joe Cryan. “We’ve all suffered enough in New Jersey with the effects of Sandy. No car buyer in the future should have to suffer extended damage as a result.”

The bill would require that a seller of a motor vehicle disclose if the vehicle had ever been damaged by water as a reult of named storm. Under the measure, the seller would have to indicate whether the vehicle had ever suffered such damage on the vehicle’s certificate of ownership or bill of sale, or if these documents are not available, via a secure power of attorney or other documents, as required by the Chief Administrator of Motor Vehicles.

“If a tree fell on it (the car) it would also be covered under the bill,” says Cryan. “Obviously, primarily what the concern has been is water.”

If the bill becomes law, it would apply to every used car seller, not just licensed dealers.

“If you put an ad in the newspaper and you want to sell you motor vehicle that’s in your driveway you’ve got to certify whether or not there was a weather-related event affecting your vehicle,” says the Assemblyman.

Cryan’s bill would also require that all certificates of ownership include a statement which the owner would complete when selling a motor vehicle to indicate whether the vehicle had ever suffered water or storm damage that necessitated repairs.

Every subsequent certificate of ownership issued for a vehicle that has been reported to have incurred such damage would include a statement indicating that the vehicle has suffered damage caused by water or a weather-related event that necessitated repairs.

Currently the onus is on insurance companies and banks to provide the information. Cryan’s bill would make it the sellers responsibility.

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