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Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.

These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day. Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.

About the bill

A new motorcycle often costs its owner at least $5,000 to $10,000, yet Pennsylvania does not provide motorcycle owners with the “lemon law” protections other vehicle owners enjoy.

Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Carmichaels, thinks that needs to change.

“We need to ensure that this investment is safe for the rider and for the motoring public,” Snyder wrote in a co-sponsorship memo.

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Her bill, House Bill 26, would add motorcycles to the existing lemon law, which provides protections to owners of defective new vehicles, including the right to a refund or replacement in certain circumstances.   

Including motorcycles in Pennsylvania’s law is a priority for the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Pennsylvania, which highlighted the legislation at a June rally.

A previous version of Snyder’s bill overwhelmingly passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2017 but never received a vote in the Senate. When the 2019-20 legislative session began, the House wasted no time passing it again in February. It currently sits in the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.  

Even without the change to state law, experts say motorcycle purchasers with warranties still may have some recourse through the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Owners are encouraged to keep detailed notes of all problems and repairs and keep receipts for repairs.  

People who own vehicles already covered by the lemon law and have questions about the law are encouraged to look in their owner’s manuals or call the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.

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Daniel Walmer covers public safety for The Sentinel. You can reach him by email at dwalmer@cumberlink.com or by phone at 717-218-0021.