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The Right To Trade In All Lemons

DAUPHIN CO.The Pennsylvania Lemon Law has expanded to include Pennsylvania consumers who lease their vehicles.

The change marks the first major amendment to the law since it was enacted in 1984.

Effective Monday, people who purchase or lease a car may be entitled to a new car or the refund of their purchase price, if their car has a substantial defect that first occurs in the first 12 months or 12-thousand miles and cannot be fixed within three repair attempts; or if the car is out of service for a month or longer.

Under the law, consumers are also entitled to free legal representation, with the manufacturer paying all court costs and legal fees if the consumer prevails.

Leasing makes up 20 percent of Pennsylvania new car sales and 26 percent of light utility truck sales each year, up from 1984, when just six percent of cars in the state were leased.

As a legal consultant to the House Consumer Affairs Committee, Attorney Craig Thor Kimmel has been working on expanding the Law for more than 4 years.

"The revised Pennsylvania Lemon Law clearly defines the responsibility manufacturers have when it comes to Pennsylvania consumers who decide to lease," says Kimmel, whose Ambler-based consumer advocacy firm, Kimmel and Silverman, has provided cost-free legal representation to more than 18,000 consumers under State and Federal statutes.

Governor Mark S. Schweiker signed the Bill to expand the Law in December.

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