Oklahoma lemon law proposal hits roadblock

By Chris Rizo | Mar 26, 2009

Drew Edmondson (D)

Harry Coates (R)

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (Legal Newsline)-Legislation backed by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson that would strengthen consumer protections for those who buy defective automobiles has hit a snag.

Republican state Sen. Harry Coates of Seminole, chairman of the Senate Business and Labor Committee, said Thursday the House-approved bill will not likely get a hearing by his committee, which would be required for the bill to move forward.

"I'm just not interested in putting the members through a contentious debate on a bill that apparently doesn't have a whole lot of support," Coates was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

The legislation would give consumers the choice of a refund or replacement of a defective vehicle rather than having the manufacturer make the decision, as under current law.

The bill would also bar manufacturers from charging for the first 15,000 in mileage if the defective automobile is replaced.

In a letter of support for the legislation by state Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, the attorney general said the bill would give "fair protections to consumers in the event they purchase a 'lemon'."

The bill passed the House last month with wide bipartisan support, on a 97-2 vote. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a national trade group of car makers, has taken a neutral position on the bill.

The proposal would also require that the attorney general's office to keep track of defective vehicles. Also charged with the task would be the state Tax Commission and auto dealers.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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