Did you know that motorcycle owners are not protected by the same laws as auto owners? The lemon law guarantees that drivers may return a vehicle to the dealer where they bought it if the vehicle fails to perform its function, i.e. drive from place to place. If the vehicle breaks down three times for the same reason inside of a year, and repairs fail to fix the problem, then the vehicle is a lemon.
For some reason, it does not count if you are on a motorcycle.
Bikers recently descended upon the Pennsylvania Capitol in an effort to force legislators to change the law to protect them as well. 500 motorcyclists arrived with lemons in tow.
A new bill has already been sponsored by Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene County. It would force manufacturers to repair defects within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles of purchase, the same as the lemon law does for auto owners. The bill is good for business, too. Right now bike owners are more likely to make new purchases in other states where the laws protect their purchases. Pennsylvania is missing out on this source of tax revenue.
The bill sponsored by Snyder passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives 168 to 6. It is currently waiting on a vote in the Pennsylvania Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.
Senator Robert Tomlinson, R-Bucks County, has been ambivalent when asked publicly about his feelings toward the new bill. Understandably, it’s getting on people’s nerves.
Charles Umbenhauer, a retiring lobbyist for the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Pennsylvania (ABATE), seemed weary of the politics involved. “The good senator appears confused on which side of the issue he should be,” he said. “Consumer protection is for the purchaser of goods, not for the millionaire owners of motorcycle dealerships.”
Bikers also want a new bill drafted to ensure the same protections for traffic rules followed by funeral processions when they engage in charity drives. These runs can become unsafe depending on where they take place. Motorcycle riders are already at greater risk when they ride, because accidents are much more likely to be fatal.
Ironically, the gathering originally began in order to topple a helmet law that forced riders to wear one when it was passed in 1969. Bikers who didn’t want to play it safe got their way when the law was amended in 2003. Now bikers who are 21 years or older can opt out as long as they acquire certification from completing a motorcycle safety course and have been riding for at least two years.