Got a Lemon? Magee, Crouch Bill Creates a Lemon Law for Farm Equipment

Bill strengthens consumer warranties for farmers on the equipment they purchase
June 8, 2005

A bipartisan bill sponsored by Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee (D-Nelson) and Ranking Agriculture Committee Member Cliff Crouch (R-Guilford) to create a lemon law (A.6548/S.3314) for farm equipment has passed the Assembly.

"This bill simply seeks to ensure that our farmers who spend tens of thousands of dollars on farm equipment have a standard level of consumer protection should they experience mechanical problems with these tractors, harvesters or other equipment it is that easy," Magee said.

While New York State currently has lemon laws for new and used cars, wheelchairs, motor homes and pets purchased from pet dealers there is no lemon law on farm equipment. This bill changes that by providing basic protections on any farm tractors and other equipment costing in excess of $1,500.

"The cost of farming in terms of equipment purchases is substantial and to the extent that our farmers purchase equipment that turns out to be faulty and the manufacturer does not want to correct the problem then they deserve to be able to turn this law for assistance in ensuring that their problem is corrected," Crouch commented.

Among other things, this bill ensures that all new farm equipment sold in the state comes with a fair and reasonable warranty of at least twelve months and if the farm equipment turns out to be defective it also provides a mechanism for farmers to either have the problem corrected or have the equipment replaced.

"The reality is that the vast majority of farm equipment manufacturers and dealers want to fix any problem or defect on the equipment they are selling," Magee and Crouch agreed. "So, this bill really goes after those very few rogue and unscrupulous manufacturers who want to wash their hands of the products they are selling."

This bill has already passed the Senate is sponsored there by Senator Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie).