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Bill Summary for The Computer Lemon Law HB 2284

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Date: 5/18/04
Committee: Consumer Affairs
Bill#: HB 2284
Prime Sponsor: Bunt
Printer's # 3171
Prepared By: Damian J. Wachter
Phone #: 783-7631

A. SUMMARY OF THE BILL:

This legislation creates the Computer Lemon Law. Under the bill, at the time of sale or lease of a computer device, a purchaser must receive an accurate written statement of his or her rights pursuant to the provisions of this act. In return, the manufacturer must secure from the purchaser a signed acknowledgement that all rights have been explained to, and understood by, the purchaser. At the time of purchase, a manufacturer must disclose to the consumer the name and version number of all software programs or combination of programs that may cause operating problems with the device.

A purchaser is entitled to effective repairs for any nonconformity within the first 24 months of use at no cost to the purchaser. A manfacturer's warranty must provide warranty coverage for the greater of the terms specified in the warranty or 24 months from the date of purchase.

Under the legislation, within five business days of receiving a notice from a computer purchaser of a nonconformity with the device (plus a reasonable time for shipping of not more than three days) the manufacturer must repair and return it to the purchaser subject to the following conditions:

  • If onsite service is provided by the warranty, repairs must be made at the purchaser's location

  • If onsite service is not provided in the warranty, the manufacturer must arrange and pay for the cost of shipping from thepurchaser's location.
  • If onsite service is conducted by the purchaser at the manufacturer's direction, the service is considered conducted by the manufacturer.
  • All repairs must be guaranteed for two years.

If the first repair attempt is ineffective, the manufacturer must have a second opportunity to repair the computer at the purchaser's physical location. If the second repair is ineffective, the purcahser may elect to receive a full refund of the purchase price or the full value of the lease, plus finance and and collateral charges, or the purchaser may elect to receive a new computer device of equal or greater value. Any computer returned to the manufacturer for nonconformity in accordance with this act may not be resold in the Commonwealth.

A manufacturer refusing to honor any warranty is subject to treble damages. A manufacturer violating provisions of this act may be subject to a civil action for recovery of damages and all remedies in this act and a prevailing purcasher is entitled to an award of $6,000 in addition to any other damages. A purchaser prevailing in an action under this act may seek reasonable attorney fees. Finally, nothing in the act limits a purchaser from pursuing other rights or remedies under law.

The act takes effect in 180 days or on the first January after the date of enactment, whichever is later.

B. - SUMMARY OF RELEVANT EXISTING LAW:

This is a freestanding act and there are no current provisions for a Computer Lemon Law.

DJW/bs


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