PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A pair of state lawmakers are proposing legislation to protect Rhode Islanders from a potentially costly loophole in the state's lemon law.
If the legislation is passed, those who buy a used-car lemon will have more protections and no more out-of-pocket expenses to fight your case.
As the law stands now, if you purchase a new car lemon, the attorney general's office will handle your complaint at no cost to you. But if you buy a used car lemon, you have to hire attorney to prove your case.
Rep. Charlene Lima is one of two lawmakers who have stepped up after Eyewitness News exposed this used car lemon law loophole.
Lima is submitting legislation that would allow customers to file a complaint with a state agency, either the DMV or the attorney general's office. That agency would have 14 days to investigate the complaint, and if no solution is available, the dealer would be required to pay the legal fees and only be reimbursed if the customer's claim isn't proven.
"My intent here is to voluntarily bring these parties together, because they're going to bear the burden of these legal fees if they don't work it out," she said.
Lima is also proposing establishing a lemon law commission to enforce the provisions of the laws. The RI Automobile Dealers Association says that that's a better solution.
The association says having a state agency or commission review the circumstances of the case is a positive step.
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