Tuesday, May 28, 2013


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WMC – Bad for Small Business

In Support of the Repeal of Wisconsin’s Lemon Law

MADISON, WI – The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on May 29th on proposed changes to Wisconsin’s current “Lemon Law.” The changes are heavily supported by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers which represent large (out-of-state and foreign) vehicle manufacturers, i.e., General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group LLC, BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America and Volvo Cars North America.

Assembly Bill 200 (AB-200) and Senate Bill 182 (SB-182) would repeal Wisconsin’s current “Lemon Law,” a law that was originally created to give small businesses and consumers a way to protect themselves against vehicle manufacturers when the commercial or passenger vehicle they purchased is defective and turns out to be a “lemon.” The bill creates a special provision for commercial vehicles by extending the time for a manufacturer to respond from 30 days to 120 days.

Jeff Pitman, President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice said, “AB-200 and SB-182 are designed to gut all aspects of small business and consumer protection as it relates to the “Lemon Law” in Wisconsin. The bill protects the interests of the large out-of-state and foreign vehicle manufacturers as it relates to the “Lemon Law,” while leaving thousands of Wisconsin small businesses with no course of action when the commercial vehicles they rely on to run their business and generate revenue are defective and out of service.”

“It would seem that WMC has turned its back on some of its own membership by choosing to represent the out-of-state and foreign vehicle manufacturers. This move leaves hundreds of disadvantaged small business members of the organization without a voice,” Pitman said.

Pitman continued, “Think about a local tow truck company that purchased a new truck and from day one the truck turns out to be defective and a maintenance nightmare. According to the proposed changes supported by WMC, the tow truck could remain unusable for up to 4 months before the manufacturer is required to respond to the claim filed by the tow truck company.  This results in 4 months of lost revenue, all while the tow truck company continues to pay on the bank loan for the unusable truck, employee wages, and other business expenses, which could ultimately shut the business down.”

Pitman concluded, “The proposed changes would be devastating to WMC’s small business members, members that rely heavily on commercial vehicles that transport their goods and delivery services throughout the state, and support the local economy.”



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