In January, 2021, Pennsylvania state senator Michele Brooks introduced legislation that would amend the state’s existing vehicle lemon law to include motorcycles. Under the proposal as written, coverage would extend to people who buy or lease new motorcycles in the state with regard to manufacturing defects that remain unsolved after multiple reasonable attempts.
Fast-forward to May 24, 2021, where the Pennsylvania state Senate passed SB 82 unanimously. Next, it heads to the state’s House of Representatives for their consideration. If it passes there, the final draft will be sent to the governor’s desk for signature into law. As currently written, this statute would go into effect 60 days afterward, should it become law.
If passed as currently written, SB 82 defines “new motor vehicles” as new, unused, self-propelled motorized conveyances driven upon public roads, streets, or highways. They can’t carry more than 15 people, and must have either been purchased or leased and registered in Pennsylvania, or else purchased or leased elsewhere but only registered for the first time in Pennsylvania. Such vehicles are primarily for personal or family use.
Now, here’s where it gets sticky. SB 82 says that its definition of “new motor vehicles” should expand to include “motorcycles,” but only seems to mean road-only motorcycles. The text specifically calls out “dual sport motorcycles,” and defines these as “a motorcycle that is designed to be ridden on and off road that may or may not be registered with the department.” The reason that SB 82’s writers include this definition is so they can specifically say that dual sport motorcycles, by the above definition, are not covered by this revision to the state’s lemon law.
The trouble is, that definition seems overly broad, and could include the entire adventure bike class. Even if many ADV owners prefer to stay on-road with their vehicles, OEMs manufactured them with both on- and off-road capabilities in mind. Would that mean they’re also disqualified from being covered under Pennsylvania’s vehicle lemon law, if SB 82 becomes law?
Riders in Pennsylvania, if you’re concerned about this wording, you might want to contact your state legislators and ask for some clarification on this issue. You can find the full text of SB 82 as currently written in our Source links below.