HB 1466

                       As Passed House

                       March 10, 1993


Title:  An act relating to motorized wheelchair warranties.


Brief Description:  Regulating motorized wheelchair warranties.


Sponsors:  Representatives Jacobsen, Wang, Ludwig, G. Cole and Romero.


Brief History:

  Reported by House Committee on:

Commerce & Labor, February 24, 1993, DP;

  Passed House, March 10, 1993, 96-0.




Majority Report:  Do pass.  Signed by 9 members:  Representatives Heavey, Chair; G. Cole, Vice Chair; Lisk, Ranking Minority Member; Chandler, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Conway; Horn; King; Springer; and Veloria.


Staff:  Eide Adams (786-7349) and Jim Kelley (786-7166).


Background:  Washington has a motor vehicle lemon law, which requires a motor vehicle manufacturer to replace or repurchase a nonconforming new motor vehicle if the manufacturer is unable to correct the nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts.    


Other than implied warranties under the Uniform Commercial Code, there is no law which warrants new motorized wheelchairs.  There is currently one state, Wisconsin, with a motorized wheelchair lemon law. 


Summary of Bill:  Motorized wheelchair manufacturers are required to furnish at least a one year express warranty to motorized wheelchair consumers.  If a manufacturer fails to provide a one year warranty, the motorized wheelchair is covered by an implied warranty.  After a reasonable attempt to repair a nonconforming wheelchair, the manufacturer must either replace or refund the nonconforming new motorized wheelchair.  A refund of the motorized wheelchair includes the full purchase price plus finance charges, amount paid by the consumer at the point of sale, and collateral costs, less a reasonable allowance for use.  A "reasonable attempt to repair" means either four or more attempts to correct a nonconformity or the motorized wheelchair is out of service for 30 days because of a nonconformity.  The reasonable attempt to repair must occur within the warranty period or within one year of delivery of the motorized wheelchair.  "Nonconformity" means a condition or defect covered by an express warranty that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motorized wheelchair.


Fiscal Note:  Requested February 22, 1993.


Effective Date:  Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.


Testimony For:  Motorized wheelchair warranties are needed to protect consumers.  Motorized wheelchairs are complex and expensive, costing up to $20,000.  The consumers of motorized wheelchairs are vulnerable and the impact of faulty wheelchairs can impose severe limitations on their lives.


Testimony Against:  None.


Witnesses:  Toby Olson, Governor's Council on Disability Issues and Employment (in favor).