Bill Prohibiting Automakers from Charging Subscription Fees for Certain Car Features Advances from Assembly Committee

The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee on Monday advanced legislation, sponsored by Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty, that would prohibit car dealerships and manufacturers from requiring consumers to purchase additional vehicle subscriptions to use features already installed in the car at the time of purchase. This includes certain safety and convenience features such as driver assistance and heated seats.

Upon committee approval for the bill (A-4519), Assemblyman Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester) issued the following statement:

 

“Imagine going through the trouble of finding your dream car, searching for the best deal, only to find out you’ll be hit with a reoccurring fee if you want to use the “bells and whistles” that came installed on your vehicle. Consumers pay upfront for features like heated seats, remote start, and driver assistance, to continue charging for them with car subscriptions places an unnecessary and perpetual burden on car buyers and their families.

 “As the cost of living continues to rise, it’s more important than ever to ensure we are strengthening our consumer protections against business practices that primarily serve to increase corporate profits.

“Buying a car is one of the most significant purchases many consumers will make. We’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the serious thought that goes into deciding which vehicle and upgrades fit one’s needs. This bill strengthens our commitment to protecting consumers in New Jersey by ensuring they will not be subjected to ongoing fees for using the features already installed in their car at the time of purchase. It is unfair for consumers to continue to pay for their vehicle features in addition to a monthly car payment.”

The bill now heads to the Speaker for further consideration.