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(TRENTON) — Assemblymen Ralph Caputo and Paul Moriarty on Monday announced they’ve introduced legislation to make it clear that New Jersey residents who drive leased vehicles can get safety-related vehicle recall concerns dealt with quickly.

“We’ve seen a lot of confusion lately about how leased vehicles are to be handled in some of these highly publicized vehicle recalls,” Caputo said. “I want to make it clear that New Jerseyans shouldn’t have to read the fine print to get their leased vehicle quickly repaired.”

The bill (A-2615) would require vehicle lessors to respond to safety-related recalls on the vehicles they lease within 60 days. The bill specifies that if the necessary repairs are not completed within that time period, the lessor would either have to replace the vehicle with a similar one or allow the lessee to terminate the lease with no penalty or cost.

“This is a perfectly reasonable law that makes clear that safety is the priority, no matter whether a vehicle is leased or purchased,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). “This law would shield New Jerseyans who lease vehicles from any confusion and assure them prompt repairs.”

Violations of the bill would be violations of the Consumer Protection Leasing Act, and thereby considered unlawful practices under the Consumer Fraud Act.

An unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act is punishable by a monetary penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense.

In addition, a violation can result in cease and desist orders issued by the Attorney General, the assessment of punitive damages and the awarding of treble damages and costs to the injured.

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