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Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced that he is partnering with Rep. David Hackney on legislation to create an unwaivable warranty for used car purchases. 

Under current Washington law, consumers have few consumer protections for used cars that break down shortly after purchase — often called “lemons” — compared with new car purchases. 

Under Ferguson's and Hackney’s proposal, when used cars break down or malfunction shortly after purchase, Washingtonians will have the right to a full refund or require the dealer to cover most of the costs of mechanical repairs. Any auto dealers who violate the new law face penalties under the state Consumer Protection Act of up to $7,500 per violation.

The Used Motor Vehicles Express Warranties Act, HB 1184, will cover vehicles on a sliding scale depending on the number of miles on the odometer at purchase. For instance, vehicles with 40,000 miles or less will have 90 days or 3,750 miles of coverage depending which number the car buyer hits first. Between 40,000 to 79,999 miles the coverage is limited to 60 days or 2,500 miles. Between 80,000 to 124,999 miles the coverage is limited to 30 days or 1,250 miles. Vehicles with more than 125,000 miles would have no warranty protections. 

Consumers will have their out-of-pocket expenses capped at $200 for repair costs if their vehicle breaks down shortly after purchase.

The bill applies to cars less than 20 years old and have less than 125,000 miles. The new law requires auto dealers provide the same limited warranty. Dealers cannot ask buyers to waive this warranty.

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