CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill that would allow car dealers to sell used vehicles without a warranty is scheduled for third and final reading in the state Senate Tuesday. The bill (SB 216) passed second reading during Monday’s floor session.
Senator Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha) made an unsuccessful attempt to amend the bill. Palumbo wanted the “as is” vehicles to be limited to 25 percent of the dealer’s inventory.
“They would still offer cars for sale to the public that would not have warranties with them but it would not enable them to turn their entire lots into ‘as is” vehicles,” Palumbo said.
The proposed amendment was defeated on a voice vote. Senator Mark Maynard (R-Wayne), himself a used car dealer, spoke against Palumbo’s proposal.
“It (the proposed amendment) kind of narrows the scope of the bill and it would be a number that would be difficult for car dealers to always keep their eye on to make sure they don’t get over that 25 percent threshold,” Maynard said.
Opponents of the bill, which originated in the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, have said selling vehicles “as is” would hurt consumers especially those who are struggling financially. But automobile dealers maintain the option would help consumers who are looking for cheap, reliable transportation. Under the current limited warranty law, dealers end up taking a lot of trade-ins to wholesale instead of being able to keep them on their lots.
Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio) said the market would ultimately decide who wants a vehicle with a warranty and who doesn’t.
“It makes more sense to allow the market to determine what kind of need there is for these types of cars and the opportunities afforded to the people who want to buy them,” he said.