TRENTON, N.J. — Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Whip Wilson, Gabriela Mosquera, Vincent Mazzeo and Bob Andrzejczak to help protect farmers from faulty equipment was recently approved by a New Jersey State Senate panel.

The bill (A-1812) extends the protections of the state’s vehicle lemon law to new motor vehicle farm equipment purchased or leased in New Jersey.

“Farming is vital industry for New Jersey, but it’s struggling against a tough economy and encroaching development,” said Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Anything we can do to help protect farmers from extra costs is a good thing.”

“Tractors are expensive and vital to farming work,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Extending the lemon law protection to farm tractors ensures that farmers in the state will have some recourse when stuck with faulty equipment that could potentially threaten their business.”

“Farmers are at the mercy of the weather and other conditions that can impact their crops,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Add unexpected costs from a faulty farm vehicle and it could be enough to threaten their livelihood. Providing this protection gives farmers one less thing to worry about.”

“Tractors are costly investments. If a tractor turns out to be defective, it can have serious financial implications for its owner,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Farmers should have the same protection afforded to regular consumers when they end up with a lemon.”

The bill amends the new vehicle “lemon law” to extend the protections to new motor vehicle farm equipment purchased or leased in New Jersey. More specifically, the bill includes farm tractors under the types of motor vehicles covered under the terms of the “lemon law,” along with the existing categories of passenger automobiles, authorized emergency vehicles and motorcycles.

The bill references the definition of “farm tractor” as “every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry.”

The bill was approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee Jan. 29, moving it closer to final legislative approval. The bill has already been approved by the full Assembly.