State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) is pleased to announce that President George W. Bush signed the federal Highway Bill today that includes ending vicarious liability provisions for auto leasing. As a result, numerous car companies have agreed to resume leasing automobiles in New York, Senator Farley added.
"Vicarious liability is a law dating back to 1924. It was originally aimed at livery drivers, but in recent years it has been used to hold a leasing company liable for the actions of a negligent driver," Senator Farley explained. "When a person would get into a motor vehicle accident, some juries would hold the leasing company liable for exorbitant damages involved. This situation has deterred companies from leasing in New York State."
Senator Farley said these provisions have already caused more than 48 independent leasing companies to exit the leasing business in New York since 2000.
"Those leasing companies who chose to stay in New York were leasing to consumers under much more expensive loan programs," Senator Farley said. "With the repeal of this law, these costs will be cut. Plus, Daimler Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors also announced they will return to leasing in New York State."
"Now consumers will have the option of leasing cars at decent prices and leasing companies can bring business back to New York. This is certainly a win-win situation," Senator Farley said.