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  • NJ A4867
  • Limits fees for using electronic toll transponders in rental cars.
Introduced
(5/22/2017)
In Committee
(6/22/2017)
Crossed Over
(6/22/2017)
PassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill makes it an unlawful practice under the consumer fraud act for a car rental company to charge certain fees for using electronic toll transponders, such as E-ZPass, beyond the actual cost of the toll. The bill specifically prohibits a rental company from charging more than $2 per day in which the renter uses a transponder or other electronic tolling device, and prohibits this charge if the renter drives through an electronic toll collection system with no alternative payment option. This effectively prohibits rental companies from charging a usage fee of more than $2 per day for each day the toll transponder is used, and the fee could only be assessed if cash lanes are available at the toll plazas through which the renter drives. The bill also requires any rental company offering vehicles equipped with electronic toll transponders to clearly and conspicuously include the applicable usage terms and conditions in any rental agreement issued to a renter, and post any applicable terms and conditions in a conspicuous location on the business premises. An unlawful practice 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, violations may 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 party. Consumers may be unaware of the significant cost of renting a vehicle in an area with many toll roads, and rental car companies do not always clearly and conspicuously state electronic toll policies or estimate costs. Out-of-town visitors often drive rental cars on major highways that assess tolls, and accrue surprisingly significant charges due to the additional fees imposed under the rental agreement. Consumers who do not rent a transponder in order to avoid a charge by a rental company may encounter a problem if they are unable to pay cash at a particular toll plaza with no cash lanes. Because consumers view charges as price gouging, they are demanding action against these rental car practices. In one instance, the city of San Francisco is suing a rental car company for engaging in false advertising and unfair, unlawful, and fraudulent business practices after finding that the company's customers who crossed the Golden Gate Bridge did not accept or choose the optional electronic toll service, nor did they receive its benefits. The city also claims that customers were charged $1 more for Golden Gate Bridge tolls than what the defendants paid.
Commerce, 2nd Reading in the Assembly
Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee  (on 6/22/2017)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
6/22/2017 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee
6/22/2017 A Passed by the Assembly (70-1-2)
6/12/2017 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
6/12/2017 Assembly Consumer Affairs Hearing (19:00 6/12/2017 )
5/22/2017 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 6/22/2017 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 70 1 9
Detail 6/12/2017 Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee: Reported with Amendments 4 0 1