April 29, 1999
Consumers and Small Businesses Win on Y2K — For Now
Statement by Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook
Today’s 52 to 47 vote in the U.S. Senate to prevent the cutoff of debate on the Y2K liability bill is a major win for consumers and small businesses who want to hold accountable manufacturers whose products malfunction on January 1, 2000.
The full-court press mounted by the Chamber of Commerce and other wealthy interests has failed for now to ram through this corporate protection act, but we expect them to be back in the Senate very soon with cosmetic changes to the bill.
The newest version of the bill still limits incentives for companies to rectify Y2K defects and makes it less likely that consumers and small businesses can hold them accountable. And while users with non-compliant Y2K systems cannot file suit for 90 days under the bill, there is no requirement the systems be fixed during this so-called “remediation” period.