A bill that would have shifted the responsibility for prosecuting automobile dealerships and manufacturers that sell so-called "lemons" from the state to the consumer has been defeated on the House floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Jensen, R-Salt Lake, the bill had been recommended for passage by the House Business, Labor and Agriculture Committee. But lawmakers Tuesday first amended and then killed the bill.The amendment would have given consumers stuck with a defective vehicle the choice between hiring their own attorney or seeking legal help through the state Division of Consumer Protection.

The amended bill was overwhelmingly defeated, with even its chief sponsor voting against it. Jensen had argued that the lemon-law cases have a low priority with the state attorney general's office, and the resulting delays cause frustration for the consumer.