4 facts of lemon law on used car purchases

Car Advice    Motorist.sg

Lemon law was implemented on 1st September 2012 to protect the consumers against defective goods. The 4 facts of lemon law that we feel that you should know on your used car purchase.


1: 6-month timeframe

The buyer can make a claim under the lemon law:

  • Within 6 months period - A defect proven to exist within 6 months of delivery is presumed to have existed at the time of delivery, unless the dealer can prove otherwise.
  • Beyond the 6 months period; if the buyer can show that the defect existed at the time of delivery.


2: Lemon law does not apply in the event of:

  • When defects were caused by the buyer through misuse and unauthorized repair.
  • The fault was caused by wear and tear, and not an inherent defect.
  • Buyer knew about the fault before he or she bought the car.
  • The car is not defective, but the buyer simply changed his or her mind.
  • When the transaction is done between direct buyer and seller.


3: Pros and cons of an evaluation report

Buyer can add a clause to the Sales Agreement to have the car evaluated by a third party such as STA or VICOM before committing to the sale. Such an expense is usually borne by the buyer, unless the dealer promises that the car is accident/problem free(less wear and tear), but turns out to be otherwise. With the evaluation report, the buyer can request the dealer to fix all existing problems(less wear and tear). On the other hand, if the car has any new problems within 6 months of delivery, the buyer will not be able to make a claim under lemon law.


4: Seeking remedies

Stage 1
The dealer may first offer to repair or replace the defective car within a reasonable period of time and without causing significant inconvenience to the buyer.

Stage 2
The buyer may keep the defective car and request a reduction in price, or return the defective car for a refund if:

  • Repair or replacement is not possible or reasonable to the dealer.
  • The dealer did not provide repair or replacement within a reasonable period and without significant inconvenience to the buyer.

10 Comments

Gerade Massang

Does the lemon law cover car battery? I bought a 2nd hand car and collected it on 1st March. Yesterday I found the car battery to have been drained which rendered car unable to start... I have an in-car camera installed and the last time I used the car was about 14hours before finding the car battery dead.

Like Reply 5 months ago
Jason Chia

Hi Motorist.sg, I recently purchased a vw passat cc 1.8T and signed on the agreement and documents that will not take seller for any liability if there's any defect to the car. 2 months later which is early this week, car check engine light turn on and send to my workshop for inspection. Was told by my workshop that car needs to be overhaul and total cost to replace intake valve, valve guide, camshaft sensor, crankshaft sensor, gaskets set and pistons is at a whooping $6,900. Please advise if I can proceed to repair at my workshop and make a claim from the dealer subsequently.

Like Reply 5 months ago


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