4 Lemon Law Facts on Used Car Purchases

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Lemon Law Car Vehicle

(Photo Credit: Driven Autos)

Lemon Law was implemented on 1st September 2012 to protect consumers against defective goods, include used cars. Here are four lemon law facts you should know before buying a used vehicle.

1. The 6-months time frame

Under the lemon law, the buyer can report a defective product or vehicle within a 6-months delivery period. The dealer also has an obligation to prove that the defect did not exist at the time of delivery. A buyer can also seek redress after six months, provided he or she is able to prove the defect existed at the point of delivery.

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

  • Defects that 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 a direct buyer and seller.

3. Pros and cons of an evaluation report

The 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. The buyer may also 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.


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Read more: New Car VS Used Car: Which is Right for You?

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18 Comment

Daryl Tan

Hi, is renewed coe Car under lemon law?

Like Reply about 1 year ago

I brought a 2nd hand car on 01 June and yesterday the car broke down. The dealer ask to go to his workshop which the workshop says that the engine need to be replace due to the water pipe being brust and water can enter to the engine caslused the engine to maultfaction. Now dealer say the the repair cost $2100 and I will need to bear the cost. After talking for a while they decide to pay $800 and balance payment of $1300 had to be bear by me. Does this cover under lemon law as I don't thing that this is part of wear and tear. Please advise

Like Reply about 1 year ago

Lemon law doesn't cover wear and tear. What you can do is to ask the owner whether any Standard Vehicle Assessment Report (checklist of the car) was done before handover or purchase. If the above mentioned issues was already stated on the Standard Vehicle Assessment Report, it would be difficult to claim as it shows that the fault was already identified before handing over the car.

Like about 1 year ago
Gabriel Lim

I bought a car today and it is a 2017 reg car. To my amaze, the check engine light is on now. What am i to do?is this covered under lemon law?

Like Reply about 1 year ago
Indra Raja

t's best to check with your dealer asap. Lemon law would be able to get you covered unless if you're the one who caused the damage yourself.

Like 12 months ago