4 Lemon Law Facts on Used Car Purchases

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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