4 Lemon Law Facts on Used Car Purchases

Published by on . Updated on 18 May 2020

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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Yue Wen Lim
a dealer said lemon law not applicable if coe is only 2 years left. is this valid?

5 months ago

I. Bought a 2nd hand car and less than 3 weeks my gearbox was making some sound. Check with mechanic and its gearbox bearing issue and needs to be overhauled. The dealer is saying its a wear and tear issue. It is not covered by lemon law.does overhauling gearbox not covered under lemon law?

about 2 years ago

Lim St
I bought a 2019 Toyota altis 2 days ago dealer said is accident free. The car when start to move slow up can feel is not smooth and I also just found that the right side two door is not original it has been change. Please advice what need to do next.

over 2 years ago

Naail Rayyan
I would like to know,just buy shuttle 2017,I use for only 3 week,then all the light come out,abs light,etc...then when I can the car dealer they say,it a wear and tear thing...I need to pay for it???be I seek help from lemon law?Thanx in advance

over 3 years 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?

almost 6 years ago