A bill which guarantees replacement of defective brand new vehicles and compensation for aggrieved consumer has been proposed in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Mark Villar of Las Piñas, Chairman of the House Committee on Trade and Industry, made the pitch under his House Bill 3199 or Lemon Law of 2013 which tasks manufacturers or dealers to replace or repurchase vehicles which turned out to be lemon, meaning a vehicle that has been repaired four or more times for the same defect within the year after it was purchased but the same non-conformity or defect continues to exist.
The period during the consumer can report any non-conformity to the standards and specifications of the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer and pursue any right specified is the Lemon Law Rights period.
The Lemon Law Rights period starts from the period ending 12 months after the date of the original delivery of a brand new motor vehicle to a consumer or the first 20,000 kilometers of operation after such delivery, whichever comes first.
“Owning a motor vehicle is a big investment and could take a substantial chunk of one’s savings. But for some unfortunate buyers, such investment amounts to nothing after they acquired a lemon or those vehicles that fail to meet the standards of quality and performance. My proposed bill will give them the legal remedies,” Villar, the son of Sen. Cynthia Villar, said.
Aside from the provision that grants the consumer the right of replacement if the non-conformity was not repaired or corrected within the specified Lemon Law Rights period, a consumer can also choose to have his or her money back in full purchase price plus the collateral damage.
Under Villar’s proposal, the replacement of the motor vehicle with a similar or comparable motor vehicle in terms of specifications and values will be subject to the availability of return the motor vehicle to the dealer or the manufacturer.
In case the consumer decides to purchase another vehicle with a higher value and specifications form the same dealer or manufacturer, the consumer will pay the difference in cost.
The proposed Lemon Bill has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate during the 15th Congress but was not ratified by the Bicameral Conference Committee. LLANESCA T. PANTI