It will now be a test case in Philippine courts for the Lemon Law after a complaint was filed against the manufacturer and dealer of a brand-new car that was alleged by its buyer to be defective.
A notice issued by Gerald Jey Litong, mediation officer of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said conciliation between complainant Ricardo Nolasco Jr. and seller Audi Motorcars Inc. through dealer PGA Cars Inc. failed.
Nolasco had bought a brand-new Audi A6 3.0 TDI car from Audi Motorcars.
His complaint will be ruled on by the DTI, whose ruling is appealable before the Office of the President and it may even be elevated to the Court of Appeals under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court.
Republic Act 10642 or the Philippine Lemon Law states, “In the event that both parties do not undertake arbitration proceedings, at least one of the parties may commence adjudication proceedings, administered by the DTI.”
The Lemon law further states that once the DTI ruled in the consumer’s favor, “the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer of the brand-new vehicle [should]either replace the motor vehicle with a similar or comparable motor vehicle in terms of specifications and values, subject to availability, or accept the return of the motor vehicle and pay the consumer the purchase price plus the collateral charges.”
In his complaint, Nolasco said he purchased the car on May 30, 2014, but that the vehicle had to be returned to Audi and PGA for multiple repairs.
The car, he added, “showed signs of defects as erratic and/or random error messages kept on appearing on the dashboard which are very alarming and misleading.”
“Nolasco had to return the subject A6 3.0 TDI four times to the respondents Audi and/or PGA to fix the said problem,” the complaint said.
Despite assurances that “everything has been corrected and that the defect will not be repeated anymore . . . the said erratic and/or random error messages started to display again.”