Lemon Law in the Philippines: 10 most FAQs of Filipino car owners

Mar 11, 2019 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
Here is everything that car buyers need to know about Lemon Law in the Philippines. What you should do and what you should not do?

Getting a brand-new car with a new smell that comes with it is filled with excitement. Better yet is fidgeting with all bells and whistles; especially when a high-spec or premium luxury model is the new ride! Vehicle owners find it so excited in learning the in's and out of how to play with this new toy. Everything seems fine for the first few weeks. But then, boom, there is a remedy when one or some problems occur. 

Forget the analogy, but just as lemon tend to be too citrusy and it's the same as the situation when your new buddy has a problem, which normally called "lemon cars". Fortunately, since 2014 the Lemon Law Philippines or RA 10642 (An Act Strengthening Consumer protection in the Purchase of Brand New Motor Vehicles), in order to protect buyers from lemons cars and assure its replacement from the dealership it originated from.

Keep it in mind, let Philkotse.com equip you will basic things associated with this consumer protection law in the Philippines by answering following FAQs. 

How lemon law benefits car buyers

1. Lemon Law meaning or what is Lemon Law in the Philippines?

In general word, "lemon car" is defined as the all brand-new vehicle that purchased from an authorized dealership in the Philippines. After a year, these cars have gross factory defects and have unresolved problems. And if all four repair attempts haven’t worked, then it is deemed a true-blue lemon car!

By definition of the Philippine Lemon law; any car that isn’t up to par should be a lemon, though some interpretations differ. When outright replacement will be assurance that the problems will be gone, but only if the DTI rules so! 

Explanation of Lemon law meaning by a car made from lemon

"Lemon car" is defined as the new car but comes with unpleasant problems

2. How does Lemon Law Philippines work?

In case your newly-purchased car detects a problem, you need to bring it to the dealer right away. Then when your complaint is recorded, the dealer will give at least 4 attempts (in a 12-month period) to repair your vehicle until you can claim for the Lemon law. During the fixing time, the dealer may support you for an alternative vehicle or daily means of transportation.

Then when the dealer fails to fix your car problem, you can come to file the claim form and wait for the next step.

3. How long does Lemon Law Philippines affect the vehicle? 

The car is covered for twelve months from the exact date it was received by the customer, or the first 20,000 kilometers traveled when it is bought. Within this time; no serious defects or complications must not crop up. The year-long period is short and with the warranty benefits and preventive maintenance for three years, should fix factory defects. But; in hindsight, they should not be there at all.

20000km car mileage

Your car will be covered for the first 20,000 km under the Philippine Lemon law

4. What are the specific defects that are included in RA 10642?

All and any factory defects that are detrimental to the performance and safety of the car, that doesn’t meet up to the specifications and claims of the manufacturer. If defects are found and verified the dealer should take action to resolve the defective performance issues.

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5. Which kinds of vehicles are covered under Philippine Lemon Law?

This  consumer protection law in the Philippines is effective for vehicles with the use of carrying passengers, including:

  • Crossovers
  • SUVs
  • Pickups
  • Vans
  • AUVs
  • Sedans
  • Coupes

6. Does Lemon Law Philippines cover a modified car?

The RA 10642 is fair game for both dealer and customer; because it seeks to give both a level playing field. It is important to note that it prevents the customer from making mods that will negate the terms and conditions of the warranty.

It also includes misuse and acts of nature that is not directly the fault of the dealer too! Overall this prevents both customers and dealers from shafting each other, and to respect each other’s rights.

Modified car under lemon law

A modified car goes beyond the law's protection

7. Will the customer be given compensation during repair time?

When the unit is in the dealer’s shop for repairs; the dealer will have to provide temporary transport or an allowance as an alternative. If the customer does prevail over the dealer; there’s an option to choose any similar model or higher one but with extra cost incurred. Or return the unit and get a full refund with damages as well!

8. Can the dealers claim against the customers? 

In case, the dealer can prove that the vehicles are not defective, they can ask for the expenses on the repair done for the non-problematic parts. 

9. What alternatives are there you if the dealers and buyers cannot make the deal?

When the decision not satisfactory either the sellers or the buyers, they have 15 days to appeal it for reconsideration. Some criterion will need to be gone over to verify the wrong decision and reverse it later.

10. What will happen with the returned or replaced cars?

Cars that are supposed to return for service complaints should have their full history disclosed so that the dealers can resell it. If not; and the dealer fails to do so. The new buyer can end up with Php 100,000 as damages, to add insult to injury.

>>> You might want to read: 9 tips for avoiding car buyer’s remorse

Philippine Lemon law: Final thoughts

Car buyers and dealers are both subject to the Philippine Lemon law, but the car buyer or consumer has more to lose though. Awareness of the Lemon law meaning will help car buyers; and customers are aware of their rights, which is important.

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas