House OKs bill vs defective brand new cars (Lemon Law)

The House of Representatives has approved a measure giving consumers the right to demand the replacement of brand new vehicles found to have factory defects.

The lower chamber unanimously passed on third and final reading last week House Bill 4841 or the Philippine “Lemon Law of 2011.”

The bill gives consumers a year to report and demand repairs on defective brand new vehicles, colloquially termed as “lemons.” Brand new vehicles that have covered 20,000 kilometers or less are also covered by the measure.

HB 4841 gives manufacturers or distributors four separate attempts to repair the defective vehicle.

If the vehicles’ makers fail to address the defects, the buyer may already file a complaint before the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), provided that he or she has formally informed the manufacturers of availing the rights stated in the bill before demanding any repair.

The consumer may also opt to have the defective vehicle replaced with a similar or comparable model, or to have the money he or she used to buy the vehicle back with corresponding collateral damages.

The measure, however, allows manufacturers to sell the defective vehicle again, provided that there is disclosure about the vehicle’s past defects and current condition.

Manufacturers, dealers and distributors caught violating the bill’s provision on disclosure are required to pay a minimum of P100,000 in damages to the aggrieved buyer.

Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, one of the authors of the measure, lauded the passage of HB 4841, which she said will ensure the safety of motor vehicle users.

“Passage of an anti-lemon law is long overdue… Riding in a vehicle with factory defects jeopardizes the lives of both the driver and passengers,” she said in a statement Tuesday.

A similar measure, Senate Bill 1310 authored by Senator Manuel Villar Jr., is still undergoing committee deliberations at the higher chamber.

The Senate will have to approve its own version of the bill or adopt the House version of the measure. Both chambers will then ratify the measure, after which it will be submitted to the President for signing into law.



About autopinoy
An avid but practical car enthusiast.

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