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If you’ve purchased a new car only to find it with a serious fault that can’t be repaired, you have likely bought a lemon. You can use the South Carolina lemon law to get your refund or vehicle replacement. This law was designed to protect South Carolina buyers from faulty vehicles in the market. In this article, you will find basic aspects of South Carolina lemon law and what to do if you end up buying a lemon.
Vehicles protected under this law
Vehicles that are protected by the South Carolina lemon law must meet the following qualifications:
- Must have a defect that impair its safety, use or lowers its market value
- The defect can’t be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts by the manufacturer
- The defect must occur within 12,000 miles or 12 months from the time of purchase.
Taking Lemon Law Action
If you discover a defect in your new vehicle, you must inform your manufacturer and take it there for repair at no cost. South Carolina lemon law allows the manufacturer to have more than 4 attempts to repair the defect at a reasonable period. If the manufacturer cannot fix the defect after a reasonable number of repair attempts, your vehicle will gain a lemon status and you will be entitled to a refund or vehicle replacement. If they choose a refund, they must refund your purchase price plus all applicable fees, taxes and expenses incurred. They will only deduct a reasonable amount of money equivalent to a certain amount of mileage covered. If they choose a vehicle replacement, they must replace the original vehicle with a comparable one. If they fail to comply with the above requirements, you can file your complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) in South Carolina. Their website has a FAQ section that answers to most of the questions that you may have.
Taking a legal action
If you realize that the manufacturer is not cooperating with you, you must go through any informal dispute arbitration process before taking a legal action against your manufacturer. If you are not happy with the arbitration process, you can hire a lemon law attorney to file a lemon law case against the manufacturer.
Tips for a successful lawsuit
You should always buy your vehicle from a reputable manufacturer or authorized dealer. However, if you have purchased a lemon unknowingly, you must use the following tips to have a successful law suit if you prefer to go a legal way:
- Keep all the records and receipts that concern your car. These include vehicle repair receipts, purchase receipt, warranties, registrations and correspondence.
- Keep records of communication you may have with the manufacturer. These include list of phone calls, emails or letters.
- Keep a log of all the times your vehicle spends in the repair shop.
- Check out the DCA Buyer Beware List to see a comprehensive list of vehicle dealers and manufacturers who don’t respond to customers’ complaints.
If you are looking for legal advice concerning lemon law matters, you should contact a lemon law lawyer.