Press Release
February 20, 2007


The Senate approved on third and final reading Monday night a legislative measure that would protect the rights of consumers who had the misfortune of buying defective cars and which will compel automobile manufacturers and dealers to immediately repair the defects or, if necessary, replace them with comparable vehicles.

Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) said the Lemon Law of 2007 (Senate Bill 2464) of which he is one of the principal authors, will compel car makers and dealers to enforce the warranties on the sale of motor vehicles and to provide remedies to the victims of false or fraudulent warranties.

Noting the increasing instances of consumers who complain that the cars that they bought have turned out to be lemon, Pimentel said they should not be left defenseless in seeking legal remedies in the form of this new legislation.

Not only do these poor-quality vehicles shortchange their buyers or owners, they also endanger the lives and limbs of the drivers and passengers, the minority leader said.

Senate Bill 2464 provides that if a motor vehicle does not conform to all warranties, and the consumer reports the non-conformity, the manufacturer, its agents, its authorized dealer, or the seller in case of second-hand motor vehicles, during the warranty period, shall make such repairs, free of any charges, as are necessary to make the vehicle conform to such warranties, notwithstanding the fact that such repairs are made after the expiration of the manufacturers or sellers warranty period.

The bill also provides that if the manufacture and its agent or seller, in case of second hand vehicles, do not repair or correct the defects, after a reasonable number of attempts within the lemon rights period, the manufacturer or seller shall replace the motor vehicle with a comparable car.

It says that the manufacturer or seller of the motor vehicle may accept the return of the vehicle and refund to the buyer the full purchase price, including all collateral and incidental charges less the reasonable allowance for the buyers use of the vehicle up to the date of the first notice of non-conformity that is given to the manufacturer, agent or dealer.

Pimentel said that since the purchase of a motor vehicle, next to a residential house, is the biggest investment of the ordinary Filipino workers, the government is duty-bound to protect their interest in case the car maker and dealer fail to honor the product warranty issued to them.

It is unfortunate that many consumers would find out too late that the motor vehicles sold to them do not live up to the quality and specifications advertised by the manufacturer and seller. Hence, they end up with poor quality vehicles or lemons that endanger the lives and limbs of their passengers and the general public, he said.

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