Press Release
February 21, 2007

Among the 55 bills passed on third reading during special session
Its about time we protect buyers of motor vehicles

As the principal author of Senate Bill 2464 or the Lemon Law of 2007, which was approved on third and final reading on Tuesday, Senate President Manny Villar says its about time for the country to have a more comprehensive law that provides ample protection for buyers of motor vehicles that turn out to be defective. Villar filed his Lemon Bill as early as the 12th Congress.

The law would ensure that car manufacturers or dealers would fulfill the warranties on their vehicles. If a car turned out to be defective or a lemon, the buyer would be able to get a full refund or a replacement, cites Villar, who himself was a victim of Lemon vehicle. Sen. Aquilino Pimentel is co-author of the measure.

A motor vehicle is considered a lemon if it is unfit, unreliable, or unsafe for ordinary use. Under the lemon law, a car is a lemon if during the Lemon Law Rights period the said car: 1) has been subject to repair three or more times, yet the same non-conformity continues to exist; 2) the non-conformity is a serious safety defect and has been subject to repair one or more times; or 3) is out of service due to repair for a cumulative total of 30 calendar days.

Lemon Law Rights period prescribes the time within which a consumer can report any non-conformity or failure to conform to a warranty and a defect or a condition that significantly impairs the use, market value or safety of a motor vehicle. If the non-conformity was not repaired or corrected within the said period, a consumer has the right of 1) replacement or 2) return with refund of full purchase price.

Many Filipinos have been victimized by false warranties and they cannot resort to legal remedies because of the absence of a law addressing their concerns. Now, they will be adequately protected against unfair trade practices, adds Villar.

The bill seeks to promote full protection to the rights of consumers in the sale of motor vehicles against sales and trade practices which are deceptive, unfair, or otherwise inimical to consumers and the public interest. It recognizes that a motor vehicle is a major consumer investment, defines the rights of the buyer and imposes penalties for violations thereof.

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