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Lemon law for Filipinos introduced
Villar said House Bill 3199 would strengthen consumer protection in the purchase of brand new vehicles and provides legal remedies to buyers who face the ill fate of lemon automobiles ending up in their hands.
"It provides that if a manufacturer or its authorized dealer cannot successfully repair a defective product within a reasonable number of repair attempts. The manufacturer must either promptly replace or repurchase the product," he explained.
Villar stressed that the historical antecedents of the lemon law originated in the United States and was crafted primarily to return to the consumer the full value of money.
He said given the fast-paced nature of the current time, owning a motor vehicle now is not considered a luxury but more of a necessity to cope with everyday duties and responsibilities.
"Coping with this necessity does not come cheap. Owning a motor vehicle is a big investment and could take a substantial chunk of one's savings. For some unfortunate buyers, an investment in this endeavor has become for naught after they acquired a 'lemon' or those that fail to meet the standards of quality and performance," Villar said.
Because of this, the young lawmaker said, buyers continue with the burden of retaining the "lemon" and paying the expensive cost, without equitable redress for their unlucky fate.
"The State declares 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 the consumers and the public interest," Villar said.
Covered under the measure to be known as the "Lemon Law of 2013" are brand new motor vehicles with non-conformity reported by the consumer within twelve months from the date of original delivery to the consumer or P20,000 kilometers of operation after such delivery, whichever comes first.