South Carolina Lemon Law

South Carolina Lemon Law

South Carolina’s lemon laws state that if the buyer or lessee of a vehicle finds a major fault in it – which the manufacturers are unable to fix even after 3 valid attempts by the vehicle manufacturer to repair it – the manufacturer is liable to repurchase or replace the faulty vehicle. This law applies to the vehicle throughout its express warranty period, or 12 month from its delivery, or 12,000 miles on its odometer, whichever of these comes first, and if the vehicle is still under its warranty period and meets the eligibility criteria as specified by South Carolina’s state laws, the owner of the vehicle can claim their lemon aid and demand the manufacturers to provide them with the necessary reimbursement, in the form of a refund or replacement of the faulty vehicle through arbitration. The repurchase costs will also cover any additional costs the owner underwent while purchasing the vehicle, while the replacement procedure would not require the customer to pay any additional fees.

South Carolina Lemon Law Time Limit & Eligibility

The lemon law covers motor vehicles with a gross weight which does not exceed 10,000 pounds and is designed to carry 10 or less persons. The vehicles which are not covered include motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, living quarters of motorhomes, and off-road vehicles. The vehicles need to be purchased or leased primarily for household, family or personal usage in public highways, and are still covered by the manufacturer’s express warranty. The law covers nonconformities in vehicles which substantially impairs the vehicle’s usability, safety and/or market value, The defect must not be caused by the owner’s negligence and/or abuse, or accidents or unauthorized repair attempts. The vehicle needs to be under the manufacturer’s express warranty, or 1 year from the original delivery of the vehicle or 12,000 miles on the vehicle’s odometer. 

South Carolina Lemon Law Used Vehicles

The law appears to cover used vehicles. However, the used vehicles should fully meet the eligibility criteria stated above to be considered. Even if a vehicle has undergone a change in ownership during the lemon law rights period, it is still eligible to file an arbitration claim.

South Carolina Lemon Law Repair

Upon the discovery of the nonconformity, the customer must firstly notify the manufacturer in writing regarding the issue in the vehicle. The manufacturer must then be given 3 attempts to repair the vehicle, and if they fail to do so, or if the vehicle remains out of service for over 30 days due to repair reasons, the customer may then provide the manufacturer informing them about the nonconformity once again and their wish to file for arbitration, and this would grant the manufacturer a final attempt to repair the vehicle. If this final repair attempt is unsuccessful as well, the customer may then file for arbitration. It should be noted that if the first repair attempt is made within the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer must then continue the subsequent repairs even after the exhaustion of the vehicle’s express warranty. 

South Carolina Civil Settlement

Before proceeding the case to a civil court, the customer must firstly undergo an arbitration procedure if the manufacturer is associated with one. If not, or if the customer is unsatisfied with the arbiter’s judgment, the customer may then proceed to a civil court. Claims in civil courts need to be filed within a period of 3 years from the original delivery of the vehicle. 

South Carolina Lemon Law Compensation- Repurchase and Replacement

In most cases, the customer is awarded with a replacement of the vehicle, or a refund, as per their choice. In case of a replacement, the customer will receive a new and identical or comparable vehicle to the original, and no additional charges will be incurred from them. In case of a repurchase, the customer will be given the full purchasing price of the vehicle, along with all collateral charges incurred. However, they would also have to pay a reasonable fee for their usage of the vehicle prior to the discovery of the defect.

Other South Carolina Laws

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