The Lemon Law

Lemon Law FAQ (v2022-1)

Does the Philippines have a law that protects buyers of brand new cars?

Yes. Republic Act No. 10642, otherwise known as the “Lemon Law” protects buyers of brand new cars against defects or other conditions that substantially impair the value or safety which cannot be repaired.

How long is the buyer protected?

The buyer is protected while the car is within 12 months from the delivery date or up to 20,000 kms (whichever comes first).

What protection does the law offer?

If there is a defect or other condition that cannot be repaired, the seller will be required to either replace the unit or return the money you paid.

If I notice a defect in my brand new car, what should I do?

You should bring the vehicle to the dealership where you bought it.  They will inspect the vehicle and attempt to repair the car.

How much time can the dealership take to try to repair the vehicle?

The dealership should finish the repair attempt in fifteen days.  If they take longer, the excess days will be added to the time the brand new car is covered by the lemon law.

If after the first attempt, the problem returns, can I ask for the car to be replaced?

No, not yet.  You will be entitled to ask for replacement or return after four attempts to fix the problem and if it has not been addressed despite the efforts to do so.

The requirement of four attempts will be difficult for me because I need to use my car. Is there a requirement to provide a ‘service car’ while the repairs are being made?

No. But, you are entitled to a “reasonable daily transportation allowance” that is equivalent to taxi fare to and from your place of work.

If I know I’m entitled already to a replacement, do I just ask the dealer to replace it?

Note that there is a requirement to send a “Notice of Availment of Lemon Law Rights”.  This must be sent before availing any of the rights under the Lemon Law, including the right to ask for a replacement.

What if the dealer refuses or does not agree with me?

You may initiate arbitration or adjudication with the DTI.

Do I need to be represented by a lawyer before the DTI?

No. But, you are also allowed to be represented by legal counsel, if you prefer.

What reasons could the dealer give to refuse to replace or return my purchase price?

The dealer could cite one of the exclusions for coverage, stated in the law:

(a) Noncompliance by the consumer of the obligations under the warranty;

(b) Modifications not authorized by the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer;

(c) Abuse or neglect of the brand new motor vehicle; and

(d) Damage to the vehicle due to accident or force majeure.

What are some documents that may be required from me when I avail of my rights under the lemon law?

  1. Warranty Booklet;
  2. Current Motor Vehicle Registration;
  3. All repair/job order invoices; and
  4. Notice of Availment stamped received by the Dealer or accompanied by other proof of receipt the Dealer of Notice of Availment.
  5. If I was unhappy with the repair attempt, but did not bring my vehicle back right away, can I still do so?

If you do not return the vehicle within fifteen days after it is repaired, the repair will be deemed successful.  In this circumstance, you will no longer be allowed to bring it back for the purpose of availing the rights under the lemon law.

Is my company’s delivery vehicle covered?

No. The law covers motor vehicles that are meant to carry passengers.

Are the motorcycles owned by my employees covered?

No. The law expressly excludes motorcycles.  However, the consumer protection act still covers those  who purchase motorcycles.