The Vehicle Lemon Law In South Carolina

The Vehicle Lemon Law In South Carolina

In 1989 the State of South Carolina adopted its own Lemon Law, the South Carolina Lemon Law has been protecting those that purchased a new vehicle in the state only to find out a little later that it has one or more major defects that make the vehicle unsafe to drive, impairs the normal operation of the vehicle or has a negative impact on its resale value. The law covers cars, vans, pickup trucks and SUVs, large vehicles such as trucks and buses as well as motorcycles and the living portion of a recreational vehicle are not covered under the law.

The law in South Carolina has been written to protect you in the event you should purchase a vehicle that meets these criteria. In its most basic form, the South Carolina Lemon law gives the manufacturer of the subject vehicle a certain number of tries to repair the defect and the repairs must be made in a certain time frame. If the repairs cannot be made the manufacturer may be required to refund the purchase price or provide you with a new vehicle.

How the South Carolina Lemon Law works:

For your new vehicle to be covered by the Lemon law all of the following must apply:

  *  The vehicle does not conform to the manufacturer’s warranty in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles. The manufacturer must be given three tries to fix the reported defect.

  *  The vehicle is out of service for a cumulative total of 30 days during the period of the express warranty

  *  The defect lowers the potential resale value of the vehicle

What to do when you need to enforce your rights:

If, after meeting the noted criteria, the manufacturer cannot fix the defect they have two options; one is to provide you with a replacement vehicle, the second is to refund your money. The refund is not the full amount paid, it takes into account the time the vehicle was used and the accumulated mileage. The refund does however include all fees and taxes that you paid at the time of purchase.

No one knows when they buy a new vehicle if it will turn out to be a lemon. As the South Carolina Lemon Law requires certain information to support your claim always keep any and all paperwork including repair orders, dates that car is in for repair and correspondence you might have with the dealer or manufacturer.

If you purchase a new vehicle in the state of South Carolina and it fails to live up to the implied warranty and cannot be repaired, you can seek restitution under the South Carolina Lemon Law. For further information you are invited to contact Krohn & Moss Consumer Law Center or visit

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