Bohol solons passes law protecting car buyers

Bohol solons passes law protecting car buyers

A new law has just been approved to protect car buyers from losses resulting from getting defective units.

The initiative came from Bohol Third District Rep. Arthur Yap whose House Bill 197 filed for this purpose had been incorporated with other versions passed by colleagues at the House of Representatives into House Bill 4082.

It is now Republic Act 10642 or the Philippine Lemon Law signed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino on July 15.

The new law takes effect on July 30.

The various bills that made up the Philippine Lemon Law all passed through both the Senate Bill 2211 on June 11 and House Bill 4082 on June 10.

The Philippine Lemon Law seeks to protect consumer rights in the event that a brand new vehicle they purchased does not meet the standards set by the manufacturer.

Yap’s House Bill 197 was substituted by House Bill 4082 after incorporating the other versions drafted by other congressmen.

Being the first to file his version, Yap gets credit of having his name listed first among the principal co-authors.

The Lemon Law specifies guidelines such as a Lemon Law Rights period of 1 year or mileage of 20,000 kilometers, whichever comes first and a minimum of 4 attempts to fix the same consumer complaint or a “non-conformity” before the owner can file for his rights under RA 10642.

The DTI will now be formulating the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10642 within a 90-day period.

The DTI will also act as mediator, arbitrator and adjudicator for proceedings between the consumer and the car manufacturer or distributor or assembler or dealer.

If the non-conformity is verified, the DTI will rule in favor of the consumer and order the car manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer to either refund the purchase price of the vehicle or replace it with another model that is either the same or of similar value, plus collateral damages.

If the non-conformity is not verified, the DTI will rule in favor of the car manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer and order the consumer to reimburse the costs of verifying his complaints.

In his explanatory note, Yap cited the records of the Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection (BTRCP) showing that the agency already received a total of 49 complaints in the period, November 5, 2012 to January 13, 2013.

The Department of Trade and Industry regional offices across the country handle and resolve actual consumer complaints, Yap said.

The new law “gives buyers of brand-new cars the right to demand a replacement with a similar or comparable motor vehicle if the first vehicle is discovered to have a factory defect. The buyer may also opt to return a defective vehicle and get a refund of its purchase price and collateral charges such as the vehicle registration fee (based on the Lemon Law Rights)”, according to Yap.

The law also “provides parameters in handling and resolving consumer complaints involving brand new motor vehicles,” he added.

The same measure had been filed several times in the past Congresses and had been approved by the Committee on Trade and Industry of the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress.

Finally, in the 16th Congress, it passed muster.

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