SC Lemon Law Statutes

South Carolina Lemon Law Qualifications

Vehicles Covered

The South Carolina lemon law covers "motor vehicle" sold and registered in the state. "Motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor vehicle that is:

  • A motor vehicle designed, used, and maintained for the transportation of ten or fewer persons; and
  • Trucks having an empty weight of 9,000 pounds or le ss and a gross weight of 11,000 pounds or less.

The lemon law does not cover motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, the living portion of recreational vehicles, and off-road vehicles.

"New motor vehicle" is a private passenger motor vehicle that has been sold to a new motor vehicle dealer by a manufacturer and that has not been used for other than demonstration purposes and on which the original ti tle has not been issued from the new motor vehicle dealer.

Consumers Covered

The lemon law covers the following consumers:

  • The purchaser, including a lessor, for purposes other than resale, of a motor vehicle normally used for personal, family, or household purposes, and subject to the manufacturer's express warranty; and
  • Any other person entitled by the warranty to enforce its obligations. The lemon law appears to cover a subsequent transferee.

Vehicle Converters

The lemon law applies to vehicle converters.

Problems Covered

The lemon law covers any nonconformity , which is defined as a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of t he motor vehicle. This does not include a defect or condition that results from an accident , modification, or alteration of the motor vehicle by persons other than the manufacturer or its authorized service agent.

Reasonable Number Of Repair Attempts

The South Carolina lemon law establishes a presumption that a reasonable number of attempts has been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties if, within the express warranty term, either of the following occurs:

  • The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer or its agents, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or
  • The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of re pair for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days.

The term of an express warranty and the 20 (sic) day period are extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of a war, invasion, strike, fire, flood or other natural disaster.

South Carolina Arbitration Requirements

If the manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure that complies with 16 C.F.R. Part 703, or if the manufacturer participates in a consumer- industry appeals, arbitration or mediation panel or board whose decisions are binding on the manufacturer, then the provisions requiring refund or replacement do not apply unless the consumer has first resorted to one of these procedures.

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