Understanding the South Carolina Lemon Law

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
May 16, 2024

When you purchase or lease a new vehicle, you expect it to provide reliable transportation and meet your needs. Unfortunately, some vehicles develop significant defects that affect their safety, value, or use. To protect consumers in such situations, South Carolina has enacted the South Carolina Lemon Law. 

Coverage and Qualifying Defects

The South Carolina Lemon Law applies to new motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles, that are primarily used for personal, family, or household purposes. To qualify under the law, the defect must arise within the first twelve months or 12,000 miles of ownership or lease, whichever occurs first. However, if the manufacturer’s warranty covers a longer period, the lemon law may still apply during that extended period.

Repair Attempts and Manufacturer Obligations 

For a vehicle to be considered a lemon, it must have undergone a reasonable number of repair attempts to address the defect. Specifically, the defect must persist after three or more repair attempts by an authorized manufacturer or dealership, or the vehicle must be out of service for repairs for a cumulative total of thirty or more days. If the vehicle meets these criteria, the manufacturer is obligated to provide a refund or replacement vehicle to the consumer’s preference. The manufacturer may also be responsible for reimbursing the consumer for reasonable expenses incurred due to the defect.

Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

To avail themselves of the protections offered by the South Carolina Lemon Law, consumers must notify the manufacturer in writing about the defect and provide an opportunity to repair the vehicle. Consumers must maintain detailed records of all repair attempts, including dates, descriptions of the problem, and the actions taken to address it. Additionally, consumers should keep copies of all correspondence with the manufacturer or dealership.

Dispute Resolution 

If the manufacturer fails to comply with their obligations under the South Carolina Lemon Law, consumers have legal recourse. The law provides several avenues for dispute resolution, including arbitration and litigation. Consumers may pursue these options to seek remedies, and if successful, they may be entitled to recover attorney’s fees and costs.

The South Carolina Lemon Law is a crucial consumer protection law that safeguards the rights of individuals who purchase or lease new vehicles. It ensures that consumers are not burdened with defective vehicles that jeopardize their safety or fail to meet their expectations. By understanding the coverage, qualifying defects, repair attempts, manufacturer obligations, and consumer rights and responsibilities outlined in the law, consumers can assert their rights effectively if they find themselves dealing with a lemon vehicle. If faced with such a situation, it is advisable to seek guidance from an attorney experienced in consumer law or contact the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs for further assistance. Remember, knowledge and awareness of the law are powerful tools to protect your rights as a consumer.

King Law Offices has over twenty years of civil litigation experience and understands the intricacies of dealing with a defective vehicle. Whether you have questions to determine if your vehicle is a lemon, or if you want to pursue litigation against a dealership, we would be more than happy to meet with you for a consultation to see what your case presents. Call King Law Offices at 888-748-KING to schedule a consultation with an attorney today. 

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
Carolina Attorneys
May 16, 2024

This blog post has been reviewed and verified by legal experts at King Law. Our team is dedicated to providing premium legal services with compassion, innovation, trust, and advocacy. Serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, we offer flexible meeting options and strive to exceed client expectations with high-quality legal representation and exceptional client relationships.

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