Philippine Lemon Law

Steps in Availing of Consumer Rights under the Philippine Lemon Law

We know a few things about Republic Act No. 10642, also known as the Philippine Lemon Law, and we’ll know a whole lot more about this newly signed law as soon as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issues the necessary Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Based on what we know about the law, here are the steps that a consumer must take to avail of his/her rights under the Philippine Lemon Law [Update: the Philippine Lemon Law took effect on 7 August 2014; see also effectivity and coverage]:

1. Take the Vehicle for Repair

If a customer finds a defect in a brand-new motor vehicle, the customer cannot complaint with the DTI. Not yet. The customer must bring the car to the SAME manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer for REPAIRS.  This is understandable (and the usual practice) because otherwise, the DTI, which is doing other tasks (not the least of which is serving as the lead agency in preparing the Philippines for the ASEAN Economic Cooperation in 2015), would be swamped by legal issues that may be solved much better by mechanics. The question, of course, is this: who will shoulder the expense for the repair? [See also Q&A on the Philippine Lemon Law (Republic Act No. 10642)]

2. Take the Vehicle for Repair

This is not a typographical error. If the SAME defect manifests itself for a SECOND time, the consumer must go through Step 1 all over again. The customer has to take the same vehicle to the same manufacturer/distributor/authorized dealer/retailer to have the same complaint looked at and repaired. An impatient customer may try to file a complaint directly with the DTI but I betchabygollywow the complaint will be dismissed/shelved for being premature.

3. Take the Vehicle for Repair

Tough luck. If the same defect manifests itself for a THIRD time, which means there is the SAME complaint, the consumer has to go through Step 1 all over again. Why? Because the law (and presumably the Implementing Rules and Regulations [IRR] that will be issued) says so. Patience is indeed a virtue under the Philippine Lemon Law.

4. Take the Vehicle for Repair

As previously noted, there must be AT LEAST four (4) separate repair attempts. Only when the nonconformity issue remains unresolved after four repair attempts can the consumer invoke his/her rights under the Philippine Lemon Law. If you find the explanation, please tell us.

5. Give a Written Notice

After the four repair attempts, the consumer must NOTIFY — in writing and in the prescribed manner/form  — the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer. What will the written notice state? Two things: (1) the unresolved complaint; and (2) the consumer’s intention to invoke his/her rights under the law. The warranty booklet issued by the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer shall clearly state the manner and form of such notice to constitute a valid and legal notice to the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer.

6. Bring the Vehicle to the Manufacturer

After going through the required process of bringing the vehicle for repairs for at least 4 times, and after serving the required written notice on the manufacturer/distributor, the customer might think that the complaint will be heard by the DTI. Not yet. The consumer must bring the vehicle to the manufacturer, distributor, authorized dealer or retailer from where the vehicle was purchased for a final attempt to address the complaint.

7. File a Complaint with the DTI

Only after going through the foregoing process and only when the nonconformity issue remains unresolved can the consumer file a complaint with the DTI, which has the exclusive and original jurisdiction to hear and decide all disputes under the Philippine Lemon Law. In case the consumer wins, he/she is entitled to a replacement of the unit or repurchase of the vehicle. [See the rest of the discussions in Q&A on the Philippine Lemon Law (Republic Act No. 10642)]

13 comments

  1. My question is, what if the repair as stated by the manufacturer will require a period of three (3) months before it could be returned to the consumer? What is the compensation to be made to the consumer during the period of repair where the consumer is not provided with a loaner car during the repair period.

      1. Goodpm. Yung bagong car ko may napansin ako hindi nakafit ng maayos yung takip ng transmission. Iniisip ko bago repaired na. Covered ba yun ng lemon law? 18,000 kms na po odo and 4 months old yung auto ko. Salamat po.

  2. RA 10642 starts on 10 30th July. If i purchased my car before that data (as indicated in the PO or any doc)… is my purchase covered by this law?

    Thanks!

  3. RA 10642 starts on the 30th July. If i purchased my car before that date (as indicated in the PO or any doc)… is my purchase covered by this law?

    Thanks!

  4. Hi,

    I want to know how can I complain about my agent who did fraud and misrepresentation to my family. He is a Toyota agent particularly in Commonwealth Quezon City branch. I wrote them a letter and they arranged a meeting with me then the agent admitted everything. Briefly, the story goes like this;

    •On oct 2013 i gave him a total of 497k intended for downpayment and insurance the vehicle was released, never had a copy of my insurance policy and receipts of my payment, only to find out he just paid 297k and availed for me all in promo wherein insurance is free for 1 yr(comprehensive), interest agreement is only 6.5% but TFS charging ne 19%!!! I found out all these issues when i met an accident last oct 10 this yr and made ny hilux end up into a total loss, no policy no towing service;
    •made a downpayment again for my 2014 fj cruiser started with 100k and made a total dp of 609k and he paid only 359,600 for the downpayment my interest in the bank is 16.3954% per annum and my own bank is offering me 6.5% only,
    • i never fail asking me about my receipts Nd documents, you cant blame me since he was our agent my parents agent over the years.
    •my plight is the customer relations of toyotabis ignoring me;

    I made 2 letters for them but nothings is happening to date.

    Thanks,

    Karen Aisha Blao

  5. What about if during the accident impact? (Head-on collision) The front grill n bumper, hood and 2 fenders including radiator, intercooler, condenser was badly damage and need to be replaced, but airbag has failed to deploy. Do we have the rights to complain and ask for replacement with the new units?

  6. Bulok yan lemon law ambiguous ako I bought adventure sa mitsu fairview after 7 days binalik sa casa may my defects at 1 month pa bago dumating Ang piyesa si ginamit ko na defective kumakabig bumilis Ang wear and tear ng makina

  7. May i ask, kasi 6months na po sa Casa ung kotse ko sa pag antay sa insurance and sa pyesa na ipapalit nila. Tanong ko lang if ano dapat gawin ko since matagal na bago nila maayos ung kotse na nasira due to mahinang pyesa. Car dealer po sa alabang West Gate. Thanks

  8. Tanung ko lng po. Kumuha kami ng car sa honda rizal last nov 2016 pa 1yr & 3 mo. Ang naka lipas wala parin ung OR/CR ko nung nag follow up ako kasi hindi ko magamit ng maayos ung sasakyan kasi natatakot po ako n ma huli. Ang sabi nila din e nagkamali daw po ung liason nila ng pag encode ng engine number ko at yun ang na submit na LTO so nagkaroon po ng discrepancy at n disapproved ng LTO daw kotse ko kaya hindi pa nabigyan ng OR/CR tanung ko lng po pwede ba ako mag file ng complaint agains honda rizal? Kung oo saan naman po? Kasi sayang ung kotse hindi magamit walang rehistro po.. thanks sa sasagot po.

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