South Carolina Lemon laws

South Carolina Lemon Laws For Cars A

By Amy Wood
Used cars, you can spend thousands on one, only to drive off and face trouble. Many consumers in South Carolina think they are protected by a state lemon law. But in this 7 On Your Side Consumer Watch we need to warn you, it isn't as cut and dry as you might think.

We uncovered a couple things that you might find surprising, that you can get lucky with good deals at used car lots and why state lemon laws are not always on your side.

Christy Direnzo is stuck with a car she says is not worth repairing.

“Basically, what I did was put lemons all over the car, because a lemon, everybody knows is a car that's not fit for the road. I put the truth, this car drove less than 24 hours, lemon, lemon, lemon.”

She paid more than $2100 for the 1999 Dodge Neon in March. She says the dealer explained it only needed minor work that would cost about $300 dollars. Her husband drove it home, but car trouble quickly followed.

“Drove it in the driveway, dead as a doornail.”

Direnzo took the car for an estimate. Scott Bryant says it would cost $1500 to repair the car's starter and a vacuum leak.

“It should not have been sold in that condition I would think.”

Direnzo's lemon car claims are not alone. Mary Grodjeski bought her son a truck. She paid the dealership more than $4,000 in April. About two weeks later its transmission went out. The total cost of repairs was nearly $1200.

And it gets worse.

“He had it four days, and the engine went,” said Grodjeski.

This time, it cost her about $2000 to replace the engine.

“When you guys were buying the car, did he say anything was wrong with it?”

“No, no, in fact he said that's a really clean truck, they don't usually come in there that clean.”

Consumer attorney Steven Moskos explains there is hope for some consumers.

“If the consumer is unable to find a problem with the vehicle, he or she buys the vehicle and later experiences problems, engine problem, transmission problem, you can say, hey, you sold me a defective vehicle I need to get my money back.”

Moskos is talking about a special consumer statute called revocation of acceptance. Under special circumstances, he says it allows consumers to return products, and used cars are included, for a refund if they discover a defect during a reasonable amount of time.

Here's what you need to know before requesting your money back.

1. The department of consumer affairs says the statute is not enforced by any state agency.

2. You must fight it in civil court.

3. You'll have a better chance of winning in court when you've purchased a warranty or service contract and the dealership refuses or cannot fix your vehicle.




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