Ditch the Pitch
We are closed Friday, September 30, 2022. You can file a complaint and submit applications for licensing online. Filings you do not wish to make, or that are not available, online can be submitted via mail for processing.
Department staff is available to assist with any questions at (800) 922-1594 (toll free in SC) or 803-734-4200 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding State holidays. You can also email general questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, South Carolina has a lemon law which became effective October 3, 1989. It was last amended on April 21, 2016. It is titled “Enforcement of Motor Vehicle Express Warranty Act”and is located at S.C. Code Ann. §§ 56-28-10 et seq.
The law defines a lemon as a new motor vehicle (passenger car, van, motorcycle, or small truck) that:
Defects which substantially impair the vehicle's use, market value and safety. Not covered are defects caused by the consumer's abuse, neglect or unauthorized alteration of the car, or defects that do not show within the first 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever occurs first.
The law covers demonstrator vehicles and leased new vehicles. It also covers two-wheel and three-wheel motorcycles.
You must notify the manufacturer (or its agent) of the defect during the term of the express warranty. The manufacturer must make any repair efforts at no cost to the consumer and within a reasonable amount of time. The law presumes a reasonable amount of time to be either three repair attempts for the same defect or thirty days out of service for repairs. The 30 days do not have to be consecutive.
If the defect cannot be repaired, the manufacturer has one final opportunity to repair the defect to conform with the warranty (10 business days after delivery to the repair shop designated by the manufacturer). If this repair attempt is also unsuccessful, the manufacturer then has the option of whether to replace the vehicle or rescind the agreement and refund the money. If the manufacturer elects to rescind the agreement and refund the money, the refund must be for the full purchase price of the vehicle, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use. The full purchase price includes applicable finance charges and all governmental fees, such as sales tax, license fees and registration fees.
Before you request a refund or replacement you must first participate in any arbitration procedure the manufacturer may have established. Decisions are binding on the manufacturer. This type mediation is known as an "informal dispute settlement procedure." The "informal dispute settlement procedure" must:
After arbitration, if you remain unsatisfied, you can then file an action in the court. The court has discretion to award attorney's fees. Consumers should remember to buy cars only from reputable dealers and should read the warranty carefully. Save all documentation related to the car and to any repair work for their records. If you have problems with your new car you should begin to keep the following records: a description of defects and details of contacts(including the date and name of the person with whom you spoke); a log of the amount of time the car was out of service and complete written records of routine service.
Possibly. The general law of sale, including warranty law may still apply. In addition, you can always file a complaint with the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.
In this situation, the manufacturer or dealer must notify you that you are purchasing or leasing a previously repurchased lemon vehicle. They must also provide a written warranty covering the vehicle for twelve months or 12,000 miles. If they have not done both of these things, you can file a complaint with the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.
 S.C. Code Ann. § 56-28-50(2)(B).
 §§ 56-28-100, -110.