South Carolina Lemon Law
Title 56, Chapter 28, Enforcement Of Motor Vehicle Express
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-10 Definitions.
As used in this chapter:
(1)"Consumer" means the purchaser or lessor, other than for
purposes of 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 the obligations of the warranty.
(2)"Manufacturer" means any person, resident, or nonresident,
who manufactures or assembles or imports or distributes new motor
vehicles which are to be sold in the State.
(3)"Manufacturer's express warranty" or "warranty" means the
written warranty, so labeled, of the manufacturer of a new motor
vehicle, including any terms or conditions precedent to the
enforcement of obligations under that warranty.
(4)"Motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor vehicle, as
classified by Section 56-3-630, but excluding the living portion of
recreational vehicles and off-road vehicles, which is sold and
registered in this State.
(5)A "new motor vehicle" means a private passenger motor vehicle
which has been sold to a new motor vehicle dealer by a manufacturer
and which has not been used for other than demonstration purposes
and on which the original title has not been issued from the new
motor vehicle dealer.
(6)"Nonconformity" means a defect or condition that
substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle,
but 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
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-20 Manufacturers to provide
annual written summaries of certain motor vehicles.
Forms; records to be made available; penalties.
Every manufacturer, in a format and a form that must be mailed
annually to each manufacturer approved by the Administrator of the
Department of Consumer Affairs, shall provide a written summary of
all motor vehicles repurchased or replaced under this chapter no
less than once each calendar year. In addition, every manufacturer
shall make available any paperwork, reports, or other information
regarding vehicles subject to this chapter upon request by the
administrator. Failure to supply either the written summaries of
repurchased vehicles or respond to reasonable requests for
information by the administrator subjects the manufacturer to an
administrative penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for each
violation which the administrator in his discretion may impose.
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-30 Nonconformity with express
Notice required; repairs required.
If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable
express warranties within the first twelve months of purchase or
the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs
first, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the
manufacturer or its agent during the term of the express
warranties, the manufacturer, or its agent, shall make those
repairs as are necessary to conform the vehicle to the express
warranties at no cost to the consumer, notwithstanding the fact
that the repairs are made after the expiration of the term.
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-40 Replacement of motor
Refund of purchase price.
If, within the term specified in Section 56-28-30, the
manufacturer, through its agents or authorized dealer, is unable to
conform the motor vehicle to any applicable express warranty by
repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially
impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle to
the consumer after a reasonable number of attempts, the
manufacturer shall replace the motor vehicle with a comparable
motor vehicle, or at its option, accept return of the vehicle from
the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price as
delivered including applicable finance charges, sales taxes,
license fees, registration fees, and any other similar governmental
charges, less a reasonable allowance for the consumer's use of the
vehicle. Refunds must be made to the consumer and lien holder, if
any, as their interest may appear on the record of ownership kept
by the Division of Motor Vehicles. A reasonable allowance for use
must be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer
before his first report of the nonconformity to the manufacturer,
agent, or dealer, and must be calculated by multiplying the full
purchase price of the vehicle by a fraction having as its
denominator one hundred twenty thousand and having as its numerator
the number of miles that the vehicle traveled before the first
report of nonconformity. The consumer is not entitled to a refund
or replacement if:
(1)the nonconformity does not substantially impair the motor
vehicle's use, market value, or safety;
(2)the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, or
modification or alteration of the motor vehicle by the
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-50 Presumption of attempts to
Information to be provided to consumers; obligations of
manufacturer; costs and attorney's fees; notice requirements.
(A)It is presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been
undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express
(1)the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or
more times by the manufacturer, or its agent, within the express
warranty term, but the nonconformity continues to exist; or
(2)the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for a
cumulative total of thirty or more calendar days during the express
warranty. The term of an express warranty, and the twenty-day
period must be 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.
(B)The manufacturer must provide information regarding consumer
complaint remedies with each new motor vehicle. It is the
responsibility of the consumer, or his representative, before
availing himself of the provisions of this chapter, to give written
notification to the manufacturer of the need for the repair of the
nonconformity, in order to allow the manufacturer a final
opportunity to cure the alleged defect if the manufacturer has
clearly and prominently informed the consumer of the requirement of
written notification to the manufacturer at the time of sale. The
manufacturer, within ten business days, must notify the consumer of
a reasonably accessible repair facility of a franchised new vehicle
dealer to conform the new vehicle to the express warranty. After
delivery of the new vehicle to an authorized repair facility by the
consumer, the manufacturer must attempt immediately to repair the
vehicle within a period not to exceed ten business days in order to
conform the new motor vehicle to the express warranty. If the
manufacturer is unable to repair properly the vehicle within the
final ten-business-day period, the manufacturer must replace the
vehicle with an identical or reasonably equivalent vehicle or
refund the purchase price subject to the provisions of Section
(C)Upon notification from the consumer that the new vehicle has
not been conformed to the express warranty, the manufacturer shall
inform the consumer if an informal dispute settlement procedure has
been established by the manufacturer as enumerated in Section
56-28-60. However, if prior notice by the manufacturer of an
informal dispute settlement procedure has been given, no further
notice is required.
(D)Any consumer who finally prevails in any action brought under
this chapter, may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the
judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses
(including attorney's fees based on actual time expended) and other
such costs which are directly attributable to the nonconformity of
the motor vehicle determined by the court to have been reasonably
incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the
commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the court in
its discretion determines that such an award of attorney's fees
would be inappropriate.
(E)All written notifications required by this section shall be
sent by registered, certified, or express mail.
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-60 Informal dispute settlement
If a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement
procedure which substantially complies with Title 16 of the Code of
Federal Regulations, 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, the
provisions of Section 56-28-40 concerning refunds or replacement do
not apply to any consumer who has not first resorted to those
procedures or to the alternate procedure provided in Section
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-70 Limitation of actions.
Any action brought under this chapter must be commenced within
three years following the date of original delivery of the motor
vehicle to the consumer.
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-80 Construction of chapter.
Reimbursement from dealer prohibited; exception.
Nothing in this chapter may be construed as imposing any
liability on a motor vehicle dealer or creating a cause of action
by a consumer against a motor vehicle dealer under Section
56-28-40. The manufacturer shall not charge back or require
reimbursement by the dealer for any costs, including, but not
limited to, any refunds or vehicle replacements incurred by the
manufacturer arising out of this chapter in the absence of evidence
that the related repairs had been carried out by the dealer in a
manner substantially inconsistent with the manufacturer's published
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-90 State arbitration board may
The Administrator of the Department of Consumer Affairs may
establish by regulation a state arbitration board consisting of
five members appointed by him to serve at his pleasure. The board
shall review matters involving manufacturers that have not created
an informal dispute settlement procedure that substantially
complies with Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part
703. The cost of the arbitration board must be borne by the
manufacturer of the vehicle purchased or leased by the
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-100 Repurchased vehicles not to
be resold; exceptions.
Any vehicle required to be repurchased by a manufacturer under
this chapter or any other provision of law relating to motor
vehicle warranties may not be resold, reassigned, or retransferred,
either at wholesale or retail in this State, unless:
(1)The manufacturer notifies the Administrator of the Department
of Consumer Affairs within thirty calendar days, in writing, of the
vehicle identification number of that motor vehicle, the reason
that the vehicle was repurchased, and provides a statement that all
necessary repairs and adjustments have been made and that the
vehicle meets acceptable operating standards.
(2)The manufacturer provides a written warranty to the
subsequent retail purchaser of the vehicle covering the vehicle for
twelve months or twelve thousand miles. The warranty must expressly
include any component related to the manufacturer's decision to
repurchase the vehicle.
(3)The manufacturer shall disclose to any dealer or other
wholesale purchaser of the fact that the vehicle was required to be
repurchased under this chapter or another provision of law relating
to motor vehicle warranties.
South Carolina Lemon Law 56-28-110 Notification to subsequent
Penalties for failure to notify.
Every subsequent purchaser must be notified by the seller of the
fact that the vehicle was required to be repurchased under the
terms of this chapter or another provision of law relating to motor
vehicle warranties. Failure to notify properly any purchaser of the
requirements of this section subjects the seller to an
administrative penalty to be imposed by the administrator up to a
maximum of five hundred dollars for each vehicle.