Quebec's Lemon Law: Here's What You Need to KnowJanuary 15, 2024
Quebec has implemented a lemon law aimed at protecting consumers in the automotive market. This legislation marks a significant step forward in bolstering consumer rights and holding manufacturers accountable for faulty vehicles. In this blog post, we will delve into the key aspects of Quebec's lemon law, exploring its implications for consumers and the automotive industry.
What is the lemon law?
The Lemon Law was enacted to address issues related to defective vehicles, commonly referred to as "lemons." A lemon is a vehicle that, despite repeated repair attempts, continues to exhibit significant defects that affect its safety, value, or use. The law provides consumers with a legal framework to seek recourse when faced with such persistent issues.
When is a car declared as a “lemon”?
To be declared a "lemon," your vehicle must meet certain conditions, and these are determined by a simple calculation. Here's how it works:
If your car has a persistent problem that the dealer or manufacturer can't fix after three attempts, or if it has multiple unrelated issues they can't fix after 12 tries, it qualifies.
If the dealer or manufacturer tries to fix a problem under a different warranty and it keeps your car for more than 30 days (excluding times when they're waiting for parts, but they provide you with a courtesy car), that's also covered.
If your car has a problem that makes it unfit for regular use or significantly less useful, it counts as well.
Additional rights for Quebecers
Along with the new rule about lemons, people in Quebec will have extra safeguards when they buy or lease cars, whether new or used, within the next 18 to 24 months.
1. Extended guarantee
One improvement is the extended guarantee for proper functioning. Currently, there's already a free and automatic guarantee for cars to work well under Quebec's Consumer Protection Act. Starting from April 5, 2024, this guarantee will cover more used cars, making it better by including changes in age and mileage criteria for qualifying vehicles. This means people will get more coverage when they buy a used car.
2. Free inspection before returning leased vehicles
Starting April 5, 2024, when you're about to return a leased car, the dealer has to give you a free inspection 30 to 60 days before you hand back the keys. This inspection will check if any parts need fixing or if the car has any unusual wear and tear.
The dealer will hand you a report right away, so you know what's up. If they don't offer this free inspection or forget to give you the report, they can't charge you for any extra wear and tear. This is a new rule to make sure people leasing cars are in the know about the car's condition before returning it.
3. Right to repair
Starting from October 5, 2025 (which is two years from now), manufacturers and sellers will have to provide all the things you need to fix your car. This includes replacement parts, repair services, and information for maintenance or repairs, like diagnostic software and updates if needed.
And here's the good part - they have to offer these things for a fair amount of time, make sure the prices are reasonable, and give you technical support information for free. It's all about making car repairs more accessible and affordable for everyone.
Implications for consumers and the automotive industry
Quebec's lemon law signifies a significant win for consumers, offering enhanced protection and recourse for those who find themselves stuck with defective vehicles. The legislation also puts additional pressure on manufacturers to deliver reliable products and address defects promptly. This may lead to improved quality control measures and a heightened focus on customer satisfaction within the automotive industry.
As the legal landscape continues to evolve, it is essential for both consumers and industry stakeholders to stay informed about their rights and obligations under this legislation.