Unlike in the United States, Canada does not exactly have effective lemon laws for faulty cars, a shame considering that many consumers still fall prey to lemons. But on the bright side, there are a few avenues for relief if and when you bought a defective motor vehicle, regardless of whether it’s brand-new or second-hand.
Basic on Lemon Laws
Basically, a lemon law provides aggrieved consumers with an effective and efficient legal recourse in the event that they buy or rent a vehicle that turns out to be defective and, thus, placing the consumers at a disadvantage. Keep in mind that in countries with lemon laws in place, the subject vehicle must be covered by a warranty stating that it will be free of defects for a set period and/or for distance travelled. Thus, if there is no warranty, then there is no valid application of a lemon law.
The rule of thumb in lemon laws: The vehicle’s issues must be substantial in nature for the provisions to apply. In case the vehicle’s defects is unrepairable, the manufacture is obligated to either replace the vehicle or refund payment to the buyer.
Emphasis must be made that not all defective vehicles are considered as lemons. According to the official definition of Industry Canada, a lemon refers to a vehicle with manufacturer’s defects that will likely affect its use, value, or safety.
Laws in Effect
At present, Canada has yet to pass a federal lemon law although there are provinces that have laws approximating it. For example, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have laws referring to lemons but these are not exactly lemon laws in the eyes of jurisprudence.
In both provinces, the law requires that car dealers should provide prospective buyers with relevant information about a subject vehicle’s past. But here’s the sticky thing – the law does not provide the buyer with appropriate protection in the event said vehicle turns out to be a lemon. Nova Scotia’s law only requires dealers to brand a damaged or defective vehicle as a lemon while Manitoba’s law requires dealers to disclose whether a vehicle was already deemed a lemon in another jurisdiction.
What the can you do to avoid becoming a victim? First, be sure that you are buying from reputable car dealers, such as A & A Truck Sale Ltd, which take the necessary measures to ensure that their products are in good condition. Second, be informed about the ways that you can seek relief, such as by availing of the Canadian motor vehicle arbitration plan (CAMVAP) or file a claim in court (e.g., small claims court).