South Carolina lemon laws are dealt with in South Carolina Code, Title 56, Chapter 28 (Enforcement of Motor Vehicle Express Warranties), Section 56-28-10 et seq. Nonconformity is a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is defective if it does not conform to all applicable express warranties.
The prescribed time limit for manufacturer repair is the first twelve months of purchase or the first twelve thousand miles of operation, whichever occurs first. This time limit is prescribed in Section 56-28-30. During the term of the express warranties, the consumer should report any nonconformity, defect, or condition to the manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer. The manufacturer, its agent, or its authorized dealer should repair or correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition at no charge to the consumer, within this time period.
Certain remedies are available to the consumer if the manufacturer is unable to repair or correct any nonconformity, defect, or condition which results in significant impairment of the motor vehicle, after a reasonable number of attempts. The manufacturer should either replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle, or accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer. The refund includes the full purchase price including applicable finance charges, sales taxes, license fees, registration fees, and any other similar governmental charges. From the full purchase price, the manufacturer can deduct a reasonable allowance for the consumer’s use of the motor vehicle. The remedies are enumerated under Section 56-28-40.
S.C. Code Ann. § 56-28-10
As used in this chapter:
(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 agent.
S.C. Code Ann. § 56-28-30
Nonconformity with express warranties; 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.
S.C. Code Ann. § 56-28-40
Replacement of motor vehicle; 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 lienholder, if any, as their interest may appear on the record of ownership kept by the Department 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 consumer.