Magazine article Marketing

Lemon Laws Suffer a Crushing Defeat

Magazine article Marketing

Lemon Laws Suffer a Crushing Defeat

Article excerpt

Lemon laws suffer a crushing defeat

The heart was torn out of the Consumer Guarantees Bill in the Commons last week, marking defeat for the first attempt at a UK "lemon law" against dud cars and large ticket electrical goods.

Consumer affairs minister Eric Forth, accused of sabotaging the Bill, did not even have to lay a hand on it. The Bill fell by the wayside through a procedural oversight concerning its financial effects.

Nonetheless the Bill's sponsor, Labour MP Martyn Jones, singled out electrical retailer Dixons as the least supportive company. And he claimed that Ford Motor Company is considering offering its own guarantee along the lines of the Bill. Ford will not confirm this.

To prevent the whole Bill being lost last week, Jones voluntarily dismembered it, removing the concept of a one-year guarantee of repair, replacement or refund.

All that survives is a Government-inspired update of the Sale of Goods Act and the extension to Scotland of the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

The effect is to change the law on implied terms of sale from "merchantable quality" to "satisfactory quality". …

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