Gov't On Track to Upgrade S. Korean Version of Lemon Law | Be Korea-savvy

Gov’t On Track to Upgrade S. Korean Version of Lemon Law

(image: Korea Bizwire)

(image: Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Dec. 28 (Korea Bizwire)The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has announced a plan to upgrade a local lemon law including the introduction of a performance analysis-based arbitration system.

The Korean lemon law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, to enhance customers’ convenience, though it is not obligatory for companies to follow it.

Under lemon laws in the United States, those who purchase cars and other consumer goods that repeatedly fail to meet certain standards of quality and performance are compensated by the sellers.

The term “lemon” has long been used to describe defective vehicles in the United States.

The number of cases in which exchanges or refunds were applied for under the lemon law in South Korea has increased over the years, rising from 79 in 2019 to 668 in 2020 and 707 in 2021.

The government said it decided to introduce a new procedure that ensures mediation before arbitration, based on the consideration that under the current arbitration system, judgment is limited to applications for exchange or refund, and it takes a long time before a final judgment is made, thus increasing consumer inconvenience.

Once the mediation procedure is introduced, judgment can be made not only on applications for exchange or refund but also for repair and compensation.

After laying out a plan for the introduction of the mediation procedure in the first half of next year, the ministry plans to push for legislation.

The ministry also plans to establish a self-diagnosis system on its website, aimed at making it easier for consumers to check if their cases satisfy exchange or refund requirements before applying for arbitration.

Under the Automobile Management Law, the arbitration procedure can begin only when exchange or refund requirements are satisfied.

However, due to difficulty in checking the requirements, as many as 858 cases have been dismissed or rejected over the past three years.

J. S. Shin (

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