Canada introduces landmark Lemon Law Legislation in Quebec

Lemon Law (

Lemon Law (

Quebec’s New Lemon Law sets a gold standard for consumer protection in North America.

Canada has taken a significant step in consumer protection with the introduction of a groundbreaking lemon law in Quebec. Drawing inspiration from the U.S.’s first lemon law in Connecticut over 40 years ago, this new legislation aims at safeguarding consumers from unreliable vehicles, making it a gold standard for consumer care in North America.

The law, passed by the Quebec National Assembly, outlines that individuals who purchase a new vehicle and experience three unsuccessful attempts to repair it within three years or 60,000 km (approximately 37,000 miles) can take legal action to either cancel the sale, negotiate a reduced price, or compel the automaker to repurchase the vehicle.

One of the most notable aspects of this legislation is the reversal of the burden of proof from the vehicle owner to the automaker. Instead of requiring the vehicle owner to hire an independent engineer to prove the car’s faultiness, the owner can use evidence that the fault hasn’t been rectified within the stipulated timeframe to categorize it as a lemon. Once classified as such, the car retains this designation permanently, similar to how a salvaged vehicle maintains a record, even if it is restored for road use.

The new lemon law is limited to new cars. However, the legislation is now incorporated into Quebec’s longstanding Consumer Protection Act, which already provides some protection for used cars. The coverage for pre-owned vehicles is set to expand. Currently, it applies to used cars up to two years old with no more than 40,000 km (approximately 25,000 miles). According to Canada’s Driving website, both of these criteria will double in spring 2024.

In addition to enhancing consumer protection, other advantages include the right to access replacement parts, information on repair procedures, and the option for lessees to have their cars inspected free of charge 30 to 60 days before returning the vehicle at the end of the lease. If the leasing provider does not offer a free inspection, they are prohibited from charging for repairs after the lease term ends.

The legislation is not limited to automotive matters alone. It also seeks to combat planned obsolescence in electronic goods and household appliances. This groundbreaking consumer protection law sets an exceptional standard, provided you reside in Quebec. Residents in other parts of Canada are not covered by this lemon law—yet.