'Assistive tech devices covered by lemon law'

Individuals who purchase assistive technology devices that are defective need not fret as they are protected by law, according to the Office of Disability Policy and Programs.

Special assistant Thomas J. Camacho said these consumers are protected by Public Law 11-101 or the Assistive Technology Warranty Act of 1998 signed by then governor Pedro P. Tenorio.

Also called the Assistive Technology “Lemon Law,” the law covers any assistive device used for major life activities and the warranties for such devices.

Camacho said the law also covers the right of consumers to return defective devices, refunds and allowances, and the provision of arbitration of disputes and enforcement of the act.

According to Camacho, the effectivity of the one-year warranty starts as soon as the individual receives the assistive device.

Camacho said a consumer who acquires a defective assistive device must document the date and time of the malfunction, a description of the problem, where the consumer was when it occurred, and the consequences caused by the malfunction.

He said the affected consumer can have the assistive device repaired by the manufacturer at no charge.

If the manufacturer cannot repair the device, it can replace it with a new one or refund the consumer, Camacho said.

To help assistive device consumers, Camacho said his office has provided a consumer’s guide that inform consumers about their rights and protection under the Lemon Law.

For more information, call the Office of Disability Policy Programs at 664-2200.

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