Georgia

Sponsored by:

GEORGIA LEMON LAW ATTORNEYS:
Alex Simanovsky & Associates, LLC

Free Lemon Law Help, Serving all of Georgia
Toll Free: 866-86-LEMON (866-865-3666)
www.autolemonlaws.com

STANDARDS OF THE GEORGIA LEMON LAW

Motor Vehicle Warranty Rights Act

The following is a brief explanation of most relevant provisions of the Georgia lemon law. The complete text of the lemon law can be found at Georgia Code Section 10-1-780 et seq.

VEHICLES COVERED

The Georgia lemon law covers new motor vehicles, including demonstrators, that are leased or purchased in Georgia or registered in Georgia by the original consumer. It also covers the self-propelled vehicle and chassis of motor homes. The lemon law does not cover motorcycles, trucks with a G.V.W. rating of 10,000 pounds or more, or vehicles that are bought used.

CONSUMERS COVERED

The lemon law covers consumers who buy or lease a new motor vehicle primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. It also covers small businesses [the business must have ten or fewer employees and a net income after taxes of less than $100,000.00 per year] that own or lease no more than three new motor vehicles.

PROBLEMS COVERED

The lemon law covers vehicle nonconformities. A nonconformity is a defect, serious safety defect, or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle to the consumer. A nonconformity does not include a defect or condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.

As used in the lemon law, “substantially impair” means to render the new motor vehicle unreliable, or unsafe for ordinary use, or to diminish the resale value of the vehicle more than a meaningful amount below the average resale value for comparable motor vehicles.

MANUFACTURER’S DUTY TO REPURCHASE OR REPLACE A VEHICLE

The lemon law establishes a lemon law rights period, which is the period ending one year after the date of the original delivery of a new motor vehicle to a consumer OR the first 12,000 miles of operation after delivery of a new motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever occurs first.

NONCONFORMITY MUST BE REPORTED WITHIN LEMON LAW RIGHTS PERIOD

The Georgia lemon law provides that, if a new motor vehicle has a nonconformity (see above definition) and the consumer reports the nonconformity during the lemon law rights period to the manufacturer, its agent, or the dealer who sold the vehicle, the nonconformity must be corrected at the manufacturer’s expense.

MANUFACTURER’S RIGHT TO FINAL REPAIR ATTEMPT AFTER REASONABLE NUMBER OF REPAIR ATTEMPTS

If the manufacturer, its agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer is unable to repair or correct any nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer must notify the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer is then entitled to a final repair attempt, as long as the manufacturer notifies the consumer of a reasonably accessible repair facility within seven days of receiving the consumer’s notice. Within fourteen days after the consumer has delivered the vehicle to that facility, the nonconformity must be corrected. If it is not corrected, the consumer must request, by certified mail, that the manufacturer either replace or repurchase the vehicle. The manufacturer must, within 30 days of receipt of this last request, replace or repurchase the vehicle.

REASONABLE NUMBER OF REPAIR ATTEMPTS

The Georgia lemon law provides that a reasonable number of repair attempts has been undertaken to repair or correct a nonconformity if any of the following situations occur:

  1. A serious safety defect in the braking or steering system is not corrected after being subject to repair at least once during the lemon law rights period;
  2. Any other serious safety defect is not corrected after being subject to repair at least once during the lemon law rights period and at least one more time within two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first) after the first repair attempt that occurs during the lemon law rights period;
  3. The same nonconformity is not corrected after being subject to repair at least once during the lemon law rights period and at least two more times within two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first) after the first repair attempt that occurs within the lemon law rights period; or
  4. The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair to one or more nonconformities for at least 15 days during the lemon law rights period, and for a total of 30 days within any period of 24 months or 24,000 miles (whichever occurs first) after the first repair attempt that occurs during the lemon law rights period. If less than 15 days remain under the lemon law rights period when the vehicle is first brought in for diagnosis or repair, the lemon law rights period for that particular problem shall be extended for a period of 90 days.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

If a manufacturer participates in an informal dispute resolution mechanism that has been certified by the Administrator of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs as complying with rules promulgated by the Administrator, then a consumer must submit a dispute under the lemon law to the informal dispute resolution procedure before submitting it to the Georgia new motor vehicle arbitration panel. A consumer must exhaust any certified informal dispute resolution procedure and the Georgia new motor vehicle arbitration panel remedy before filing any superior court action. The consumer has the option of either accepting or rejecting the decision of an informal dispute resolution mechanism.

PERIOD FOR FILING CLAIMS

The lemon law does not specify a time period for filing a claim with an informal dispute resolution mechanism.

A consumer who rejects the decision of an informal dispute resolution mechanism may request a hearing with the state-operated panel by requesting, completing, and submitting forms to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, within sixty (60) days from the date of the rejection. To request a state arbitration application, please call (404) 656-3790.

REMEDIES UNDER THE GEORGIA LEMON LAW

REPURCHASE OF OWNED VEHICLES

The Georgia lemon law sets out the following amounts that a manufacturer must pay when it repurchases an owned vehicle under the lemon law:

  1. Purchase price. This means the cash price of the vehicle appearing in the sales agreement, including any reasonable allowance for a trade-in vehicle. In determining whether the trade-in allowance was reasonable, an arbitrator may take into account whether the purchase price of the vehicle was at a fair market value. The arbitrator may make appropriate adjustments to ensure that the consumer is made whole but not unjustly enriched.

  2. Collateral charges. Collateral charges are those additional charges to a consumer which are wholly incurred as a result of the purchase of the vehicle. Collateral charges include but are not limited to:
    • Sales tax;
    • Title charges;
    • Tag, license and registration fees;
    • Manufacturer or dealer installed items or service charges;
    • Earned finance charges;
    • “WRA” $3.00 fee;
    • Credit life and disability insurance;
    • Extended warranty/service contract charges; and
    • Any other related charges.
  3. Incidental costs. Incidental costs are any reasonable expenses incurred by the consumer in connection with the repair of the vehicle, including but not limited to:
    • · Payments to dealers for attempted repairs of nonconformities;
    • · Towing charges; and
    • · Costs of obtaining alternative transportation.
  4. Reasonable offset for use. A reasonable offset for the consumer’s use is subtracted from the amounts paid to the consumer. The Georgia lemon law provides that the reasonable offset for use is computed using the following formula:
reasonable offset=

# miles directly attributable to use by the consumer before the consumer’s request of repurchase or replacement

xvehicle's purchase price
-------------------------------

100,000

REPLACEMENT OF OWNED VEHICLES

If a manufacturer replaces a vehicle under the Georgia lemon law, it must give the consumer a new motor vehicle that is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced, as the vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of purchase or lease. In addition, the manufacturer must pay:

  1. Collateral charges. All collateral charges, which are wholly incurred as a result of the acquisition purchase of the vehicle, which the consumer or lessor incurs a second time and which would not have been incurred again except for the replacement.
  2. Incidental costs. Incidental costs are any reasonable expenses incurred by the consumer in connection with the repair of the vehicle, including but not limited to:
    • Payments to dealers for attempted repairs of nonconformities;
    • Towing charges; and
    • Costs of obtaining alternative transportation.

If a vehicle is replaced, the consumer must pay the manufacturer a reasonable offset for the vehicle’s use (see formula under preceding section).

REPURCHASE OF LEASED VEHICLES

For repurchase of a leased vehicle, the Georgia lemon law requires that the manufacturer pay a certain amount to the lessor, and that the lessor pay certain amounts to the lessee. The lease agreement is terminated upon the manufacturer’s payment to the lessor, without any penalty for early termination.

A repurchase award will consist of the amounts that the manufacturer must pay to the lessor and the amounts the lessor must pay to the lessee:

To the lessor:

  1. Purchase price. This means the cash price paid by the lessor to a dealer or distributor to purchase the new motor vehicle.
  2. Reasonable offset for use. A reasonable offset for the lessee’s use is subtracted from the amounts the manufacturer pays to the lessor. The Georgia lemon law provides that the reasonable offset for use is computed by the following formula:
reasonable offset=

# miles directly attributable to use by the lessee before the lessee’s request of repurchase

xvehicle's purchase price
-------------------------------

100,000

 

From the lessor to the lessee: Value of any trade-in and down payment or balloon payment.

NOTE:

In the event the arbitrator renders a decision awarding a repurchase of a leased vehicle, and the lessee accepts the decision, if the lessor does not provide the refund as specified

by the arbitrator and does not terminate the lease and release title to the vehicle, the lessee may contact the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs for assistance.

REPLACEMENT OF LEASED VEHICLES

If a manufacturer replaces a vehicle under the Georgia lemon law, the manufacturer must give the lessee a new motor vehicle that is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced, as the vehicle to be replaced existed at time of purchase. The contractual obligation between the lessor and lessee will not be altered except for the terms of the agreement that identified the vehicle. In addition, the manufacturer must pay collateral charges and incidental costs as defined below:

  1. Collateral charges. All collateral charges that are wholly incurred as a result of the acquisition of the vehicle, which the lessor or lessee incurs a second time and which would not have been incurred again except for the replacement.
  2. Incidental costs. Incidental costs are any reasonable expenses incurred by the lessor or lessee in connection with the repair of the vehicle, including but not limited to:
    • Payments to dealers for attempted repairs of nonconformities;
    • Towing charges; and
    • Costs of obtaining alternative transportation.

In addition, if a manufacturer replaces a vehicle under the Georgia lemon law, the lessee must pay the manufacturer a reasonable offset for use, as defined below:

Reasonable offset for use. A reasonable offset for the lessee’s use shall be paid by the lessee to the manufacturer. The Georgia lemon law provides that the reasonable offset for use is computed by the following formula:

reasonable offset=

# miles directly attributable to use by the lessee before the lessee’s request of replacement

xvehicle's purchase price
-------------------------------

100,000

NOTE:

Under some circumstances, the lessee may be able to seek a reimbursement for the reasonable offset for use from the lessor at the end of the lease term. Please contact the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs for further information.