The law is not quiet on defective cars sold by unscrupulous manufacturers. In fact manufacturers are held accountable on ‘lemon’ cars. If you have purchased or leased a car with recurring faults, you can return it to the manufacturer and get your refund or a replacement car. Georgia Lemon Law was therefore enacted to protect consumers from faulty vehicles in the market. Generally, if your car has some faults that can’t be repaired after a number of reasonable attempts, you are entitled to a replacement car or a refund of your money. We took our time to highlight some of the basic details of this lemon law in Georgia. You will also learn some of the steps to take when you have a lemon.
Vehicles covered by Georgia Lemon Law
Georgia Lemon Law covers vehicles only under original owner’s possession. This law also covers leased vehicles. If you purchase a car that has changed ownership between more than once, you will not be eligible for protection under this law. Additionally, the vehicles covered under this law must have defects that:
- Compromise its safety
- Lowers the market value of the car
- Impacts the normal operation of the vehicle.
NOTE: Defects caused through alteration, misuse or through negligence are not covered under this law.
Vehicles not covered by Georgia Lemon Law
Georgia’s lemon law does not cover the following vehicles:
- If you purchase or lease used vehicles
- Vehicles with used car titles
- Trucks that weighs 10,000 lbs or more
- Motorhomes (living area)
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Criteria of Georgia Lemon Law
If you purchase a new vehicle and qualify as a lemon, you will get cover up to 24,000 miles covered or up to 2 years from the time of delivery, whichever comes first. First, you will allow an authorized dealer or manufacturer a number of reasonable attempts to fix the defects. Georgia Lemon Law identifies reasonable attempts as either:
- Up to 4 attempts for most defects
- A attempt for faults that could cause death or serious injury
- Repair that has kept the vehicle out of service for 30 days or more.
Filing a lemon law in Georgia
After a reasonable number of unsuccessful attempts to repair the defects on your vehicle, you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Send your manufacturer a final notification letter through a registered mail, asking them to have a final repair attempt
- If the defects are not repaired after a final attempt, you’ll submit a replacement or a refund request to the manufacturer.
If the manufacturer disagrees to resolve the issue in that manner, you’ll need to report the complaint to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs. This is the body that enforces the Warranty Rights Act in case one party is not satisfied. The state will arbitrate your case on your behalf. In most cases, reputable manufacturer will agree to resolve the issue at this stage. If your vehicle manufacturer refuses to resolve the issue at this stage, you will then hire a lemon law attorney to file in court. Normally, Georgia Lemon Law, allows you to file your complaint within 1 year after the end of the arbitration period or within 60 days after the informal dispute resolution process initiated by the manufacturer. For more information on Georgia Lemon Law or filing a law suit, visit Georgia Governor’s Office website or contact their Consumer Protection hotline at (404) 651-8600 or (800) 869-1123 (out of state).