Georgia Lemon Laws & The Federal Lemon Law

Georgia Lemon Law Statutes and The Federal Lemon Law

O.C.G.A. TITLE 10 Chapter 1 Article 28

GEORGIA CODE
Copyright 2016 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

TITLE 10.  COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 1.  SELLING AND OTHER TRADE PRACTICES
ARTICLE 28.  GEORGIA LEMON LAW

§ 10-1-780.  Short title

This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Georgia Lemon Law.”

§ 10-1-781.  Legislative intent

The General Assembly recognizes that a new motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase and that a defectively manufactured new motor vehicle is likely to create hardship for, or may cause injury to, the consumer. It is the intent of the General Assembly to create a procedure for expeditious resolution of complaints and disputes concerning nonconforming new motor vehicles, to provide a method for notifying consumers of their rights under this article, and to ensure that consumers receive information, documents, and service necessary to enable them to exercise their rights under this article. In enacting these comprehensive measures, the General Assembly intends to encourage manufacturers to take all steps necessary to correct nonconformities in new motor vehicles and to create the proper blend of private and public remedies necessary to enforce this article.

§ 10-1-782.  Definitions

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, as used in this article, the term:

(1) “Adjusted capitalized cost” means the amount shown as the adjusted capitalized cost in the lease agreement.

(2) “Attorney General” means the Attorney General or his or her designee.

(3) “Authorized agent” means any person, including a franchised motor vehicle dealer, who is authorized by the manufacturer to service motor vehicles.

(4) “Collateral charges” means charges incurred by a consumer as a result of the purchase of a new motor vehicle including, but not limited to, charges attributable to factory or dealer installed options, sales tax and title charges, and earned finance charges.

(5) “Consumer” means each of the following:

(A) A person who purchases or leases a new motor vehicle for personal, family, or household use and not for the purpose of selling or leasing the new motor vehicle to another person; and

(B) A person who purchases or leases ten or fewer new motor vehicles a year for business purposes other than limousine rental services.

(6) “Days” means calendar days.

(7) “Express warranty” means a warranty which is given by the manufacturer in writing.

(8) “Incidental costs” means any reasonable expenses incurred by a consumer in connection with the repair of a new motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, payments to new motor vehicle dealers for the attempted repair of nonconformities, towing charges, and the costs of obtaining alternative transportation.

(9) “Informal dispute settlement mechanism” means any procedure established, employed, utilized, or sponsored by a manufacturer for the purpose of resolving disputes with consumers under this article.

(10) “Lemon law rights period” means the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery of a new motor vehicle to a consumer or the first 24,000 miles of operation after delivery of a new motor vehicle to the original consumer, whichever occurs first. The lemon law rights period shall be extended by one day for each day that repair services are not available to the consumer as a direct result of a strike, war, invasion, terrorist act, blackout, fire, flood, other disaster, or declared state of emergency.

(11) “Lessee” means any consumer who enters into a written lease agreement or contract to lease a new motor vehicle for a period of at least one year and is responsible for repairs to such vehicle.

(12) “Lessee cost” means the aggregate payment made by the lessee at the inception of the lease agreement or contract, inclusive of any allowance for a trade-in vehicle, and all other lease payments made by or on behalf of the lessee to the lessor.

(13) “Lessor” means a person who holds title to a new motor vehicle that is leased to a consumer under a written lease agreement or contract or who holds the lessor’s rights under such agreement.

(14) “Manufacturer” means any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing or receiving imports of new motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing them to new motor vehicle dealers.

(15) “New motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle primarily designed for the transportation of persons or property over the public highways that was leased, purchased, or registered in this state by the consumer or lessor to whom the original motor vehicle title was issued without previously having been issued to any person other than a new motor vehicle dealer. The term “new motor vehicle” does not include any vehicle on which the title and other transfer documents show a used, rather than new, vehicle. The term “new motor vehicle” also does not include trucks with more than 12,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, motorcycles, or golf carts. If a new motor vehicle is a motor home, this article shall apply to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis, but does not include those portions of the vehicle designated, used, or maintained primarily as living quarters, office, or commercial space.

(16) “New motor vehicle dealer” means a person who holds a dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new motor vehicles, who is engaged in the business of purchasing, selling, servicing, exchanging, leasing, or dealing in new motor vehicles, or who is licensed or otherwise authorized to utilize trademarks or service marks associated with one or more makes of motor vehicles in connection with such sales.

(17) “Nonconformity” means a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition, any of which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle to the consumer or renders the new motor vehicle nonconforming to a warranty. A nonconformity does not include a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.

(18) “Panel” means the new motor vehicle arbitration panel as designated in this article.

(19) “Person” shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 10-1-392.

(20) “Purchase price” means, in the case of a sale of a new motor vehicle to a consumer, the cash price of the new motor vehicle appearing in the sales agreement or contract, inclusive of any reasonable allowance for a trade-in vehicle. In the case of a lease executed by a consumer, “purchase price” refers to the agreed upon value of the vehicle as shown in the lease agreement or contract.

(21) “Reacquired vehicle” means a new motor vehicle with an alleged nonconformity that has been replaced or repurchased by the manufacturer as the result of any court order or judgment, arbitration decision, voluntary settlement entered into between a manufacturer and the consumer, or voluntary settlement between a new motor vehicle dealer and a consumer in which the manufacturer directly or indirectly participated.

(22) “Reasonable number of attempts” under the lemon law rights period shall be as set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-784.

(23) “Reasonable offset for use” means an amount calculated by multiplying the purchase price of a vehicle by the number of miles directly attributable to consumer use as of the date on which the consumer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer for repair of a nonconformity and dividing the product by 120,000, or in the case of a motor home 90,000.

(24) “Replacement motor vehicle” means a new motor vehicle that is identical or at least equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of purchase or execution of the lease.

(25) “Serious safety defect” means a life-threatening defect or a malfunction that impedes the consumer’s ability to control or operate the motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.

(26) “Superior court” means the superior court in the county where the consumer resides, except if the consumer does not reside in this state, then the superior court in the county where an arbitration hearing was conducted pursuant to this article.

(27) “Warranty” means any manufacturer’s express warranty or any affirmation of fact or promise made by the manufacturer in connection with the sale of a new motor vehicle to a consumer concerning the vehicle’s materials, workmanship, operation, or performance which becomes part of the basis of the bargain. The term shall not include any extended coverage purchased by the consumer as a separate item or any statements made by the dealer in connection with the sale of a motor vehicle to a consumer which relate to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirm or promise that such material or workmanship is free of defects or will meet a specified level of performance.

§ 10-1-783.  Provision of owner’s manual and notice of rights; fully itemized and legible repair order; copies of reports

(a) The manufacturer shall publish an owner’s manual and provide it to the new motor vehicle dealer. The owner’s manual shall include a clear and conspicuous listing of addresses, e-mail addresses, facsimile numbers, and toll-free telephone numbers for the manufacturer’s customer service personnel who are authorized to direct activities regarding repair of the consumer’s vehicle. A manufacturer shall also provide all applicable manufacturer’s written warranties to the new motor vehicle dealer, who shall transfer the owner’s manual and all applicable manufacturer’s written warranties to the consumer at the time of purchase or vehicle acquisition.

(b) At the time of purchase or vehicle acquisition, the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide the consumer with a written statement that explains the consumer’s rights under this article. The statement shall be written by the Attorney General and shall contain information regarding the procedures and remedies under this article.

(c) By October 1 of each year, the manufacturer shall forward to the Attorney General one copy of the owner’s manual and the express warranty for each make and model of current year new motor vehicles it sells in this state. To the extent the instructions, terms, and conditions in the owner’s manuals and express warranties for other models of the same make are substantially the same, submission of the owner’s manual and express warranty for one model and a list of all other models for that make will satisfy the requirements of this subsection.

(d) Each time the consumer’s new motor vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide to the consumer a fully itemized and legible statement or repair order containing a general description of the problem reported by the consumer; the date and the odometer reading when the vehicle was submitted for repair; the date and odometer reading when the vehicle was made available to the consumer; the results of any diagnostic test, inspection, or test drive; a description of any diagnosis or problem identified by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer; and an itemization of all work performed on the vehicle, including, but not limited to, parts and labor.

(e) Upon request of the consumer, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide a copy of any report or computer reading compiled by the manufacturer’s representative regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test drive of the consumer’s new motor vehicle.

§ 10-1-784.  Reasonable attempts to correct nonconformity; option to repurchase or replace vehicle

(a) (1) If a consumer reports a nonconformity during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall be allowed a reasonable number of attempts to repair and correct the nonconformity. A reasonable number of attempts shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer if, during the lemon law rights period:

(A) A serious safety defect has been subject to repair one time and the serious safety defect has not been corrected;

(B) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three times, and the nonconformity has not been corrected; or

(C) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days.

If the vehicle is being repaired by the manufacturer through an authorized agent or a new motor vehicle dealer on the date that the lemon law rights period expires, the lemon law rights period shall be extended until that repair attempt has been completed.

(2) (A) If the manufacturer through an authorized agent or a new motor vehicle dealer is unable to repair and correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer shall notify the manufacturer by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of the need to repair and correct the nonconformity. The notice shall be sent to the address provided by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual. The manufacturer shall have 28 days from its receipt of the notice to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity.

(B) By not later than the close of business on the seventh day following receipt of notice from the consumer, the manufacturer shall notify the consumer of the location of a repair facility that is reasonably accessible to the consumer. By not later than the close of business on the fourteenth day following the manufacturer’s receipt of notice, the consumer shall deliver the nonconforming new motor vehicle to the designated repair facility.

(C) If the manufacturer fails to notify the consumer of the location of a reasonably accessible repair facility within seven days of its receipt of notice, or fails to complete the final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity with the 28 day time period, the requirement that it be given a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity shall not apply. However, if the consumer delivers the nonconforming new motor vehicle to the designated repair facility more than 14 days from the date the manufacturer receives notice from the consumer, the 28 day time period shall be extended and the manufacturer shall have 14 days from the date the nonconforming new motor vehicle is delivered to the repair facility to complete the final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity.

(3) No manufacturer, its authorized agent, or new motor vehicle dealer may refuse to diagnose or repair any alleged nonconformity for the purpose of avoiding liability under this article.

(b) (1) If the manufacturer, through an authorized agent or new motor vehicle dealer to whom the manufacturer directs the consumer to deliver the vehicle, is unable to correct a nonconformity during the final attempt, or if a vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for 30 days during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer, repurchase or replace the vehicle. The consumer shall notify the manufacturer, in writing by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of which option the consumer elects. The manufacturer shall have 20 days from receipt of the notice to repurchase or replace the vehicle.

(2) (A) If a consumer who is a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, in addition to providing the replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall pay to the lessor an amount equal to all charges that the lessor will incur as a result of the replacement transaction and shall pay the lessee an amount equal to all incidental costs that have been incurred by the lessee plus all charges that the lessee will incur as a result of the replacement transaction. If a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, all terms of the existing lease agreement or contract shall remain in force and effect, except that the vehicle identification information contained in the lease agreement or contract shall be changed to conform to the vehicle identification information of the replacement vehicle.

(B) If a consumer who is not a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, in addition to providing the replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall pay to the consumer an amount equal to all incidental costs incurred by the consumer plus all charges that the consumer will incur as a result of the replacement transaction.

(3) (A) If a consumer who is a lessee elects a repurchase, the manufacturer shall pay to the lessee an amount equal to all payments made by the lessee under the lease agreement or contract, including, but not limited to, the lessee cost, plus all incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. The manufacturer shall pay to the lessor an amount equal to 110 percent of the adjusted capitalized cost of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. After the lessor has received payment from the manufacturer as specified in this subparagraph and payment from the consumer of all past due charges, if any, the consumer shall have no further obligation to the lessor.

(B) If a consumer who is not a lessee elects a repurchase, the manufacturer shall pay to the consumer an amount equal to the purchase price of the nonconforming new motor vehicle plus all collateral charges and incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. Payment shall be made to the consumer and lienholder of record, if any, as their interests may appear on the records of ownership.

§ 10-1-785.  Compelled replacement or repurchase through arbitration; manufacturer’s informal dispute settlement mechanism; revocation of mechanism

(a) (1) If a manufacturer does not replace or repurchase a nonconforming new motor vehicle after being requested to do so under subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-784, the consumer may move to compel replacement or repurchase by applying for arbitration pursuant to Code Section 10-1-786. However, if a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement mechanism which the Attorney General has certified as complying with the provisions and rules of this article, the consumer shall be eligible to apply for arbitration only after submitting a dispute under this article to the informal dispute settlement mechanism.

(2) A consumer must file a claim with the manufacturer’s certified informal dispute settlement mechanism no later than one year after expiration of the lemon law rights period.

(3) After a decision has been rendered by the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism, the consumer is eligible to apply for arbitration pursuant to Code Section 10-1-786.

(4) If a decision is not rendered by the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism within 40 days of filing, the requirement that the consumer submit his or her dispute to the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism shall not apply and the consumer is eligible to apply for arbitration under Code Section 10-1-786.

(b) Certified informal dispute settlement mechanisms shall be required to take into account the principles contained in and any rules promulgated under this article and shall take into account all legal and equitable factors germane to a fair and just decision. A decision shall include any remedies appropriate under the circumstances, including repair, replacement, refund, and reimbursement for collateral charges and incidental costs. For purposes of this Code section, the phrase “take into account the principles contained in and any rules promulgated under this article” means to be aware of the provisions of this article, to understand how they might apply to the circumstances of the particular dispute, and to apply them if it is appropriate and fair to both parties to do so.

(c) A certified informal dispute settlement mechanism shall keep such records as prescribed by the Attorney General in rules promulgated under this article and shall allow the Attorney General, without notice, to inspect and obtain copies of the records. Copies of any records requested by the Attorney General shall be provided promptly to the Attorney General at no cost.

(d) A manufacturer may apply to the Attorney General for certification of its informal dispute settlement mechanism. The Attorney General may, in his or her discretion, impose requirements on an informal dispute settlement mechanism in order for it to be certified. Within a reasonable time following receipt of the application, the Attorney General shall certify the informal dispute settlement mechanism or notify the manufacturer of the reason or reasons for denial of the requested certification.

(e) At any time the Attorney General has reason to believe that a certified informal dispute settlement mechanism is no longer in compliance with this article, he or she may notify the manufacturer of intent to revoke the informal dispute settlement mechanism’s certification. The notice shall contain a statement of the reason or reasons for the revocation.

(f) The manufacturer shall have ten days from its receipt of notice of denial of requested certification or notice of intent to revoke certification to submit a written request for a hearing to contest the denial or intended revocation. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held within 30 days of the Attorney General’s receipt of the hearing request. The hearing shall be conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings following the procedures set forth in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.”

(g) No representation shall be made to a consumer that his or her dispute must be submitted to an informal dispute settlement mechanism that is not certified by the Attorney General pursuant to this Code section.

§ 10-1-786.  Request for arbitration; determination of eligibility; notifications; timing; requirements for decision

(a) A consumer shall request arbitration by filing a written application for arbitration with the Attorney General. The application must be filed no later than one year from the date of expiration of the lemon law rights period or 60 days from the conclusion of the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism’s proceeding, whichever occurs later.

(b) (1) After receiving an application for arbitration, the Attorney General shall determine whether the dispute is eligible for arbitration. Manufacturers shall be required to submit to arbitration under this article if the consumer’s dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the Attorney General. Disputes deemed eligible for arbitration shall be assigned to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789.

(2) (A) A consumer whose dispute is determined to be ineligible for arbitration by the Attorney General may appeal the determination of ineligibility to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789.

(B) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer’s dispute is eligible for arbitration, the arbitrator or arbitrators shall retain jurisdiction and the consumer’s dispute shall proceed in accordance with this Code section.

(C) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer’s dispute is not eligible for arbitration, a written decision shall be prepared and sent to the consumer and manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(D) The decision of ineligibility may be appealed by the consumer under the provisions set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787. On appeal, the court shall consider only the issue of eligibility for arbitration.

(3) If the court finds that a consumer’s appeal from a determination of ineligibility is frivolous or has been filed in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, the court may require the consumer to pay to the Attorney General all costs incurred as a direct result of the appeals from the Attorney General’s determination of ineligibility.

(c) A lessee shall notify the lessor of the pending arbitration, in writing, within ten days of the lessee’s receipt of notice that a dispute has been deemed eligible for arbitration and shall provide to the arbitrator or arbitrators proof that notice was given to the lessor. Within ten days of its receipt of notice from the lessee, a lessor may petition the arbitrator or arbitrators to be a party to the arbitration proceeding.

(d) The arbitrator or arbitrators shall make every effort to conduct the arbitration hearing within 40 days from the date the dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration. The hearing shall be held at a location that is reasonably convenient to the Georgia consumer. Failure to hear the case within 40 days shall not divest authority of the arbitrator or arbitrators to hear the dispute or void any decision ultimately rendered.

(e) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine:

(1) That a reasonable number of attempts has been undertaken to repair and correct the nonconformity and that the manufacturer was given the opportunity to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity and was unable to correct it; or

(2) That a new motor vehicle was out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days within the lemon law rights period,

the consumer shall be awarded replacement or repurchase of the new motor vehicle as provided under Code Section 10-1-784. The arbitrator or arbitrators also may award attorney’s fees and technical or expert witness fees to a consumer who prevails.

(f) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be in writing, be signed, and contain findings of fact and conclusions of law. The original signed decision shall be filed with the Attorney General and copies shall be sent to all parties. The filing of the decision with the Attorney General constitutes entry of the decision.

(g) A decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators that has become final under the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787 may be filed with the clerk of the superior court, shall have all the force and effect of a judgment or decree of the court, and may be enforced in the same manner as any other judgment or decree.

(h) No arbitrator may be required to testify concerning any arbitration and the arbitrator’s notes or other records are not subject to discovery. This provision does not extend to testimony or documents sought in connection with legal claims brought against an arbitrator arising out of an arbitration proceeding.

§ 10-1-787.  Finality of arbitrator’s decision; appeals by manufacturers; time for compliance with arbitrator’s decision

(a) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators is final unless a party to the arbitration, within 30 days of entry of the decision, appeals the decision to the superior court. A party who appeals a decision shall follow the procedures set forth in Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 5, and any appeal shall be de novo; however, the decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be admissible in evidence.

(b) If the manufacturer appeals, the court may require the manufacturer to post security for the consumer’s financial loss due to the passage of time for review.

(c) If the manufacturer appeals and the consumer prevails, recovery, in addition to the arbitrator’s award, shall include all charges incurred by the consumer during the pendency of, or as a result of, the appeal, including, but not limited to, continuing collateral and incidental costs, technical or expert witness fees, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

(d) A manufacturer which does not appeal a decision in favor of a consumer must fully comply with the decision within 40 days of entry thereof. If a manufacturer does not fully comply within the 40 day time period, the Attorney General may issue an order imposing a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 per day for each day that the manufacturer remains out of compliance. The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-398 and 10-1-398.1 shall apply in connection with the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection. It shall be an affirmative defense to the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection that a delay or failure to comply was beyond the manufacturer’s control or that a delay was acceptable to the consumer.

§ 10-1-788.  Exhaustion of remedies under article required

The provisions of this article are not available to a consumer in a civil action unless the consumer has first exhausted all remedies provided for in this article.

§ 10-1-789.  Establishment of motor vehicle arbitration panel; compensation; conduct; liability

(a) A motor vehicle arbitration panel shall resolve disputes between consumers and manufacturers arising under this article. The Attorney General, in his or her discretion, may operate the panel by contracting with public or private entities to conduct arbitrations under this article or by appointing individuals to serve as panel member arbitrators. An arbitrator shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia or shall have at least two years’ experience in professional arbitration or dispute resolution. No arbitrator shall be affiliated with or involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale, lease, or servicing of motor vehicles.

(b) Panel member arbitrators and entities that contract with the Attorney General to provide arbitration services shall be compensated for time and expenses at a rate to be determined by the Attorney General.

(c) Each arbitration proceeding shall be conducted by either one or three arbitrators, each of whom is to be assigned by the Attorney General or contracted entity.

(d) Neither the Attorney General, an entity with which the Attorney General has contracted, nor any arbitrator shall be civilly liable for any decision, action, statement, or omission made in connection with any proceeding under this article, except in circumstances where the decision, action, statement, or omission was made with malice or gross negligence.

§ 10-1-790.  Requirements for transfer of reacquired vehicle

(a) No manufacturer, its authorized agent, new motor vehicle dealer, or other transferor shall knowingly resell, either at wholesale or retail, lease, transfer a title, or otherwise transfer a reacquired vehicle, including a vehicle reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, unless the vehicle is being sold for scrap and the manufacturer has notified the Attorney General of the proposed sale or:

(1) The fact of the reacquisition and nature of any alleged nonconformity are clearly and conspicuously disclosed in writing to the prospective transferee, lessee, or buyer; and

(2) The manufacturer warrants to correct such nonconformity for a term of one year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

A knowing violation of this subsection shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 and will subject the violator to an action by a consumer under Code Section 10-1-399.

(b) The manufacturer shall have 30 days to notify the Attorney General that a vehicle has been reacquired in this state under the provisions of this article. The notice shall be legible and include, at a minimum, the vehicle year, make, model, and identification number; the date and mileage at the time the vehicle was reacquired; the nature of the alleged nonconformity; the reason for reacquisition; and the name and address of the original consumer. When the manufacturer resells, leases, transfers, or otherwise disposes of a reacquired vehicle, the manufacturer shall, within 30 days of the resale, lease, transfer, or disposition, notify the Attorney General of the vehicle year, make, model, and identification number; the date of the sale, lease, transfer, or disposition of the vehicle; and the name and address of the buyer, lessee, or transferee.

(c) If a manufacturer resells, leases, transfers, or otherwise disposes of a motor vehicle in this state that it reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, the manufacturer shall, within 30 days of the resale, lease, transfer, or disposition, notify the Attorney General of the transaction. The contents of the notice shall comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section.

(d) Manufacturers shall use forms approved by the Attorney General. The forms shall contain the information required under this Code section and any other information the Attorney General deems necessary for implementation of this Code section.

§ 10-1-791.  Consumer fees to implement provisions of article; enforcement
(a)  A fee of $3.00 shall be collected by the new motor vehicle dealer from the consumer at completion of a sale or execution of a lease of each new motor vehicle. The fee shall be forwarded quarterly to the Department of Law for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account created in the state treasury. The payments are due and payable the first day of the month in each quarter for the previous quarter’s collection and shall be mailed by the new motor vehicle dealer not later than the twentieth day of such month. The first day of the month in each quarter is July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1 for each year. Consumer fees in the account shall be used for the purposes of this article. Funds in excess of the appropriated amount remaining in the new motor vehicle arbitration account at the end of each fiscal year shall be transferred to the general treasury. The new motor vehicle dealer shall retain $1.00 of each fee collected to cover administrative costs.

(b)  The Attorney General shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this Code section. The Attorney General’s enforcement power shall include:

(1)  The authority to investigate alleged violations through use of all investigative powers available under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the “Fair Business Practices Act”; and

(2)  The authority to initiate proceedings, pursuant to Code Section 10-1-397, in the event of a violation of this Code section. Such proceedings include, without limitation, issuance of a cease and desist order, a civil penalty order imposing a civil penalty up to a maximum of $2,000.00 for each violation, and proceedings to seek additional relief in any superior court of competent jurisdiction. The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-398, 10-1-398.1, 10-1-402, and 10-1-405 shall apply to proceedings initiated by the Attorney General under this Code section.

§ 10-1-792.  Other rights and remedies

(a) Except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, this article shall not create or give rise to any cause of action by manufacturers or consumers against new motor vehicle dealers. No new motor vehicle dealer shall be held liable by a manufacturer or a consumer for any collateral charges, incidental charges, costs, purchase price refunds, or vehicle replacements. Manufacturers and consumers shall not make new motor vehicle dealers party to an arbitration proceeding or any other proceeding under this article. A new motor vehicle dealer that is named as a party in any proceeding brought by a consumer or a manufacturer under this article, except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation incurred in connection with such proceeding.

(b) The provisions of this article shall not impair any obligation under any manufacturer-dealer franchise agreement; provided, however, that any provision of any manufacturer-dealer franchise agreement which attempts to shift any duty, obligation, responsibility, or liability imposed upon a manufacturer by this article to a new motor vehicle dealer, either directly or indirectly, shall be void and unenforceable, except for any liability imposed upon a manufacturer by this article which is directly caused by the gross negligence of the dealer in attempting to repair the motor vehicle after such gross negligence has been determined by the hearing officer, as provided in Article 22 of this chapter, the “Georgia Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act.”

§ 10-1-793.  Violations constitute unfair and deceptive act or practice; cumulative effect

(a) A violation of this article shall constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the “Fair Business Practice Act”; provided, however, that enforcement against such violations shall be by public enforcement by the Attorney General and, except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, shall not be enforceable through private action under Code Section 10-1-399.

(b) Except as otherwise provided, this article is cumulative with other laws and is not exclusive. The rights and remedies provided for in this article shall be in addition to any other rights and remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

§ 10-1-794. Reserved.

§ 10-1-795.  Promulgation of rules and regulations

The Attorney General shall promulgate rules and regulations and establish procedures necessary to carry into effect, implement, and enforce the provisions of this article. The authority granted to the Attorney General pursuant to this Code section shall be exercised at all times in conformity with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.”

§ 10-1-796.  Severability

If any provision of this article or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are severable.

§ 10-1-797.  Consumer cannot waive rights

Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this article shall be unenforceable as contrary to public policy.

§ 10-1-798 Continuing validity of previously adopted rules, orders, actions, and regulations

Rules, orders, actions, and regulations previously adopted which relate to functions performed by the administrator appointed pursuant to Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the ‘Fair Business Practices Act of 1975,’ which were transferred under this article to the Attorney General shall remain of full force and effect as rules, orders, actions, and regulations of the Attorney General until amended, repealed, or superseded by rules or regulations adopted by the Attorney General.

*** Current through the 2016 Regular Session ***

Contact our team of experienced Georgia Lemon Law Attorneys for a free consultation. For questions about your consumer protection rights for defective vehicles visit Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a lemon in a different state view other state lemon law summaries.

Federal Lemon Law – The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is the federal law that governs consumer product warranties. Passed by Congress in 1975, the Act requires manufacturers and sellers of consumer products to provide consumers with detailed information about warranty coverage. In addition, it affects both the rights of consumers and the obligations of warrantors under written warranties.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2301. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter:
(1) The term “consumer product” means any tangible personal property which is distributed in commerce and which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes (including any such property intended to be attached to or installed in any real property without regard to whether it is so attached or installed).
(2) The term “Commission” means the Federal Trade Commission.
(3) The term “consumer” means a buyer (other than for purposes of resale) of any consumer product, any person to whom such product is transferred during the duration of an implied or written warranty (or service contract) applicable to the product, and any other person who is entitled by the terms of such warranty (or service contract) or under applicable State law to enforce against the warrantor (or service contractor) the obligations of the warranty (or service contract).
(4) The term “supplier” means any person engaged in the business of making a consumer product directly or indirectly available to consumers.
(5) The term “warrantor” means any supplier or other person who gives or offers to give a written warranty or who is or may be obligated under an implied warranty.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2302. Rules governing contents of warranties

(a) Full and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; additional requirements for contents
In order to improve the adequacy of information available to consumers, prevent deception, and improve competition in the marketing of consumer products, any warrantor warranting a consumer product to a consumer by means of a written warranty shall, to the extent required by rules of the Commission, fully and conspicuously disclose in simple and readily understood language the terms and conditions of such warranty. Such rules may require inclusion in the written warranty of any of the following items among others:
(1) The clear identification of the names and addresses of the warrantors.
(2) The identity of the party or parties to whom the warranty is extended.
(3) The products or parts covered.
(4) A statement of what the warrantor will do in the event of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty-at whose expense-and for what period of time.
(5) A statement of what the consumer must do and expenses he must bear.
(6) Exceptions and exclusions from the terms of the warranty.
(7) The step-by-step procedure which the consumer should take in order to obtain performance of any obligation under the warranty, including the identification of any person or class of persons authorized to perform the obligations set forth in the warranty.
(8) Information respecting the availability of any informal dispute settlement procedure offered by the warrantor and a recital, where the warranty so provides, that the purchaser may be required to resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedies in the courts.
(9) A brief, general description of the legal remedies available to the consumer.
(10) The time at which the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(11) The period of time within which, after notice of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the warranty, the warrantor will perform any obligations under the warranty.
(12) The characteristics or properties of the products, or parts thereof, that are not covered by the warranty.
(13) The elements of the warranty in words or phrases which would not mislead a reasonable, average consumer as to the nature or scope of the warranty.
(b) Availability of terms to consumer; manner and form for presentation and display of information; duration; extension of period for written warranty or service contract
(1)
(A) The Commission shall prescribe rules requiring that the terms of any written warranty on a consumer product be made available to the consumer (or prospective consumer) prior to the sale of the product to him.
(B) The Commission may prescribe rules for determining the manner and form in which information with respect to any written warranty of a consumer product shall be clearly and conspicuously presented or displayed so as not to mislead the reasonable, average consumer, when such information is contained in advertising, labeling, point-of-sale material, or other representations in writing.
(2) Nothing in this chapter (other than paragraph (3) of this subsection) shall be deemed to authorize the Commission to prescribe the duration of written warranties given or to require that a consumer product or any of its components be warranted.
(3) The Commission may prescribe rules for extending the period of time a written warranty or service contract is in effect to correspond with any period of time in excess of a reasonable period (not less than 10 days) during which the consumer is deprived of the use of such consumer product by reason of failure of the product to conform with the written warranty or by reason of the failure of the warrantor (or service contractor) to carry out such warranty (or service contract) within the period specified in the warranty (or service contract).
(c) Prohibition on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by Commission
No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission if-
(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
(2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.
The Commission shall identify in the Federal Register, and permit public comment on, all applications for waiver of the prohibition of this subsection, and shall publish in the Federal Register its disposition of any such application, including the reasons therefor.
(d) Incorporation by reference of detailed substantive warranty provisions
The Commission may by rule devise detailed substantive warranty provisions which warrantors may incorporate by reference in their warranties.
(e) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $5
The provisions of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $5.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2303. Designation of written warranties

(a) Full (statement of duration) or limited warranty
Any warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty shall clearly and conspicuously designate such warranty in the following manner, unless exempted from doing so by the Commission pursuant to subsection (c) of this section:
(1) If the written warranty meets the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a “full (statement of duration) warranty”.
(2) If the written warranty does not meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty set forth in section 2304 of this title, then it shall be conspicuously designated a “limited warranty”.
(b) Applicability of requirements, standards, etc., to representations or statements of customer satisfaction
This section and sections 2302 and 2304 of this title shall not apply to statements or representations which are similar to expressions of general policy concerning customer satisfaction and which are not subject to any specific limitations.
(c) Exemptions by Commission
In addition to exercising the authority pertaining to disclosure granted in section 2302 of this title, the Commission may by rule determine when a written warranty does not have to be designated either “full (statement of duration)” or “limited” in accordance with this section.
(d) Applicability to consumer products costing more than $10 and not designated as full warranties
The provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this section apply only to warranties which pertain to consumer products actually costing the consumer more than $10 and which are not designated “full (statement of duration) warranties”.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2304. Federal minimum standards for warranties

(a) Remedies under written warranty; duration of implied warranty; exclusion or limitation on consequential damages for breach of written or implied warranty; election of refund or replacement
In order for a warrantor warranting a consumer product by means of a written warranty to meet the Federal minimum standards for warranty-
(1) such warrantor must as a minimum remedy such consumer product within a reasonable time and without charge, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with such written warranty;
(2) notwithstanding section 2308 (b) of this title, such warrantor may not impose any limitation on the duration of any implied warranty on the product;
(3) such warrantor may not exclude or limit consequential damages for breach of any written or implied warranty on such product, unless such exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty; and
(4) if the product (or a component part thereof) contains a defect or malfunction after a reasonable number of attempts by the warrantor to remedy defects or malfunctions in such product, such warrantor must permit the consumer to elect either a refund for, or replacement without charge of, such product or part (as the case may be). The Commission may by rule specify for purposes of this paragraph, what constitutes a reasonable number of attempts to remedy particular kinds of defects or malfunctions under different circumstances. If the warrantor replaces a component part of a consumer product, such replacement shall include installing the part in the product without charge.
(b) Duties and conditions imposed on consumer by warrantor
(1) In fulfilling the duties under subsection (a) of this section respecting a written warranty, the warrantor shall not impose any duty other than notification upon any consumer as a condition of securing remedy of any consumer product which malfunctions, is defective, or does not conform to the written warranty, unless the warrantor has demonstrated in a rulemaking proceeding, or can demonstrate in an administrative or judicial enforcement proceeding (including private enforcement), or in an informal dispute settlement proceeding, that such a duty is reasonable.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a warrantor may require, as a condition to replacement of, or refund for, any consumer product under subsection (a) of this section, that such consumer product shall be made available to the warrantor free and clear of liens and other encumbrances, except as otherwise provided by rule or order of the Commission in cases in which such a requirement would not be practicable.
(3) The Commission may, by rule define in detail the duties set forth in subsection (a) of this section and the applicability of such duties to warrantors of different categories of consumer products with “full (statement of duration)” warranties.
(4) The duties under subsection (a) of this section extend from the warrantor to each person who is a consumer with respect to the consumer product.
(c) Waiver of standards
The performance of the duties under subsection (a) of this section shall not be required of the warrantor if he can show that the defect, malfunction, or failure of any warranted consumer product to conform with a written warranty, was caused by damage (not resulting from defect or malfunction) while in the possession of the consumer, or unreasonable use (including failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance).
(d) Remedy without charge
For purposes of this section and of section 2302 (c) of this title, the term “without charge” means that the warrantor may not assess the consumer for any costs the warrantor or his representatives incur in connection with the required remedy of a warranted consumer product. An obligation under subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section to remedy without charge does not necessarily require the warrantor to compensate the consumer for incidental expenses; however, if any incidental expenses are incurred because the remedy is not made within a reasonable time or because the warrantor imposed an unreasonable duty upon the consumer as a condition of securing remedy, then the consumer shall be entitled to recover reasonable incidental expenses which are so incurred in any action against the warrantor.
(e) Incorporation of standards to products designated with full warranty for purposes of judicial actions
If a supplier designates a warranty applicable to a consumer product as a “full (statement of duration)” warranty, then the warranty on such product shall, for purposes of any action under section 2310 (d) of this title or under any State law, be deemed to incorporate at least the minimum requirements of this section and rules prescribed under this section.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2305. Full and limited warranting of a consumer product

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the selling of a consumer product which has both full and limited warranties if such warranties are clearly and conspicuously differentiated.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2306. Service contracts; rules for full, clear and conspicuous disclosure of terms and conditions; addition to or in lieu of written warranty

(a) The Commission may prescribe by rule the manner and form in which the terms and conditions of service contracts shall be fully, clearly, and conspicuously disclosed.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a supplier or warrantor from entering into a service contract with the consumer in addition to or in lieu of a written warranty if such contract fully, clearly, and conspicuously discloses its terms and conditions in simple and readily understood language.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2307. Designation of representatives by warrantor to perform duties under written or implied warranty

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent any warrantor from designating representatives to perform duties under the written or implied warranty: Provided, That such warrantor shall make reasonable arrangements for compensation of such designated representatives, but no such designation shall relieve the warrantor of his direct responsibilities to the consumer or make the representative a cowarrantor.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2308. Implied warranties

(a) Restrictions on disclaimers or modifications
No supplier may disclaim or modify (except as provided in subsection (b) of this section) any implied warranty to a consumer with respect to such consumer product if
(1) such supplier makes any written warranty to the consumer with respect to such consumer Product, or
(2) at the time of sale, or within 90 days thereafter, such supplier enters into a service contract with the consumer which applies to such consumer product.
(b) Limitation on duration
For purposes of this chapter (other than section 2304 (a)(2) of this title), implied warranties may be limited in duration to the duration of a written warranty of reasonable duration, if such limitation is conscionable and is set forth in clear and unmistakable language and prominently displayed on the face of the warranty.
(c) Effectiveness of disclaimers, modifications, or limitations
A disclaimer, modification, or limitation made in violation of this section shall be ineffective for purposes of this chapter and State law.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2309. Procedures applicable to promulgation of rules by Commission

(a) Oral presentation
Any rule prescribed under this chapter shall be prescribed in accordance with section 553 of title 5; except that the Commission shall give interested persons an opportunity for oral presentations of data, views, and arguments, in addition to written submissions. A transcript shall be kept of any oral presentation. Any such rule shall be subject to judicial review under section 57a (e) of this title in the same manner as rules prescribed under section 57a (a)(1)(B) of this title, except that section 57a (e)(3)(B) of this title shall not apply.
(b) Warranties and warranty practices involved in sale of used motor vehicles
The Commission shall initiate within one year after January 4, 1975, a rulemaking proceeding dealing with warranties and warranty practices in connection with the sale of used motor vehicles; and, to the extent necessary to supplement the protections offered the consumer by this chapter, shall prescribe rules dealing with such warranties and practices. In prescribing rules under this subsection, the Commission may exercise any authority it may have under this chapter, or other law, and in addition it may require disclosure that a used motor vehicle is sold without any warranty and specify the form and content of such disclosure.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2310. Remedies in consumer disputes

(a) Informal dispute settlement procedures; establishment; rules setting forth minimum requirements; effect of compliance by warrantor; review of informal procedures or implementation by Commission; application to existing informal procedures
(1) Congress hereby declares it to be its policy to encourage warrantors to establish procedures whereby consumer disputes are fairly and expeditiously settled through informal dispute settlement mechanisms.
(2) The Commission shall prescribe rules setting forth minimum requirements for any informal dispute settlement procedure which is incorporated into the terms of a written warranty to which any provision of this chapter applies. Such rules shall provide for participation in such procedure by independent or governmental entities.
(3) One or more warrantors may establish an informal dispute settlement procedure which meets the requirements of the Commission’s rules under paragraph (2). If-
(A) a warrantor establishes such a procedure,
(B) such procedure, and its implementation, meets the requirements of such rules, and
(C) he incorporates in a written warranty a requirement that the consumer resort to such procedure before pursuing any legal remedy under this section respecting such warranty,
then
(i) the consumer may not commence a civil action (other than a class action) under subsection (d) of this section unless he initially resorts to such procedure; and
(ii) a class of consumers may not proceed in a class action under subsection (d) of this section except to the extent the court determines necessary to establish the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs, unless the named plaintiffs (upon notifying the defendant that they are named plaintiffs in a class action with respect to a warranty obligation) initially resort to such procedure. In the case of such a class action which is brought in a district court of the United States, the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs shall be established in the application of rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In any civil action arising out of a warranty obligation and relating to a matter considered in such a procedure, any decision in such procedure shall be admissible in evidence.
(4) The Commission on its own initiative may, or upon written complaint filed by any interested person shall, review the bona fide operation of any dispute settlement procedure resort to which is stated in a written warranty to be a prerequisite to pursuing a legal remedy under this section. If the Commission finds that such procedure or its implementation fails to comply with the requirements of the rules under paragraph (2), the Commission may take appropriate remedial action under any authority it may have under this chapter or any other provision of law.
(5) Until rules under paragraph (2) take effect, this subsection shall not affect the validity of any informal dispute settlement procedure respecting consumer warranties, but in any action under subsection (d) of this section, the court may invalidate any such procedure if it finds that such procedure is unfair.
(b) Prohibited acts
It shall be a violation of section 45 (a)(1) of this title for any person to fail to comply with any requirement imposed on such person by this chapter (or a rule thereunder) or to violate any prohibition contained in this chapter (or a rule thereunder).

(c) Injunction proceedings by Attorney General or Commission for deceptive warranty, noncompliance with requirements, or violating prohibitions; procedures; definitions
(1) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of any action brought by the Attorney General (in his capacity as such), or by the Commission by any of its attorneys designated by it for such purpose, to restrain
(A) any warrantor from making a deceptive warranty with respect to a consumer product, or
(B) any person from failing to comply with any requirement imposed on such person by or pursuant to this chapter or from violating any prohibition contained in this chapter. Upon proper showing that, weighing the equities and considering the Commission’s or Attorney General’s likelihood of ultimate success, such action would be in the public interest and after notice to the defendant, a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction may be granted without bond. In the case of an action brought by the Commission, if a complaint under section 45 of this title is not filed within such period (not exceeding 10 days) as may be specified by the court after the issuance of the temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, the order or injunction shall be dissolved by the court and be of no further force and effect. Any suit shall be brought in the district in which such person resides or transacts business. Whenever it appears to the court that the ends of justice require that other persons should be parties in the action, the court may cause them to be summoned whether or not they reside in the district in which the court is held, and to that end process may be served in any district.
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “deceptive warranty” means
(A) a written warranty which
(i) contains an affirmation, promise, description, or representation which is either false or fraudulent, or which, in light of all of the circumstances, would mislead a reasonable individual exercising due care; or
(ii) fails to contain information which is necessary in light of all of the circumstances, to make the warranty not misleading to a reasonable individual exercising due care; or
(B) a written warranty created by the use of such terms as “guaranty” or “warranty”, if the terms and conditions of such warranty so limit its scope and application as to deceive a reasonable individual.
(d) Civil action by consumer for damages, etc.; jurisdiction; recovery of costs and expenses; cognizable claims
(1) Subject to subsections (a)(3) and (e) of this section, a consumer who is damaged by the failure of a supplier, warrantor, or service contractor to comply with any obligation under this chapter, or under a written warranty, implied warranty, or service contract, may bring suit for damages and other legal and equitable relief-
(A) in any court of competent jurisdiction in any State or the District of Columbia; or
(B) in an appropriate district court of the United States, subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(2) If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under paragraph (1) of this subsection, he may be allowed by the court to recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate amount of cost and expenses (including attorneys’ fees based on actual time expended) determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in connection with the commencement and prosecution of such action, unless the court in its discretion shall determine that such an award of attorneys’ fees would be inappropriate.
(3) No claim shall be cognizable in a suit brought under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection-
(A) if the amount in controversy of any individual claim is less than the sum or value of $25;
(B) if the amount in controversy is less than the sum or value of $50,000 (exclusive of interests and costs) computed on the basis of all claims to be determined in this suit; or
(C) if the action is brought as a class action, and the number of named plaintiffs is less than one hundred.
(e) Class actions; conditions; procedures applicable
No action (other than a class action or an action respecting a warranty to which subsection (a)(3) of this section applies) may be brought under subsection (d) of this section for failure to comply with any obligation under any written or implied warranty or service contract, and a class of consumers may not proceed in a class action under such subsection with respect to such a failure except to the extent the court determines necessary to establish the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs, unless the person obligated under the warranty or service contract is afforded a reasonable opportunity to cure such failure to comply. In the case of such a class action (other than a class action respecting a warranty to which subsection (a)(3) of this section applies) brought under subsection (d) of this section for breach of any written or implied warranty or service contract, such reasonable opportunity will be afforded by the named plaintiffs and they shall at that time notify the defendant that they are acting on behalf of the class. In the case of such a class action which is brought in a district court of the United States, the representative capacity of the named plaintiffs shall be established in the application of rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(f) Warrantors subject to enforcement of remedies
For purposes of this section, only the warrantor actually making a written affirmation of fact, promise, or undertaking shall be deemed to have created a written warranty, and any rights arising thereunder may be enforced under this section only against such warrantor and no other person.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act § 2311. Applicability to other laws

(a) Federal Trade Commission Act and Federal Seed Act
(1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, invalidate, or supersede the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] or any statute defined therein as an Antitrust Act.
(2) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, invalidate, or supersede the Federal Seed Act [7 U.S.C. 1551 et seq.] and nothing in this chapter shall apply to seed for planting.
(b) Rights, remedies, and liabilities
(1) Nothing in this chapter shall invalidate or restrict any right or remedy of any consumer under State law or any other Federal law.
(2) Nothing in this chapter (other than sections 2308 and 2304 (a)(2) and (4) of this title) shall
(A) affect the liability of, or impose liability on, any person for personal injury, or
(B) supersede any provision of State law regarding consequential damages for injury to the person or other injury.
(c) State warranty laws
(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a State requirement-
(A) which relates to labeling or disclosure with respect to written warranties or performance thereunder;
(B) which is within the scope of an applicable requirement of sections 2302, 2303, and 2304 of this title (and rules implementing such sections), and
(C) which is not identical to a requirement of section 2302, 2303, or 2304 of this title (or a rule thereunder),
shall not be applicable to written warranties complying with such sections (or rules thereunder).
(2) If, upon application of an appropriate State agency, the Commission determines (pursuant to rules issued in accordance with section 2309 of this title) that any requirement of such State covering any transaction to which this chapter applies
(A) affords protection to consumers greater than the requirements of this chapter and
(B) does not unduly burden interstate commerce, then such State requirement shall be applicable (notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection) to the extent specified in such determination for so long as the State administers and enforces effectively any such greater requirement.
(d) Other Federal warranty laws
This chapter (other than section 2302 (c) of this title) shall be inapplicable to any written warranty the making or content of which is otherwise governed by Federal law. If only a portion of a written warranty is so governed by Federal law, the remaining portion shall be subject to this chapter.

§ 2312. Effective dates – Magnuson Moss Federal Warrant Protection Act

(a) Effective date of chapter
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this chapter shall take effect 6 months after January 4, 1975, but shall not apply to consumer products manufactured prior to such date.
(b) Effective date of section 2302 (a)
Section 2302 (a) of this title shall take effect 6 months after the final publication of rules respecting such section; except that the Commission, for good cause shown, may postpone the applicability of such sections until one year after such final publication in order to permit any designated classes of suppliers to bring their written warranties into compliance with rules promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
(c) Promulgation of rules

The Commission shall promulgate rules for initial implementation of this chapter as soon as possible after January 4, 1975, but in no event later than one year after such date.

Georgia House Bill 470 – To be entitled an Act

To repeal Article 28 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicle warranty rights; to enact a new Article 28 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 to be known as the “Georgia Lemon Law”; to provide for a short title; to provide for legislative intent; to provide for definitions; to provide for documents and information to be provided to consumers; to provide for a duty of the manufacturer to repair and correct nonconformities; to provide for replacement or repurchase of nonconforming vehicles; to provide for an informal dispute settlement mechanism; to provide for arbitration; to provide for an appeal of the arbitration decision; to require exhaustion of remedies by the consumer; to provide for a new motor vehicle arbitration panel; to provide for resale of a nonconforming vehicle; to provide for collection of a consumer fee; to provide for new motor vehicle dealer liability; to provide for other rights and remedies; to provide for staffing; to provide for rulemaking authority; to provide for severability; to provide for waiver of rights under provisions as contrary to public policy; to provide for related matters; to provide effective dates; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1.

Article 28 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicle warranty rights, is amended by striking it in its entirety and inserting in its place a new article to read as follows:

ARTICLE 28

10-1-780.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Georgia Lemon Law.’

10-1-781.

The General Assembly recognizes that a new motor vehicle is a major consumer purchase and that a defectively manufactured new motor vehicle is likely to create hardship for, or may cause injury to, the consumer. It is the intent of the General Assembly to create a procedure for expeditious resolution of complaints and disputes concerning nonconforming new motor vehicles, to provide a method for notifying consumers of their rights under this article, and to ensure that consumers receive information, documents, and service necessary to enable them to exercise their rights under this article. In enacting these comprehensive measures, the General Assembly intends to encourage manufacturers to take all steps necessary to correct nonconformities in new motor vehicles and to create the proper blend of private and public remedies necessary to enforce this article.

10-1-782.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, as used in this article, the term:

(1) ‘Adjusted capitalized cost’ means the amount shown as the adjusted capitalized cost in the lease agreement.

(2) ‘Administrator’ means the administrator appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-395 or his or her designee.

(3) ‘Authorized agent’ means any person, including a franchised motor vehicle dealer, who is authorized by the manufacturer to service motor vehicles.

(4) ‘Collateral charges’ means charges incurred by a consumer as a result of the purchase of a new motor vehicle including, but not limited to, charges attributable to factory or dealer installed options, sales tax and title charges, and earned finance charges.

(5) ‘Consumer’ means each of the following:

(A) A person who purchases or leases a new motor vehicle for personal, family, or household use and not for the purpose of selling or leasing the new motor vehicle to another person; and

(B) A person who purchases or leases ten or fewer new motor vehicles a year for business purposes other than limousine rental services.

(6) ‘Days’ means calendar days.

(7) ‘Express warranty’ means a warranty which is given by the manufacturer in writing.

(8) ‘Incidental costs’ means any reasonable expenses incurred by a consumer in connection with the repair of a new motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, payments to new motor vehicle dealers for the attempted repair of nonconformities, towing charges, and the costs of obtaining alternative transportation.

(9) ‘Informal dispute settlement mechanism’ means any procedure established, employed, utilized, or sponsored by a manufacturer for the purpose of resolving disputes with consumers under this article.

(10) ‘Lemon law rights period’ means the period ending two years after the date of the original delivery of a new motor vehicle to a consumer or the first 24,000 miles of operation after delivery of a new motor vehicle to the original consumer, whichever occurs first. The lemon law rights period shall be extended by one day for each day that repair services are not available to the consumer as a direct result of a strike, war, invasion, terrorist act, blackout, fire, flood, other disaster, or declared state of emergency.

(11) ‘Lessee’ means any consumer who enters into a written lease agreement or contract to lease a new motor vehicle for a period of at least one year and is responsible for repairs to such vehicle.

(12) ‘Lessee cost’ means the aggregate payment made by the lessee at the inception of the lease agreement or contract, inclusive of any allowance for a trade-in vehicle, and all other lease payments made by or on behalf of the lessee to the lessor.

(13) ‘Lessor’ means a person who holds title to a new motor vehicle that is leased to a consumer under a written lease agreement or contract or who holds the lessor´s rights under such agreement.

(14) ‘Manufacturer’ means any person engaged in the business of constructing or assembling new motor vehicles or engaged in the business of importing or receiving imports of new motor vehicles into the United States for the purpose of selling or distributing them to new motor vehicle dealers.

(15) ‘New motor vehicle’ means any self-propelled vehicle primarily designed for the transportation of persons or property over the public highways that was leased, purchased, or registered in this state by the consumer or lessor to whom the original motor vehicle title was issued without previously having been issued to any person other than a new motor vehicle dealer. The term ‘new motor vehicle’ does not include any vehicle on which the title and other transfer documents show a used, rather than new, vehicle. The term ‘new motor vehicle’ also does not include trucks with more than 12,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, motorcycles, or golf carts. If a new motor vehicle is a motor home, this article shall apply to the self-propelled vehicle and chassis, but does not include those portions of the vehicle designated, used, or maintained primarily as living quarters, office, or commercial space.

(16) ‘New motor vehicle dealer’ means a person who holds a dealer agreement with a manufacturer for the sale of new motor vehicles, who is engaged in the business of purchasing, selling, servicing, exchanging, leasing, or dealing in new motor vehicles, or who is licensed or otherwise authorized to utilize trademarks or service marks associated with one or more makes of motor vehicles in connection with such sales.

(17) ‘Nonconformity’ means a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition, any of which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle to the consumer or renders the new motor vehicle nonconforming to a warranty. A nonconformity does not include a defect, a serious safety defect, or a condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of the new motor vehicle.

(18) ‘Panel’ means the new motor vehicle arbitration panel as designated in this article.

(19) ‘Person’ shall have the same meaning as provided in Code Section 10-1-392.

(20) ‘Purchase price’ means, in the case of a sale of a new motor vehicle to a consumer, the cash price of the new motor vehicle appearing in the sales agreement or contract, inclusive of any reasonable allowance for a trade-in vehicle. In the case of a lease executed by a consumer, ‘purchase price’ refers to the agreed upon value of the vehicle as shown in the lease agreement or contract.

(21) ‘Reacquired vehicle’ means a new motor vehicle with an alleged nonconformity that has been replaced or repurchased by the manufacturer as the result of any court order or judgment, arbitration decision, voluntary settlement entered into between a manufacturer and the consumer, or voluntary settlement between a new motor vehicle dealer and a consumer in which the manufacturer directly or indirectly participated.

(22) ‘Reasonable number of attempts’ under the lemon law rights period shall be as set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-784.

(23) ‘Reasonable offset for use’ means an amount calculated by multiplying the purchase price of a vehicle by the number of miles directly attributable to consumer use as of the date on which the consumer first delivered the vehicle to the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer for repair of a nonconformity and dividing the product by 120,000, or in the case of a motor home 90,000.

(24) ‘Replacement motor vehicle’ means a new motor vehicle that is identical or at least equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced as the motor vehicle to be replaced existed at the time of purchase or execution of the lease.

(25) ‘Serious safety defect’ means a life-threatening defect or a malfunction that impedes the consumer´s ability to control or operate the motor vehicle for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes or creates a risk of fire or explosion.

(26) ‘Superior court’ means the superior court in the county where the consumer resides, except if the consumer does not reside in this state, then the superior court in the county where an arbitration hearing was conducted pursuant to this article.

(27) ‘Warranty’ means any manufacturer´s express warranty or any affirmation of fact or promise made by the manufacturer in connection with the sale of a new motor vehicle to a consumer concerning the vehicle´s materials, workmanship, operation, or performance which becomes part of the basis of the bargain. The term shall not include any extended coverage purchased by the consumer as a separate item or any statements made by the dealer in connection with the sale of a motor vehicle to a consumer which relate to the nature of the material or workmanship and affirm or promise that such material or workmanship is free of defects or will meet a specified level of performance.

10-1-783.

(a) The manufacturer shall publish an owner´s manual and provide it to the new motor vehicle dealer. The owner´s manual shall include a clear and conspicuous listing of addresses, e-mail addresses, facsimile numbers, and toll-free telephone numbers for the manufacturer´s customer service personnel who are authorized to direct activities regarding repair of the consumer´s vehicle. A manufacturer shall also provide all applicable manufacturer´s written warranties to the new motor vehicle dealer, who shall transfer the owner´s manual and all applicable manufacturer´s written warranties to the consumer at the time of purchase or vehicle acquisition.

(b) At the time of purchase or vehicle acquisition, the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide the consumer with a written statement that explains the consumer´s rights under this article. The statement shall be written by the administrator and shall contain information regarding the procedures and remedies under this article.

(c) By October 1 of each year, the manufacturer shall forward to the administrator one copy of the owner´s manual and the express warranty for each make and model of current year new motor vehicles it sells in this state. To the extent the instructions, terms, and conditions in the owner´s manuals and express warranties for other models of the same make are substantially the same, submission of the owner´s manual and express warranty for one model and a list of all other models for that make will satisfy the requirements of this subsection.

(d) Each time the consumer´s new motor vehicle is returned from being diagnosed or repaired, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide to the consumer a fully itemized and legible statement or repair order containing a general description of the problem reported by the consumer; the date and the odometer reading when the vehicle was submitted for repair; the date and odometer reading when the vehicle was made available to the consumer; the results of any diagnostic test, inspection, or test drive; a description of any diagnosis or problem identified by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer; and an itemization of all work performed on the vehicle, including, but not limited to, parts and labor.

(e) Upon request of the consumer, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall provide a copy of any report or computer reading compiled by the manufacturer´s representative regarding inspection, diagnosis, or test drive of the consumer´s new motor vehicle.

10-1-784.

(a)(1) If a consumer reports a nonconformity during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer shall be allowed a reasonable number of attempts to repair and correct the nonconformity. A reasonable number of attempts shall be deemed to have been undertaken by the manufacturer, its authorized agent, or the new motor vehicle dealer if, during the lemon law rights period:

(A) A serious safety defect has been subject to repair one time and the serious safety defect has not been corrected;

(B) The same nonconformity has been subject to repair three times, and the nonconformity has not been corrected; or

the manufacturer´s receipt of n

(C) The vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days.

If the vehicle is being repaired by the manufacturer through an authorized agent or a new motor vehicle dealer on the date that the lemon law rights period expires, the lemon law rights period shall be extended until that repair attempt has been completed.

(2)(A) If the manufacturer through an authorized agent or a new motor vehicle dealer is unable to repair and correct a nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the consumer shall notify the manufacturer by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of the need to repair and correct the nonconformity. The notice shall be sent to the address provided by the manufacturer in the owner´s manual. The manufacturer shall have 28 days from its receipt of the notice to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity.

(B) By not later than the close of business on the seventh day following receipt of notice from the consumer, the manufacturer shall notify the consumer of the location of a repair facility that is reasonably accessible to the consumer. By not later than the close of business on the fourteenth day following notice, the consumer shall deliver the nonconforming new motor vehicle to the designated repair facility.

(C) If the manufacturer fails to notify the consumer of the location of a reasonably accessible repair facility within seven days of its receipt of notice, or fails to complete the final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity with the 28 day time period, the requirement that it be given a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity shall not apply. However, if the consumer delivers the nonconforming new motor vehicle to the designated repair facility more than 14 days from the date the manufacturer receives notice from the consumer, the 28 day time period shall be extended and the manufacturer shall have 14 days from the date the nonconforming new motor vehicle is delivered to the repair facility to complete the final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity.

(3) No manufacturer, its authorized agent, or new motor vehicle dealer may refuse to diagnose or repair any alleged nonconformity for the purpose of avoiding liability under this article.

(b)(1) If the manufacturer, through an authorized agent or new motor vehicle dealer to whom the manufacturer directs the consumer to deliver the vehicle, is unable to correct a nonconformity after the final attempt, or if a vehicle has been out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for 30 days during the lemon law rights period, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer, repurchase or replace the vehicle. The consumer shall notify the manufacturer, in writing by statutory overnight delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, of which option the consumer elects. The manufacturer shall have 20 days from receipt of the notice to repurchase or replace the vehicle.

(2)(A) If a consumer who is a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, in addition to providing the replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall pay to the lessor an amount equal to all charges that the lessor will incur as a result of the replacement transaction and shall pay the lessee an amount equal to all incidental costs that have been incurred by the lessee plus all charges that the lessee will incur as a result of the replacement transaction. If a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, all terms of the existing lease agreement or contract shall remain in force and effect, except that the vehicle identification information contained in the lease agreement or contract shall be changed to conform to the vehicle identification information of the replacement vehicle.

(B) If a consumer who is not a lessee elects to receive a replacement motor vehicle, in addition to providing the replacement motor vehicle, the manufacturer shall pay to the consumer an amount equal to all incidental costs incurred by the consumer plus all charges that the consumer will incur as a result of the replacement transaction.

(3)(A) If a consumer who is a lessee elects a repurchase, the manufacturer shall pay to the lessee an amount equal to all payments made by the lessee under the lease agreement or contract, including, but not limited to, the lessee cost, plus all incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. The manufacturer shall pay to the lessor an amount equal to 110 percent of the adjusted capitalized cost of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. After the lessor has received payment from the manufacturer as specified in this subparagraph and payment from the consumer of all past due charges, if any, the consumer shall have no further obligation to the lessor.

(B) If a consumer who is not a lessee elects a repurchase, the manufacturer shall pay to the consumer an amount equal to the purchase price of the nonconforming new motor vehicle plus all collateral charges and incidental costs, less a reasonable offset for use of the nonconforming new motor vehicle. Payment shall be made to the consumer and lienholder of record, if any, as their interests may appear on the records of ownership.

10-1-785.

(a)(1) If a manufacturer does not replace or repurchase a nonconforming new motor vehicle after being requested to do so under subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-784, the consumer may move to compel replacement or repurchase by applying for arbitration pursuant to Code Section 10-1-786. However, if a manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement mechanism which the administrator has certified as complying with the provisions and rules of this article, the consumer shall be eligible to apply for arbitration only after submitting a dispute under this article to the informal dispute settlement mechanism.

(2) A consumer must file a claim with the manufacturer´s certified informal dispute settlement mechanism no later than one year after expiration of the lemon law rights period.

(3) After a decision has been rendered by the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism, the consumer is eligible to apply for arbitration pursuant to Code Section 10-1-786.

(4) If a decision is not rendered by the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism within 40 days of filing, the requirement that the consumer submit his or her dispute to the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism shall not apply and the consumer is eligible to apply for arbitration under Code Section 10-1-786.

(b) Certified informal dispute settlement mechanisms shall be required to take into account the principles contained in and any rules promulgated under this article and shall take into account all legal and equitable factors germane to a fair and just decision. A decision shall include any remedies appropriate under the circumstances, including repair, replacement, refund, and reimbursement for collateral charges and incidental costs. For purposes of this Code section, the phrase ‘take into account the principles contained in and any rules promulgated under this article’ means to be aware of the provisions of this article, to understand how they might apply to the circumstances of the particular dispute, and to apply them if it is appropriate and fair to both parties to do so.

(c) A certified informal dispute settlement mechanism shall keep such records as prescribed by the administrator in rules promulgated under this article  the procedures set forth in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the ‘Georand shall allow the administrator, without notice, to inspect and obtain copies of the records. Copies of any records requested by the administrator shall be provided promptly to the administrator at no cost.

(d) A manufacturer may apply to the administrator for certification of its informal dispute settlement mechanism. The administrator may, in his or her discretion, impose requirements on an informal dispute settlement mechanism in order for it to be certified. Within a reasonable time following receipt of the application, the administrator shall certify the informal dispute settlement mechanism or notify the manufacturer of the reason or reasons for denial of the requested certification.

(e) At any time the administrator has reason to believe that a certified informal dispute settlement mechanism is no longer in compliance with this article, he or she may notify the manufacturer of intent to revoke the informal dispute settlement mechanism´s certification. The notice shall contain a statement of the reason or reasons for the revocation.

(f) The manufacturer shall have ten days from its receipt of notice of denial of requested certification or notice of intent to revoke certification to submit a written request for a hearing to contest the denial or intended revocation. If a hearing is requested, it shall be held within 30 days of the administrator´s receipt of the hearing request. The hearing shall be conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings following

Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.’

(g) No representation shall be made to a consumer that his or her dispute must be submitted to an informal dispute settlement mechanism that is not certified by the administrator pursuant to this Code section.

10-1-786.

(a) A consumer shall request arbitration by filing a written application for arbitration with the administrator. The application must be filed no later than one year from the date of expiration of the lemon law rights period or 60 days from the conclusion of the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism´s proceeding, whichever occurs later.

(b)(1) After receiving an application for arbitration, the administrator shall determine whether the dispute is eligible for arbitration. Manufacturers shall be required to submit to arbitration under this article if the consumer´s dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the administrator. Disputes deemed eligible for arbitration shall be assigned to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789.

(2)(A) A consumer whose dispute is determined to be ineligible for arbitration by the administrator may appeal the determination of ineligibility to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789.

(B) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer´s dispute is eligible for arbitration, the arbitrator or arbitrators shall retain jurisdiction and the consumer´s dispute shall proceed in accordance with this Code section.

(C) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer´s dispute is not eligible for arbitration, a written decision shall be prepared and sent to the consumer and manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(D) The decision of ineligibility may be appealed by the consumer under the provisions set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787. On appeal, the court shall consider only the issue of eligibility for arbitration.

(3) If the court finds that a consumer´s appeal from a determination of ineligibility is frivolous or has been filed in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, the court may require the consumer to pay to the administrator all costs incurred as a direct result of the appeals from the administrator´s determination of ineligibility.

(c) A lessee shall notify the lessor of the pending arbitration, in writing, within ten days of the lessee´s receipt of notice that a dispute has been deemed eligible for arbitration and shall provide to the arbitrator or arbitrators proof that notice was given to the lessor. Within ten days of its receipt of notice from the lessee, a lessor may petition the arbitrator or arbitrators to be a party to the arbitration proceeding.

(d) The arbitrator or arbitrators shall make every effort to conduct the arbitration hearing within 40 days from the date the dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration. The hearing shall be held at a location that is reasonably convenient to the Georgia consumer. Failure to hear the case within 40 days shall not divest authority of the arbitrator or arbitrators to hear the dispute or void any decision ultimately rendered.

(e) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine:

(1) That a reasonable number of attempts has been undertaken to repair and correct the nonconformity and that the manufacturer was given the opportunity to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity and was unable to correct it; or

(2) That a new motor vehicle was out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days within the lemon law rights period,

the consumer shall be awarded replacement or repurchase of the new motor vehicle as provided under Code Section 10-1-784. The arbitrator or arbitrators also may award attorney´s fees and technical or expert witness fees to a consumer who prevails.

(f) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be in writing, be signed, and contain findings of fact and conclusions of law. The original signed decision shall be filed with the administrator and copies shall be sent to all parties. The filing of the decision with the administrator constitutes entry of the decision.

(g) A decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators that has become final under the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787 may be filed with the clerk of the superior court, shall have all the force and effect of a judgment or decree of the court, and may be enforced in the same manner as any other judgment or decree.

(h) No arbitrator may be required to testify concerning any arbitration and the arbitrator´s notes or other records are not subject to discovery. This provision does not extend to testimony or documents sought in connection with legal claims brought against an arbitrator arising out of an arbitration proceeding.

10-1-787.

(a) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators is final unless a party to the arbitration, within 30 days of entry of the decision, appeals the decision to the superior court. A party who appeals a decision shall follow the procedures set forth in Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 5, and any appeal shall be de novo; however, the decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be admissible in evidence.

(b) If the manufacturer appeals, the court may require the manufacturer to post security for the consumer´s financial loss due to the passage of time for review.

(c) If the manufacturer appeals and the consumer prevails, recovery, in addition to the arbitrator´s award, shall include all charges incurred by the consumer during the pendency of, or as a result of, the appeal, including, but not limited to, continuing collateral and incidental costs, technical or expert witness fees, attorney´s fees, and court costs.

(d) A manufacturer which does not appeal a decision in favor of a consumer must fully comply with the decision within 40 days of entry thereof. If a manufacturer does not fully comply within the 40 day time period, the administrator may issue an order imposing a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 per day for each day that the manufacturer remains out of compliance. The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-398 and 10-1-398.1 shall apply in connection with the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection. It shall be an affirmative defense to the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection that a delay or failure to comply was beyond the manufacturer´s control or that a delay was acceptable to the consumer.

10-1-788.

The provisions of this article are not available to a consumer in a civil action unless the consumer has first exhausted all remedies provided for in this article.

10-1-789.

(a) The administrator shall establish a new motor vehicle arbitration panel to resolve disputes between consumers and manufacturers arising under this article. The administrator, in his or her discretion, may operate the panel by contracting with public or private entities to conduct arbitrations under this article or by appointing individuals to serve as panel member arbitrators. An arbitrator shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia or shall have at least two years´ experience in professional arbitration or dispute resolution. No arbitrator shall be affiliated with or involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale, lease, or servicing of motor vehicles.

(b) Panel member arbitrators and entities that contract with the administrator to provide arbitration services shall be compensated for time and expenses at a rate to be determined by the administrator.

(c) Each arbitration proceeding shall be conducted by either one or three arbitrators, each of whom is to be assigned by the administrator or contracted entity.

(d) Neither the administrator, an entity with which the administrator has contracted, nor any arbitrator shall be civilly liable for any decision, action, statement, or omission made in connection with any proceeding under this article, except in circumstances where the decision, action, statement, or omission was made with malice or gross negligence.

10-1-790.

(a) No manufacturer, its authorized agent, new motor vehicle dealer, or other transferor shall knowingly resell, either at wholesale or retail, lease, transfer a title, or otherwise transfer a reacquired vehicle, including a vehicle reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, unless the vehicle is being sold for scrap and the manufacturer has notified the administrator of the proposed sale or:

(1) The fact of the reacquisition and nature of any alleged nonconformity are clearly and conspicuously disclosed in writing to the prospective transferee, lessee, or buyer; and

(2) The manufacturer warrants to correct such nonconformity for a term of one year or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

A knowing violation of this subsection shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 and will subject the violator to an action by a consumer under Code Section 10-1-399.

(b) The manufacturer shall have 30 days to notify the administrator that a vehicle has been reacquired in this state under the provisions of this article. The notice shall be legible and include, at a minimum, the vehicle year, make, model, and identification number; the date and mileage at the time the vehicle was reacquired; the nature of the alleged nonconformity; the reason for reacquisition; and the name and address of the original consumer. When the manufacturer resells, leases, transfers, or otherwise disposes of a reacquired vehicle, the manufacturer shall, within 30 days of the resale, lease, transfer, or disposition, notify the administrator of the vehicle year, make, model, and identification number; the date of the sale, lease, transfer, or disposition of the vehicle; and the name and address of the buyer, lessee, or transferee.

(c) If a manufacturer resells, leases, transfers, or otherwise disposes of a motor vehicle in this state that it reacquired under a similar statute of any other state, the manufacturer shall, within 30 days of the resale, lease, transfer, or disposition, notify the administrator of the transaction. The contents of the notice shall comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section.

(d) Manufacturers shall use forms approved by the administrator. The forms shall contain the information required under this Code section and any other information the administrator deems necessary for implementation of this Code section.

10-1-791.

(a) A fee of $3.00 shall be collected by the new motor vehicle dealer from the consumer at completion of a sale or execution of a lease of each new motor vehicle. The fee shall be forwarded quarterly to the Office of Planning and Budget for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account created in the state treasury. The payments are due and payable the first day of the month in each quarter for the previous quarter´s collection and shall be mailed by the new motor vehicle dealer not later than the twentieth day of such month. The first day of the month in each quarter is July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1 for each year. Consumer fees in the account shall be used for the purposes of this article. Funds in excess of the appropriated amount remaining in the new motor vehicle arbitration account at the end of each fiscal year shall be transferred to the general treasury. The new motor vehicle dealer shall retain $1.00 of each fee collected to cover administrative costs.

(b) The administrator appointed pursuant to subsection (g) of Code Section 10-1-395 shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this Code section. The administrator´s enforcement power shall include:

(1) The authority to investigate alleged violations through use of all investigative powers available under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the ‘Fair Business Practices Act’; and

(2) The authority to initiate proceedings, pursuant to Code Section 10-1-397, in the event of a violation of this Code section. Such proceedings include, without limitation, issuance of a cease and desist order, a civil penalty order imposing a civil penalty up to a maximum of $2,000.00 for each violation, and proceedings to seek additional relief in any superior court of competent jurisdiction. The provisions of Code Sections 10-1-398, 10-1-398.1, 10-1-402, and 10-1-405 shall apply to proceedings initiated by the administrator under this Code section.

10-1-792.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, this article shall not create or give rise to any cause of action by manufacturers or consumers against new motor vehicle dealers. No new motor vehicle dealer shall be held liable by a manufacturer or a consumer for any collateral charges, incidental charges, costs, purchase price refunds, or vehicle replacements. Manufacturers and consumers shall not make new motor vehicle dealers party to an arbitration proceeding or any other proceeding under this article. A new motor vehicle dealer that is named as a party in any proceeding brought by a consumer or a manufacturer under this article, except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney´s fees and expenses of litigation incurred in connection with such proceeding.

(b) The provisions of this article shall not impair any obligation under any manufacturer-dealer franchise agreement; provided, however, that any provision of any manufacturer-dealer franchise agreement which attempts to shift any duty, obligation, responsibility, or liability imposed upon a manufacturer by this article to a new motor vehicle dealer, either directly or indirectly, shall be void and unenforceable, except for any liability imposed upon a manufacturer by this article which is directly caused by the gross negligence of the dealer in attempting to repair the motor vehicle after such gross negligence has been determined by the hearing officer, as provided in Article 22 of this chapter, the ‘Georgia Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act.’

10-1-793.

(a) A violation of this article shall constitute an unfair and deceptive act or practice in the conduct of consumer transactions under Part 2 of Article 15 of this chapter, the ‘Fair Business Practice Act’; provided, however, that enforcement against such violations shall be by public enforcement by the administrator and, except as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-790, shall not be enforceable through private action under Code Section 10-1-399.

(b) Except as otherwise provided, this article is cumulative with other laws and is not exclusive. The rights and remedies provided for in this article shall be in addition to any other rights and remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

10-1-794.

All administrative staff hired by the administrator to aid in the administration of this article shall be in the unclassified service and compensated at a salary determined by the administrator.

10-1-795.

The administrator shall promulgate rules and regulations and establish procedures necessary to carry into effect, implement, and enforce the provisions of this article. The authority granted to the administrator pursuant to this Code section shall be exercised at all times in conformity with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the ‘Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.’

10-1-796.

If any provision of this article or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this article are severable.

10-1-797.

Any agreement entered into by a consumer that waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this article shall be unenforceable as contrary to public policy.”

SECTION 2.

Code Section 10-1-795 as enacted by this Act shall become effective on this Act´s approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval; the remaining provisions of this Act shall become effective January 1, 2009.

SECTION 3.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

If you need help understanding your rights under Georgia Lemon Law or the Federal Law, contact our Ga Lemon Law Attorneys today by calling 404-737-3451. Or fill out our online form today for a free Ga Lemon Lawyer Consultation.

View a summary of Car Manufacturer Warranties for more information on your basic warranty rights coverage provided by your manufacturer for a new vehicle.